[Tagging] Pre-RFC: shop=mall versus shop=shopping_centre

johnw johnw at mac.com
Tue Oct 21 07:23:54 UTC 2014

Isn't shopping centre a collection of disparate stores grouped together for connivence (same parking lot), whereas a mall is a singular large (or several large) buildings full of little shops, primarily accessed by a pedestrian Thoroughfare in the center? 

To me the defining characteristic is pedestrian centric shopping or not. Both can be named places (separate from the shops), but only the mall is some place where you get out and enter "the mall" and walk around to see the shops, whereas the shopping centre presents it's choices (and access) from the street/parking lot - similar but bigger than a "stripmall". The collection of two or three big box stores and a few smaller stores is in no way a mall - but it often is a named place.  These dominate the arterial roads in California.


There is Grossmont Center, a large mall on the north side of the freeway. The large (outdoor, in this case) pedestrian concourse in the centre where you walk to visit the stores makes it a "mall". On the south side of the freeway, there are 3 (formerly 5) bigbox stores just plopped next to the road, all sharing the same parking amenity and lessor ( "8800 Grossmont Blvd", as the street number itself is the sign). To the north of the mall between fletcher parkway and the train line,  there is a collection of shops primarily accessed by cars. Named "Grossmont Trolley Center".  There is a smaller, yet still distinctly named collection of stores on the frontage road on the other side of Parkway Plaza (still further north), all the shops accessed by the parking lot - "Grossmont Center North" - which again is a single place - but a shopping centre (to me). I put a simple point tag on them so it is easy to find on OSM.  These smaller, local "Shopping Centres" are in no way, shape or form a mall - but they are not just stores along a street. To me, that defines a "Shopping centre".

A LOT of these are untagged - Probably many times more than malls currently tagged. These are properly named collections of shops togehter that are not a mall - and shouldn't be labeled as a mall (which draw people from far away, vs the shopping centre which does not). I can name all of the malls in San Diego on one hand, but there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of these shopping centres just in San Deigo - and their names are known only to the locals of the area.  It's easy to tag the malls, because most everyone of the 2-3 million people know of the 10 or so malls we have, but very few of those people know of these smaller shopping centres - so they remain untagged. Same goes for my local area in Japan, but there are MUCH less named shopping centres here than in San Diego. Maybe that is why there is such a big discrepancy in their tagging numbers - it might be a modern suburban thing that is not reflected well in the tagging that has been competed so far. 

Baybe I'm confused or unaware of other tags, but that is how I see the difference. 

On Oct 21, 2014, at 9:00 AM, Matthijs Melissen <info at matthijsmelissen.nl> wrote:

> Dear all,
> We have currently two tags with a closely related, if not identical,
> meaning: shop=mall (26‚ÄČ643 instances) and shop=shopping_centre (182
> instances).
> Is there a difference between these two tags, or should we deprecate
> shop=shopping_centre in favour of shop=mall?
> -- Matthijs
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