[Tagging] Shop vs amenity

Daniel Koć daniel at xn--ko-wla.pl
Mon Aug 24 10:40:06 UTC 2015

W dniu 24.08.2015 5:30, John Willis napisał(a):
>> On Aug 24, 2015, at 9:03 AM, Warin <61sundowner at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The solution for me is to move shops that are in "amenity=" to "shop="
> +1
> Any retail establishment should be in shop=*

Great! Thanks for your responses, especially for the background, which 
explains a lot.

> Basically, The scale has changed drastically.

"Mind the scale" became my mantra at OSM!

That's why I think everybody should at least try some micromapping 
(close to z=19) - it shows you the whole mapping process from a 
different side! Things like general "mapping highways for router" or 
lack of some features (land with a "hole" inside, that may be many 
different things which are not yet mapped or even don't have tagging 
scheme) starts to be instantly apparent.

> Any town sized amenities with an area to denote grounds (school,
> hospital, golf course, etc) should move to Landuse to follow the other
> major landuses.

+1! Seems rather logical to me to mark area as landuse and leave 
"amenity" for buildings or points inside.

> Theres some holes in that idea, but it is better to patch those holes
> than keep letting amenity get stuffed with more and more disparate
> tags.

There are many holes in early ideas, but it's natural and the only way 
to fix them is through discussion and practice.


Now it gets really interesting: given that more people than just us 3 
;-P wants to have more coherent tagging system and approves such 
migration, how should it be done? I guess we have no procedures for such 
important and big changes yet. We're ready for adding new features, but 
not so much for changing already existing - especially well established 
ones - and I think we will really need it one day (even if not this 

One way I can think of could be by massive, automatic adding a new tag 
(amenity=car_wash -> amenity=car_wash + shop=car_wash) to let people 
remove the old ones gradually, because it could be less intrusive than 
any kind of conversions. It will be not always possible, because some 
objects has already some shop=* tag added as a primary/secondary 
feature. On the other hand it would help some objects tagged as 
amenity=feature1;feature2 to become amenity=feature1 + shop=feature2 (if 
feature1 is not considered to be a shop in a new take and feature2 
should be shop indeed). The downside is it could take years to complete 
and in the meantime everybody using our data should implement additional 
code to deal with both forms, because there's no clear point to jump to 
the new scheme and leave the old cruft in the dust.

It would be probably better to reach some consensus and make the 
conversion in one go, since the change is pretty straight (like 
"s/k=amenity/k=shop/g" for some objects). It has another pitfall, 
however: OSM is rather big ecosystem than a single project, so we should 
send the message that we plan to make such change, but I don't know what 
channels should we use to make it really heard. It also means we accept 
possible breaking some stuff outside, because there always be some not 
actively maintained services which people still use. But at the same 
time that would also mean we're able to evolve rather than simply grow 
and it would make people aware that they need to check the news once in 
a while.

What do you think about this problem?

"The train is always on time / The trick is to be ready to put your bags 
down" [A. Cohen]

More information about the Tagging mailing list