[Tagging] Access and area type for some (public) objects

Greg Troxel gdt at ir.bbn.com
Tue Jun 9 23:24:52 UTC 2015

Daniel Koć <daniel at xn--ko-wla.pl> writes:

> 1. First is rather easy - there is fenced area with a few big
> apartment houses. You can enter only if you have a key or somebody
> open it. Should the highways inside be tagged with access=private?
> It's like few hundred people inside, so I just want to make sure what
> is the best approach.

Barriers are about what is possible, and access is about what is
permitted.  This case is pretty clearly private property to which the
public does not have right of access (so not =yes), and pretty clearly
it is not generally allowed by the owner for the public to wander
through (so not =permissive).  So yes, access=private sounds right.

There's a messier question about access=destination.  Strictly, this
means that members of the public can use the way if they are trying to
go to a location only reasoanbly accessible on the way, but that doesn't
sound right in this case.

> 2. The second question is harder: what with the access to fenced area
> with some public institutions inside? I think of such places as
> hospital area - I guess highway=service inside it should be tagged
> with access=destination (or maybe access=customers? but it sound
> strange), but what with highway=footway there - there are no gates for
> pedestrians, so maybe it's just public, so anyone can go through this
> big area, or maybe access=permissive, because it's just not intended
> for shortcuts, but nobody will check it?

If there's no legal right to use the ways, it should be at most
access=permissive.   If there are no fences for pedestrians, and no "no
trespassing" signs, then access=permissive sounds right.

Same for the service roads.  If there is a sign prohibiting use except
for going to the hospital, or some law/regulation that more or less says
that, then use access=destination, else permissive.

> 3. There are also some public offices, where you can get inside with a
> car only if you are a employee probably - I don't know if clients are
> allowed or not, but there is a kind of a gate or a lift gate, so there
> is no entry for cars by default. Of course the footways are not
> limited. I have also a problem with guessing what landuse is this -
> like public broadcasting (radio, TV) buildings: is it commercial,
> because there are offices, or what? Public radio and TV are offices
> with some commercial activity, but with strong public background.

A basically commercial entity run by or funded by the government is
still commercial, I'd say.

> 4. And finally - bus garages for public transport. They can be very
> large and landuse=industrial is more or less clear for me (this is
> also public agency, so not entirely clear...). But maybe it is also

again, use is more important than government ownership.

> the amenity=parking space? And what about access there - is it
> access=private for cars/buses?

I would avoid tagging amenity=parking if it's for storage of buses
belonging to the transportation agency.  amenity=parking has the
connotation of providing a place to leave one's car while doing

> And what about footways - is it dependent on if you can pass through
> (and then permissive) or not (and then destination) or it doesn't
> matter?

If people can really walk on the footways, there are no signs saying not
to, and essentially never get hassled by guards then it is permissive.
(I would find that surprising in a facility like you describe, at least
around me.)

If the police can't properly tell you not to walk on the footway, even
as a shortcut, then it's access=yes.
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