[Tagging] Proposed: landuse=civic_admin - looking for comments.

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Fri Mar 6 10:35:17 UTC 2015

2015-03-06 4:23 GMT+01:00 John Willis <johnw at mac.com>:

> On Mar 5, 2015, at 11:57 PM, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> what about the pentagon or the NSA headquarters? I would likely include
> them in "civic_admin" and surely in some sort of "governmental" landuse,
> but I don't think these are places where the primary purpose is the
> citizen's interaction with government agents.
> They are not for administrating/legislating the civilian population or its
> programs, nor the seat of civil/national power, nor a common place for the
> civilian population to interact with government agents.
> Pentagon and NSA are both military.

OK, agreed, in OSM they are both military (i.e. there might be some overlap
as military is part of the executive), (unlike e.g. the German secret
service BND, which is explicitly not military and lead by the chancellor's
office), but we could look at the FBI or maybe also the CIA (although they
support the military I think they are not military themselves(?)). My
original point was, that I didn't find it very clear that on one side the
definition is:

"This proposal aims to introduce a new value for landuse
<http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:landuse>=* for Civic / Governmental
/ public institutional building administration complexes, for correctly
tagging areas used by the buildings of local, regional, national, and
supranational administration buildings and capitals. This includes
executive, legislative, ministerial, and mixed-use
"public/government/civil" buildings that administrate citizens or services.

If it is used for administrating/legislating the civilian population or its
programs, a the seat of civil or national power, or a common place for the
civilian population to interact with government-public-civil agents, then
civic_admin is the landuse for the complex."


This (quite long) text seems to imply you could use civic_admin for all
offices and other places part of the executive and legislative power, on
all levels (from local to supranational).

Then under the headline "What to Include?" there is this sentence:


"This is for complexes who's primary purpose is the citizens interaction
with government agents and other civil service workers".


I find this problematic for the reason that "primary purpose" requires some
interpretation and might lead to inconsistencies, and because this seems to
restrict very much (eventually too much) the scope of the key.

I'm also not sure about the exclusion of police offices: "it is also *not*
intended to map civic safety services - such as fire stations, police
offices, lifeguard, search and rescue or other safety services."

We should have some easy rules, with no or few exceptions, and hopefully
expressable / definable in 1, 2 or max. 3 sentences. There can be more text
of course, with examples and explanations (not for stating exceptions), but
the general definition should ideally be one sentence.

Yea, at a national level there is a big legal and physical separation
> between legislative and executive bodies (White House / Capitol building) -
> they both have different roles, but together they make the sausage.

actually the judicial power (supreme court etc.) also is needed to complete
the sausage. The proposal unifies executive and legislative, but excludes
the judicial part, maybe consciously, but I couldn't find a reasoning.

at the supranational landuse level, there is only legislative (UN, NATO,
> EU,  etc) as I understand it.

well there is for instance the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the
Hague, supported by many nations (Europe 41, Asia 11, America 28, Africa
34, Oceania 8) and more than 1500 NGOs, but opposed by the USA, China,
Iran, Iraq, North Corea, Israel, Cuba, Russia, Pakistan, India, Syria,
Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Turkey.  ;-)

Government is executive, legislative, and judicial together - the military,
> police and penal all spring from those (usually in between 2 of them)  but
> the line that landuse is often drawn by is what your role is in relation to
> rules and laws and power, not the legal standing for said power.

to make it short, I see it like this: government is administration, police
and military (executive), legislation and judicial are not government
typically, under the strict separation of powers.

> - executive and legislative make the laws together

the legislation makes the law, the judicial interpretes it, the executive
is ruled by the law, at least that's the theory.

Thanks again for the thoughtful responses and comments.

Thank you for replying so patiently ;-)

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