[Tagging] Fuel shops

Dave Swarthout daveswarthout at gmail.com
Thu Mar 19 09:18:18 UTC 2015

I want to float an idea to get your reactions. Here in Thailand, and
especially in rural areas, there are hundreds of shops that sell motor fuel
in small quantities. Most of the population drive motorbikes which are used
for every sort of transport imaginable. They have a tiny petrol tank,
perhaps 4-5 liters, therefore a short range; they need frequent fill-ups.
To meet this need local individuals have set up small sheds or kiosks from
which they hand pump the small quantities needed. Some shops sell fuel by
the liter bottle, often a whiskey bottle. Such shops are poorly marked,
seldom have any signs indicating their presence and typically offer no
other services. If you live in the area you will know where the fuel shop
is, otherwise they're almost invisible

At any rate, we're looking for a way to tag these fuel shops in such a way
that they become visible in OSM (and on our GPS units), and will not be
mistaken for a full size fuel service station. Current tagging practice is
to tag them with amenity=fuel and a made up name, for example, Bike petrol
or Drummed fuel. The people doing this are aware of the fact that such
tagging isn't strictly correct, but they understandably want to be able to
find those shops should they run out of fuel. One problem with this
Thailand-centric approach, is that other data consumers are unaware of it.
Another is that the informal names are multiplying rapidly and one mapper's
drummed fuel is another's barreled fuel and another's Bike petrol. Where it
will end is anyone's guess.

I'm suggesting an addition to the values of the shop key: shop=fuel or
perhaps shop=motor_fuel

My goal is to standardize the tagging so that at some point these shops can
be eventually rendered on Garmin compatible downloaded maps and hence made
visible. I have done this for my custom Garmin maps and find it a real

Here is a photo of such a shop in my neighborhood:

Dave Swarthout
Homer, Alaska
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Travel Blog at http://dswarthout.blogspot.com
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