[Tagging] Do-it-yourself versus hardware stores

Greg Troxel gdt at ir.bbn.com
Sun Feb 14 01:25:30 UTC 2016

johnw <johnw at mac.com> writes:

> A factory that manufactures IKEA furniture is industrial. 
> Their Main distribution warehouse seems “commercial” 
> Their shops are retail. 
> Their big distribution buildings are zoned “industrial” though… I guess I’m wrong.
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=15/34.9845/-118.9416 <https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=15/34.9845/-118.9416>

These words don't really have intrinsic meaning, so really it's up to
OSM to define the boundaries.

In US zoning (at least massachusetts), there is generally a distinction
between industrial and light industrial depending on how much heavy
equipment is around, but it's still a place where workers go and
customers and the public does not.

Commercial is used to describe things that are more office-like with the
notion the the public or customers come and go.  An example would be an
insurance agency, a bank, or the office of a landscape company (but not
the place where they keep their trucks - that's industrial).

Retail differs in that there is selling of goods and generally even
larger amounts of coming and going.

So while I see your point about commerce, I find that in zoning law, the
division is about the effect of the operation on the surroundings.  Big
trucks coming and going definitely makes it industrial.

But, OSM has to have a definition and use it, and what people think the
words mean in other contexts isn't really all that important, except
that it's confusing when there is a mismatch.  As always, I think OSM
should look to established fields of study and adopt their terms, not
try to make it up.
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