[Tagging] landuse=commercial

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Fri Feb 19 11:11:42 UTC 2016

If we can get back to basics for a minute: 

Commercial means commerce is occurring, i.e. buying and selling. 

Industrial implies things are being made or repaired, e.g. factories.

Zoning is administrative, and may differ from current land use. However
it is probably a reasonable indicator of current land use. In
particular, the language that planning authorities use to categorise the
zones will give us useful clues. The zoning of a shopping centre will
probably be something like "retail", defined such that a grocers can be
replaced by a phone shop without invoking change-of-use regulations. But
if a business park is zoned as "light industrial" and a unit was to be
repurposed as a supermarket, or a warehouse, then that may consititute a
material change of use. Such categorisations are not entirely arbitrary;
in particular traffic/transport considerations and risk assessments
concerning storage and transport of hazardous materials can have a big

So my suggestion would be to look at the way areas are classified in
zoning plans, to give some kind of ontology to base the landuse values
on. Then we can decide to what extent we want to blindly follow the
official zoning (at one extreme) or reflect every detail of actual
current use (the other extreme) or something in the middle. 


On 2016-02-19 11:50, Martin Koppenhoefer wrote:

> I just noticed that the commercial landuse page has been amended some months ago, this is the diff: 
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Tag%3Alanduse%3Dcommercial&type=revision&diff=1181987&oldid=973877
> There are several things I'd like to discuss, because I can't recall they have been discussed here before this change.
> 1. the description has changed from "Predominantly offices, business parks, etc." to "Commercial zone - predominantly offices, business parks, etc."
> I strongly reject the introduction of the word "zone" here, as it refers to "zoning", the act of planning the future landuse (as opposed to the current landuse of a piece of land), and because it implies a certain scale that is not inherent to "landuse" as a concept, but is inherent to the actual landuse planning reality in some countries.
> 2. several examples have been introduced: "Such area may consists of offices, administration, laboratories, car repair stations, logisticks park, etc."
> this contains the word "logistics park" which AFAIK is also situated in landuse=industrial in OSM (warehouses are in industrial according to the relative tag page), 
> It also put laboratories and car repair stations into commercial, which hadn't been clearly in before. In the real world, commercial areas would also include retail (if I am not mistaken), banks, but in OSM those are a category of their own, so I wouldn't think that those other usages that are now introduced to landuse=commercial had simply been "forgotten" in the 6 years before this change to this definition page. This page had stated "offices, and several offices together in a business park and their associated infrastructure (car parks, service roads, lawns and so-on)." This was an exclusive definition in my eyes.
> 3. Suggestion to add building=commercial I think it is pretty useless to put building=residential to all buildings on a residential landuse, or building=industrial to all buildings on an industrial landuse or building=commercial to all ... because it doesn't add any detail whatsoever. You can just as well add building=yes and loose nothing. Instead I'd rather appreciate to add more detail when looking at the building types, e.g. a commercial building could be an office building, or it could be an office tower, or ... and a residential building could be a villa, a detached house, a castle, a cabin, terraced_house, a townhouse, a tower, .... an industrial building could be a production hall, a warehouse or whatever. "building=*" is about the building typology, and typology can be expressed in various levels of detail, I do not say that "commercial building" is not a kind of building type, but I say it is such a generalized one, that you don't gain anything adding it to all buildings
on an commercial landuse.
> What do you think? I propose to revert for the moment, at least partially ("zone") 
> I also propose to have a discussion to check our landuse values, e.g. what about museums, petrol stations, restaurants, laboratories, craft, banks, libraries, parliaments, schools, universities, churches, ... 
> Cheers, Martin
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