[Tagging] landuse=commercial

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Fri Feb 19 13:03:38 UTC 2016

2016-02-19 12:11 GMT+01:00 Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl>:

> If we can get back to basics for a minute:
> Commercial means commerce is occurring, i.e. buying and selling.

just that selling to end customers is "retail" in OSM, so
landuse=commercial in OSM clearly doesn't include everything that falls
into "commerce".
"commerce" also includes other things besides "buying and selling" goods,
e.g. services. Hence it includes transportation and distribution (ports,
airports), trade fairs, electronic commerce, finance, wholesale, marketing,
etc.  As retail isn't included it isn't clear whatelse is included and what
not, hence this thread.

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

yes, but mostly in the real life, industrial is then further divided into
finer grained subcategories, e.g. light industrial. Also, repairing might
fall into commercial as well (selling of services). A port for goods
usually will fall under industrial landuse I believe, warehouses in OSM are
explicitly in industrial, but are neither production nor repairing, etc.

> Zoning is administrative, and may differ from current land use.

not only is it "administrative", it also defines a certain scale, and it
isn't applicated in lots of areas of the globe, and it is prospective
(defining rules for the future).

> However it is probably a reasonable indicator of current land use.

IMHO it is not, at least not everywhere, for the previously mentioned

> 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 impact.

seems as if you are referring to a certain jurisdiction, and you still
stick to zoning in your way of looking at things, rather than looking at
the actual landuse. I understand than in many countries there will indeed
be a strong relationship between zoning and what is actually there, but
this is not what landuse is about, and it is not the general reality
globally, so it isn't helpful as a general definition.

> 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.

Yes, looking at which classification is actually used by the authorities
might be useful to determine how we are describing landuse. I wouldn't look
at "zoning" classes but rather on landuse classes though, i.e. the system
the administration uses to classify what is, not what should be.

In Germany (sorry, but that's where I know the details), "zoning" is done
in 2 levels: the "Flächennutzungsplan" (1:10.000 - 1:50.000) and the
"Bebauungsplan" (1:500-1:2500). These plans usually describe the "kind of
usage" (Art der Baulichen Nutzung), "degree of usage" (Maß der baulichen
Nutzung), "size and position of parts of the site that can be built-up"
(überbaubare Grundstücksflächen), "areas for traffic and infrastructure"
(örtliche Verkehrsflächen), or in other words: kind and intensity of usage
on the sites, structure of the areas between those (traffic).

But: for the actual landuse, there is the Katasterbuch, a textual part of
the cadastre which describes for every site the actual usage. The scale for
the associated plans is typically 1:1000. Now, for the zoning (planning of
the future), the relevant law is the BauNVO (Baunutzungsverordnung) which
defines certain categories (more detailed ones for the B-Plan), but, for
what is actually there, they use a different system, here is an example:
I have also looked up the details for Rheinland-Pfalz [1] (assuming that
all Länder would handle this similarly), and have found they require to
list all subareas >= 100 sqm, and to use the detail level and criteria of
ALKIS-OK. For built-up sites they require to _list_ unbuilt parts
seperately only if the are bigger than 1000 sqm or if they are more than 10
times the size of the building footprint (but they will be there in the
drawing). Also they use the predominant landuse criterion, e.g. a garage on
a residential site, or a tree row along a soccer pitch (2 examples they
give) would not constitute separate landuses. For the drawing they require
1m precision.

This is the list of stuff they distinguish for existing landuse [2]:
1st level:
- Siedlung (built-up)
- Verkehr(traffic/transportation)
- Vegetation (vegetation)
- Gewässer (water)

2nd level (settlement / built-up):
Wohnbaufläche (residential)
Industrie- und Gewerbefläche (industrial, light industrial and commercial)
Halde (dump / stockpile)
Bergbaubetrieb (mining)
Tagebau, Grube, Steinbruch (openpit mining, pit, quarry)
Fläche gemischter Nutzung (mixed use)
Fläche besonderer funktionaler Prägung (area of particular functional
Sport-, Freizeit- und Erholungsfläche (sport and recreation)
Friedhof (cemetery)

the residential areas are inclusive of associated open space areas
(driveways, gardens, garages, courtyards) and require to be exclusively or
predominantly used for living (i.e. if you use a room as an office, you're
fine, but if you use half of the building for your office you're in a
different class).

the industrial / commercial areas are further structured into these
functional classes (1400ff):
retail and services
administration and freelancers
bank, credit, finance
commerce (like the first category, but bigger, with unified administration
and big parking areas)
exhibition, fair
market garden

another subcategory is (1700ff):
buildings and open space, industry and commerce
petrol station
outdoor storage area
basic material (?)
social facility of a business

another subcategory (2500ff) is supply of (and areas of operation /

subcategory (2600ff) is disposal
waste disposal
waste water treatment

<end functional classes for industrial and commercial>

additionally there are attributes for the kind of goods in storage

Needless to say that the administration is classifying everything up to the
third level of detail (they don't even use these terms, 1st level, 2nd
level etc., they are only there to easier find what you need).

I will at this point not translate the other features defined for other
classes like dump sites, mining areas or quarries, but I believe the list
above can be very helpful to analyze our current situation in OSM and to
determine where we might need or want more detail.

But I want to specifically invite you to take a look at the mixed use,
something I have more than once desperately missed in OSM. This class is
for areas where no predominant use is found, e.g. in rural areas these
could be farmyards (with residential parts) or it is used for central areas
in cities and towns (or "core areas" / Kerngebiete in German), where
retail, central business administration and public administration are there
besides optionally residential usage (e.g. in the upper floors).

For this type there are these categories:
residential and public
residential and retail and services
residential and commerce and light industrial and industrial
plus 3 classes of the former 3 classes the other way round (i.e. less
residential and more of the other function)
   residential and firm
   agricultural area of operation
   forestry operational area

Furthermore there are attributes for abandoned, disused, extension, startup

area of PARTICULAR FUNCTIONal imprint
these are generally structures to satisfy public purposes or with historic
buildings and structures
the detailed categories are:
public administration
research and education
religious institutions
health and cure
security and order (police, fire department, armed forces, prisons)
historic site

I will also not give a comprehensive summary of the sport and recreation
class, but there are some details I'd like to point out to give an idea
what is found here (besides the obvious). This class encompasses also
playgrounds, the zoo, traffic training sites, weekend homes, swimming
pools, camping sites, parks, alotment gardens, botanical gardens, ...

It would be great if more people could come up with summaries of official
versions of categorization systems and classes in their country FOR ACTUAL
LAND USAGE (not for zoning / prospective usage).


[1] -
[2] -
(this is Berlin, but again: these are all similar I guess)
you find the stuff on page 129 and after
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