[Tagging] definition of the key "office"

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Thu Jul 6 09:33:16 UTC 2017

Currently (but also since almost the beginning), the definitions of office
in the wiki [1] are 2:

- short: "A place of business, similar to shops"

- longer: "A place predominantly selling services. These may range from the
obvious services such as accountants and lawyers."

These definitions are not nearly suitable for someone to understand what
the tag is about, e.g. they would comprise car repairs as well as
haircutters, banks, etc, and they don't help distinguishing the key from
others like shop.

The documented values contain quite some things that don't fit either (or
only partially) definition:

- association
- charity
- educational_institution
- employment_agency
- forestry
- foundation (well, it might depend)
- government
- newspaper (ok, might be disputable)
- ngo
- political_party
- quango
- religion (disputable)
- tax (as it is explicitly about fiscal authorities and revenue offices,
not about consultants/tax advisors)

none of them (or only exceptionally) is _selling_ services. The common
denominator is that these places are administrative workplaces, not selling
goods (at least not primarily).

I suggest we change the definition.

short: an administrative workplace
longer: An administrative workplace, predominantly not selling goods, and
not primarily facing to the public. These may range from the obvious
services, such as architects, accountants and lawyers, to government and
ngo offices, etc..

With some reluctance I added the "not facing to the public" (maybe this is
not correct English btw?) because these would/should be "amenity". E.g.
there can be an office=bank for the (internal) bank administration and an
amenity=bank for the places where clients go. Admittedly this distinction
isn't (yet?) completely realized in current tagging, and I'm not sure if it
should be there.



[1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:office
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