[Tagging] request for review: OSM wiki rewording of tourism=motel based on Wikipedia

Volker Schmidt voschix at gmail.com
Sun Dec 23 17:35:10 UTC 2018

I would go one step further, an say that there is essentially no functional
definition of the difference between a generic "motel" and a generic
"hotel". In fact many of the "hotel"s I have stayed in, mainly in the USA,
were "motel"s according to the criteria given in the proposal.
What one could argue about is, to put the distinction in the building key:
there is certainly a typical building design of many hotels and motels
(again mainly in the USA) that would match the building and layout criteria
listed in the proposal. But these refer to the building not to the
function. building=motel would be the correct description of a rather clear
building style. But this would most likely cause more confusion than
clarity as something as 75% of al hotels (again in the USA) would have to
be tagged: building=motel and tourism=hotel
Certainly trying to create a functional description of the difference
between hotel and motel, apart from the possibility to park in front of the
room, is rather difficult.
Look at the list of criteria with an critical eye, and most of them are not
so clear as one woul need them to be:

   1. Short term accommodation, particularly for people travelling by car:
   nearly all traveller today travel by motor_vehicle
   2. mostly serving single night - applies to many hotels as well
   3. convenient parking for motor cars at or close to the room-that is
   very often true for "hotels" as well
   4. thus the building itself is usually not of a high rise kind - most of
   the hoels I syayed in in the USA would not have more than two floors.
   5. built to an inexpensive design - depends entirely on the price level
   6. motel is usually positioned next to major roads and intersections -
   many chain hotels there as well
   7. usually outside residential areas and thus nearby tourism attractions
   may not be available. - again valid for many hotels as well
   8. Motels may sometimes but not always provide a number of additional
   guest services such as a restaurant, breakfast service or swimming pool -
   agan not a valid distinction.
   9. it is best accessed using a motor vehicle (placement uncorrelated
   from public transport)
   10. not many tourist attractions nearby  - valid for many hotels as well
   11. not many leisure services on premise other than food - valid for
   many hotels as well
   12. high vehicle traffic route/intersection nearby - valid for many
   hotels as well
   13. built on low cost land (nearby industrial centers, on the perimeter
   or outside of residential areas) - valid for many hotels as well
   14. at least as many parking places as rooms (or even better if more
   than the lodging capacity) - valid for many hotels as well
   15. cost saving building construction and interior design - valid for
   many hotels as well
   16. low rise building - valid for many hotels as well
   17. people check in ad-hoc without much planning ahead - difficult to
   verify and valid for many hotels as well
   18. people usually plan to stay here as few nights as possible - valid
   also for budget hotels, and not valid for upmarket motels
   19. cost is affordable to passer-by motorists who just need a little
   rest with few requirements - this is just a question of loction
   20. doors of many rentable rooms open to the parking lot instead of an
   internal corridor - tru also for many hotels
   21. some extra services are available on premise or nearby that are
   especially valuable to passer by motorists, like fuel or fluid refilling,
   truck & trailer parking and servicing, electronics or tire shop, - many
   motels I have used did not have these
   22. it is open all year round (there is less seasonality in usage
   compared to hotels, some guest houses even close down for part of the year)
   - I do not know about this one, this may be a candidate for distinction.
   23. it is sometimes also operating a camping site on premise or on a
   neighboring plot of land - as you say, this is "sometimes" the case, but
   again this not a decisive criterion.

There is another aspect: your service/quality level distinction by which
would mean that many lower-star hotels may get tagged in OSM as motels and
that my not be welcome by the operator of the place.
To me it seems the easiest to leave it as is, and I think in many cases its
just boils down to copying the type from the name plate.

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