[Tagging] [OKFILTER] Re: "service" tags in general (for shops)

Johnparis okosm at johnfreed.com
Tue Feb 27 13:06:57 UTC 2018

Interesting. I've often wondered what the distinction is supposed to be
between shop and amenity.

To me, a shop is an establishment open to the public that sells goods. In
other words, I enter, I pay money, I leave with something.

An amenity is an establishment open to the public that offers services. So
a restaurant, for instance, is an amenity, because I'm not going there to
buy food (to take home to prepare, that would be a grocery), but rather I
am paying for the service of food preparation (on site). I'm not leaving
with anything (other than a sense of satisfaction.)

So, your definition of shop as a business offering goods or services for
sale is interesting to me, and I wonder how it comports with actual OSM
usage. In any case, the distinction seems rather arbitrary in practice.

For instance, there was a debate about whether shop=vacant makes any sense.
I think it does, but "shop" would then need to include any storefront --
that is, the physical (mappable) attribute is more important than the
(transient) service or goods being offered.

Of course there are also legacy tags. I never understood, for instance, why
a pharmacy is an amenity and a chemist is a shop. I'd think both are shops.
(I enter a pharmacy, hand over my prescription and money, and leave with my
medication. A shop.)

Similarly (and I see this was discussed at one point) an estate agent is,
well, an agent, for either a buyer or a seller of real estate, and
therefore isn't a shop at all. If I enter, I might be interested in buying,
I might be interested in selling, but in any case I am purchasing a service
-- that of the agent -- and not buying (or selling) a home.

As for "printer" being either a machine or a person, I agree, but the tag
is longstanding. There are roughly 100 amenity=printer, 100 craft=printer,
50 craft=printing. And 650 shop=printing. That last seems to be the winner.
And one shop=printing_services :)

If you search (as I did when first encountering this) for "printer" on the
OSM wiki, the first result is amenity=printer. Other variants are not on
the first page (of 20 results), if they are there at all. I first ran
across it while trying to discover how to tag what is called a "taxiphone"
in France. I ran into the copy_shop proposal, where Harry Wood described
them as "crappy little shops".

I'm happy to modify the wiki to recommend shop=printing if that seems

On Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 9:42 AM, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com
> wrote:

> sent from a phone
> > On 24. Feb 2018, at 14:27, Johnparis <okosm at johnfreed.com> wrote:
> >
> > To Thilo's questions:
> >
> > 1) amenity=printer is for an establishment that offers printing
> services. It is not a shop that sells printers.
> IMHO this is not a good tag, because “printer” can mean a machine or a
> person, and amenity doesn’t provide context.
> For the person/profession, “craft=printer” seems better, for the service
> I’d use shop=printing_service or sth. similar and less ambiguous. Shop
> should be used for businesses offering products or services.
> Cheers,
> Martin
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