[Tagging] building = house vs detached.

Jmapb jmapb at gmx.com
Sun Jul 22 19:51:10 UTC 2018

On 7/22/2018 2:56 PM, Mike H wrote:

> The definitions of building=house and building=detached on the wiki 
> are very similar and don't seem to have any meaningful difference.
> I've seen people say that house is meant for rowhouses, and detached 
> should be for stand-alone houses, but there is no documentation that 
> explains that. If that is the intended meanings of the tags, then the 
> wiki pages need some work.
> As far as how I've seen things actually mapped, I've only ever seen 
> the building=house tag. Taginfo shows 1.2 million uses of detached, 
> and 27.2 million uses of building=house, so they are both used quite a 
> bit, but house is used a lot more.
> Can anyone elaborate on these tags, or have ideas on how they could be 
> better written about?
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:building%3Dhouse
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:building%3Ddetached

In order of most specific to least specific: detached, house, 
residential, yes. Tagging a row house as building=detached is wrong, but 
tagging a detached house as building=house is not wrong -- just less 
specific. Some mappers will say that buildings should always be tagged 
with the most specific value possible, and some will just prefer using 
building=yes. It's probably best to adhere to whatever the general local 
practice is in the area you're mapping.

I know that in the USA, it's very common to see detached houses tagged 
as building=house, and there have been lots of mappers and imports of 
house footprints using this tag. Possibly related to the fact that the 
term "detached" is not used very much in the USA, so building=house is a 
much more natural tag to most Americans' ears.


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