[Tagging] building = house vs detached.

Andrew Hain andrewhainosm at hotmail.co.uk
Sun Jul 22 21:22:28 UTC 2018

I will admit to having stuck to building=house in Britain and letting the geometry of the way identify the configuration.

From: Tom Pfeifer <t.pfeifer at computer.org>
Sent: 22 July 2018 21:27:30
To: Tag discussion, strategy and related tools
Subject: Re: [Tagging] building = house vs detached.

Probably the reason can be explained etymologically.

In the UK, terraced houses (AmE row houses) are very common, so those lucky enough to hear less
noise from their neighbours emphasize that by owning a 'detached' (not attached to a terrace) or
'semi-detached' (two houses sharing a wall) building. The detached/semi-detached also allow outdoor
access to the back garden, so the 'end-of-terrace' house is marketed with a similar advantage.

In countries where terraced houses are less common, there is less need to emphasize that the house
is free-standing. Also, 'house' is easier to understand for a non-native speaker than 'detached'.


On 22.07.2018 20:56, 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

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