[Tagging] building = house vs detached.

Andrew Hain andrewhainosm at hotmail.co.uk
Tue Jul 24 07:36:10 UTC 2018

I see building=house as useful because it distinguishes houses from blocks of flats but the case to have anything that repeats way geometry or building:levels is much less obvious.

From: Paul Allen <pla16021 at gmail.com>
Sent: 23 July 2018 22:55:36
To: Tag discussion, strategy and related tools
Subject: Re: [Tagging] building = house vs detached.

On Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 10:45 PM, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com<mailto:dieterdreist at gmail.com>> wrote:

> On 23. Jul 2018, at 17:07, Paul Allen <pla16021 at gmail.com<mailto:pla16021 at gmail.com>> wrote:
> How about building=residential to replace house/terrace/detached?

-1, there are several established tags for residential buildings in osm, e.g. apartments,

The wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many of them.  We have many tags for residential buildings
and the result is that they're used inconsistently.

and as the example shows, it isn’t possible to reliably identify terraced houses just by analyzing the geometry, so
why would we want to remove the details? If someone is only interested in a detail level like “residential”, they won’t have to care about the differences in meaning and can normalize them all locally to residential.

That's what we do with some other types of buildings.  We separate form from function.   We have industrial buildings
and then specify the industry.

We can have building=bungalow but that is redundant when it just means building:levels=1.

We can have building=detached, building=semi,  building=house with most people using them incorrectly or
inconsistently or we can have building=residential and let the footprint indicate the type.  Or, if you insist, add
residential=* where clarification is desirable.

We've just had a lot of people say "The wiki says this should be building=detached but I always use building=house."
That indicates the tags don't map well to how people actually think.  It also means that you can't rely on the value
used indicating what it is meant to.  We can carry on with the current muddle or we can try to do better.  You vote muddle.


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