[Tagging] "sym" tag

Andy Townsend ajt1047 at gmail.com
Tue Jul 24 15:37:40 UTC 2018

On 24/07/2018 15:59, José G Moya Y. wrote:
> I've found some places of worship tagged with the undocumented 
> "sym=church" tag.

They're from Garmin waypoints.  See 
https://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/keys/sym for other examples. Don't 
just mechanically edit them, because there are likely other (different) 
issues with each one.

Taking a specific example:


(according to Overpass that's the nearest "sym" to where I am right now)

Here there are a couple of obvious issues:

  * It has an unfeasibly accurate "ele" tag
  * It has a "sym" tag which makes no sense
  * The "time" tag isn't really relevant to OSM
  * It's on a the T-junction of 3 walls.

In this case I'd:

  * Verify the gate location from imagery if possible (likely it's north
    of south of the wall join)
  * Remove the "sym" tag
  * Remove the "time" tag
  * Remove the decimal points from the "ele" tag (or remove it
    altogether if it looks unfeasible)
  * Upload to OSM with a changeset comment that said what you did and
    why, and what imagery you used.

What you would need to do would be different for the next one though.  
You can't assume that (e.g. "sym=church" actually means a church on the 
ground.  You'll have to do this on a case by case basis.

> It's surprising to see how these places are being rendered as churches 
> despite of this tag does not appear in the wiki (and no other tag 
> related with worship is in the place).

I'd be really surprised if any software (other than Garmin's waypoint 
display) actually renders these as churches.

However, I'm sure that lots of maps renders things that aren't listed in 
the wiki (different types of shops is an obvious example).

Best Regards,


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