[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - landuse=governmental

Eugene Alvin Villar seav80 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 24 07:08:58 UTC 2018

On Sat, Nov 24, 2018 at 12:45 AM Allan Mustard <allan at mustard.net> wrote:

> Well, a central bank is a bank, after all, whether it is owned by the
> government or is a "private" parastatal organization.  I would tag it as
> amenity=bank since it is a bank.  Not all banks offer consumer services, so
> the fact that an individual cannot open an account in a central bank
> doesn't disqualify it.  Individuals cannot open accounts in the Bank for
> International Settlements, either, but it is a bank.  A central bank is a
> specialized bank that serves the government (controls the monetary system)
> and the commercial banking sector.  That's why it is called a "central"
> bank.
> >  It also wouldn't be tagged as a bank, because it doesn't have accounts
> & you can't go in & deposit / withdraw cash, or take out a loan.
> Maybe you and I cannot, but the commercial banks in that country can.
> It's a bank.

While central banks are certainly banks in and of themselves, I think
tagging central banks as plain amenity=bank *without other qualifying tags*
is a tricky one, and might constitute as expanding the definition of what
amenity=bank is on the OSM wiki. The OSM wiki states that an amenity=bank
feature is a  "financial establishment where customers can, among other
services, deposit and withdraw money, take loans, make investments and
transfer funds". I would think that the word "customer" in OSM is intended
to refer to people and regular businesses, and this is why such
establishments are under the amenity=* key. Unlike regular banks, central
banks usually only have other banks and their government as their sole
customers and in many countries, central banks act as a regulatory agency
for banks and other financial institutions, set country-wide fiscal
policies like interest rates, and print/mint their countries' currencies.
It therefore makes sense to tag central banks somewhat differently from
other banks.

I would also like to note that in my country, we do have a central bank,
but we also have two 100%-government owned commercial banks, established by
law, that I would not hesitate to tag as amenity=bank because they offer
financial services to the public at large.

As for the current proposal, in my country, we currently tag central bank
land as landuse=commercial. It might make sense to switch this to
landuse=governmental (or some other keyword as may be decided by OSM) if
this proposal pushes through.

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