[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - landuse=governmental

Allan Mustard allan at mustard.net
Sat Nov 24 14:31:29 UTC 2018

Here, I just looked up "bank" on 411.com (online directory assistance)
for Kansas City, Missouri:


and guess what, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the Kansas City
branch of America's central bank, is listed...


Try it for Washington, D.C.,


and see how many non-retail banks you get under the directory assistance
rubric of "bank" :-) 


On 11/24/2018 3:08 PM, Warin wrote:
> Most people are non-experts in most things. The map should be made for
> most people, so that most people can use it.
> And most people would expect something mapped as a bank to be
> available for their use.
> Much like a cafe or a pub. They would not expect it to be only for
> certain groups of institutions.
> The intent with amenity=bank is a financial institution offering
> services to the public.
> Read https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:amenity%3Dbank
> That OSMwiki page suggest using office=financial for other 'banks'
> that do not accept the public.
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:office%3Dfinancial
> Perhaps this OSMwiki office=financial definition could be expanded to
> accept 'central banks'.
> On 24/11/18 18:24, Allan Mustard wrote:
>> Sounds to me like the OSM wiki article in question was written by a
>> non-expert in banking and finance and should be corrected/expanded.
>> Cheers, apm-wa
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> On Nov 24, 2018, at 12:08 PM, Eugene Alvin Villar <seav80 at gmail.com
>> <mailto:seav80 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>> On Sat, Nov 24, 2018 at 12:45 AM Allan Mustard <allan at mustard.net
>>> <mailto: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.В  I
>>>     would tag it as amenity=bank since it is a bank.В  Not all banks
>>>     offer consumer services, so the fact that an individual cannot
>>>     open an account in a central bank doesn't disqualify it.В 
>>>     Individuals cannot open accounts in the Bank for International
>>>     Settlements, either, but it is a bank.В  A central bank is a
>>>     specialized bank that serves the government (controls the
>>>     monetary system) and the commercial banking sector.В  That's why
>>>     it is called a "central" bank.
>>>     >В  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.В  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 aВ  "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.
>>> ~Eugene
>>> В 
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