[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - (consulate)

Allan Mustard allan at mustard.net
Sat Oct 27 04:50:57 UTC 2018

If we want to split hairs, we can point out that "embassy" is
technically an incorrect term for any building since an "embassy"
consists solely of people assigned to conduct diplomatic relations with
a foreign government, both resident and non-resident.  The "chancery"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chancery_(diplomacy) is the office
building, complex, or office flat where the embassy operates.  I don't
think we want to be quite that doctrinaire (office=chancery, anyone?)
since "embassy" is the term in common if somewhat imprecise use for a
building or campus where a diplomatic mission operates.   

IMHO defining the ambassador's residence as an "office" would not be
wholly incorrect and only slightly mysterious to mappers and users of
our map, since the ambassador's residence is where a lot of work gets
done.  Half of my residence is devoted to space for official
entertaining, and I have a home office.  Also, WRT the point of certain
ambassadors' residences being historic manors, that's not really a big
issue since the vast majority of ambassadors' residences are neither
historic nor manors (my modest two-bedroom house certainly is neither,
and many ambassadors here in Ashgabat reside in apartments).  If there
is strenuous objection to my opinion on this, please offer an
alternative to office=diplomatic!

So here is where I sense we are 24 hours later, on Day 6:
a) consulates are not embassies;
b) neither embassies nor consulates are amenities;
c) embassies and consulates are government offices, but there is a trend
toward thinking office=diplomatic is a better choice than
office=government; and
d) the office=diplomatic tag in tandem with diplomatic=* would meet OSM
guidelines and support more accurate mapping.

If my sense of growing consensus is correct, I suggest that diplomatic=*
would include only [embassy, consulate, non-diplomatic]. The Wikipedia
article on diplomatic missions is not bad with respect to its
descriptions of different types of diplomatic missions:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_mission.  It also offers a
potentially neat solution for dealing with the non-diplomatic
representations of Taiwan and the United States in each others'
countries and other non-diplomatic representations, such as the Taliban
office in Doha.  I think limiting the number of options for diplomatic=*
to three would simplify mapping (and avoid confusing mappers not steeped
in the lore of diplomacy); the particular type of diplomatic mission is
in any case reflected in the name=* tag and needs not be duplicated in
the diplomatic=* tag (e.g., "High Commission of Malaysia", "Embassy of
Poland", "U.S. Interests Section", "Consulate General of Japan").  If
the status of a mission changes (e.g., the upgrade of the U.S. Interests
Section in Havana to an embassy), changing the name would suffice; no
re-tagging would be necessary.

There is a recurring sentiment in the discussion to add
diplomatic:services:*=[yes/no].  From my POV the services listed would
consist of [immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas, citizen services]. 
Those are the broad categories of services consulates and embassies
offer their clienteles. For instance, if the consular section of an
embassy or a consulate offers non-immigrant visas, it usually offers all
types of them (tourist, student, academic exchange, temporary work,
etc.).  Yes, there are exceptions, but that's what websites are for, and
I don't think it is OSM's job to delve so deeply in the details in order
to let Mexican migrant farm workers know that H1B visas are only
available via the American Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez.  Our
solution to this is to add the website URL for the convenience of OSM
users. All embassies and consulates offer services to commercial
interests of their fellow countrymen (or at least, they are supposed to)
so I see no need to add diplomatic:services:commercial=[yes/no].  In
those cases where an embassy includes a separately officed trade
representation (as Russia tends to do), the purpose of that mission is
obvious from the name=* tag.


P.S.  Regarding the question posed overnight as to whether one may
simply drop in on an ambassador's residence, any of you who are
contributing substantively to this discussion are welcome to drop by my
residence in Ashgabat any time you are in town :-)  Just please call
ahead to make sure I'll be home.

On 10/27/2018 1:13 AM, Daniel Koć wrote:
> W dniu 26.10.2018 o 22:08, Eugene Alvin Villar pisze:
>> On the other hand. diplomatic offices and services encompass a range
>> that is much too narrow such that I don't think having diplomatic=*
>> as a primary key seems appropriate. I would prefer if we just have
>> the office=diplomatic + diplomatic=* tag combination instead. This
>> nicely parallels and complements the office=government + government=*
>> tag combination[1] that we already have, but instead applying to
>> foreign governments.
>> [1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:office=government
> It matches nicely, indeed, but on the other hand this is probably not
> an office:
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:diplomatic%3Dambassadors_residence
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