[Tagging] What is a terrace after all?

André Pirard A.Pirard.Papou at gmail.com
Wed Sep 12 02:26:30 UTC 2018

On 2018-09-10 02:27, André Pirard wrote:
> Hi,
> According to my OSM readings, I thought that a terrace was something 
> very special, but, according to dictionary.com 
> <https://www.dictionary.com/browse/terrace>, a terrace is most exactly 
> like French, mainly a) raised ground, b) flat top of a building c) an 
> accessible area connected to a building at ground or upper level, such 
> as for living or other purposes..
> But beside that, dictionary.com defines a Terrace as a plain row of 
> houses without a terrace at all and so does building=terrace 
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:building%3Dterrace>, unlike 
> French and Wikipedia which calls it Terraced_house 
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terraced_house> (adjective).
> Practically, I'm correcting hundredths of houses tagged at 3-5m+ away 
> from their true location, with incorrect shape and without any addr:* 
> at all. And during this I met areas tagged building=terrace that, of 
> course, are just as imprecise: they get across the houses.
> If I map the houses that are inside, I get a very logical JOSM 
> congratulation: "building inside a building".
> In my mind, building=terrace is a bad tag. It should be:
> building=house
> house:terraced=yes
> be it as a row of houses or a single one.
> But I'm sure a reply will be "we" are not doing like that.  Like what, 
> then.
> What should I do? building=terrace 
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:building%3Dterrace> describes 
> mapping separate houses as an *alternative*.
> Erase what another mapper did, and replace that element with houses?
> While waiting, I converted them to landuse=terraced (invisible).
> On the other hand, I once asked how to map a part of the street that 
> is fitted with tables and seats near a café or restaurant.
> That is a *real* terrace.
> No answer.
> All the best,
> André.
So, in summary of this discussion, we have terraces, flat surfaces, and 
we have houses that are houses and not those flat terraces but that we 
call building=terrace and not houses. The wiki suggests to map then 
separately which stops calling them terraces and to call them 
building=house because they are not another kind of houses that some do 
not call houses but detached.
I said that, while waiting to know what to do, I would temporarily keep 
the outline tagged with landuse=terrace. Someone suggested that I should 
keep the outline (permanently, I suppose) but he didn't say with which 
tag. Someone suggested that I should use landuse=residential instead. I 
said that I kept the outline temporarily and a so-called terrace landuse 
shouldn't be transformed to residential which already exists and is 
around the village instead of a few houses.

I disagree with suggesting a whole menagerie of tags for houses, so that 
someone making a search for them has to consult a whole inexisting 
catalog of keywords to use.
I suggest a single building=house plus a series of attributes like 
house:terraced=yes if you like it, dot disappearing if the house stops 
being mapped as a row, house:detached=yes for those who didn't notice 
and to avoid calling 90% of the houses like that, house:row=yes etc to 
your imagination and liking.

Now, finally, the only terrace in that story is (thanks, Marc) called a 

Thanks to all,
All the best,


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