[Tagging] Residential=rural, =urban?

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Wed Apr 10 08:28:21 UTC 2019

There is a page for residential=rural created in July 2015 without a
proposal. https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Tag:residential%3Drural&action=history

The page says: "residential=rural is a subtag of landuse=residential
and is used to specify residential areas with low-rise residential
buildings (buildings with tag building=house). It is usual for each
house has its own fenced allotment with yard and/or garden."

This is not what "rural" means in most dialects of English. Since the
tag had already been used 120,000 times as of July 2015 (see
https://taghistory.raifer.tech), without documentation, I wonder if
the wiki definition was based on current usage or not.

The definition at Key:residential is also different. This page is
older, but the definitions are more recent:

This probably implies single family homes in many places, but in
others the distinction is more about a village or hamlet as opposed to
a big city.

Similarly, residential=urban (from the same wiki user) says:

"residential=urban is a subtag of landuse=residential and is used to
specify residential areas with multistory residential buildings
(buildings with tag building=apartments). ..."

But most of the 20,000 uses were added before the wiki page was
created in July 2015. I would think that "residential=urban" could
just mean any city neighborhood, especially in American usage? The
wiki page implies that a Swiss alpine village with multi-story
buildings might residential=urban?

Does anyone feel like doing some research into how these tags is
actually used, so that the wiki page can match? Or has anyone used
this tag themselves?

It looks like many are used in Russia, where the detached house /
apartment distinction may be quite strong due to Soviet influence.

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