[Tagging] Is there any use of shop=general/general_store not covered by shop=convenience/supermarket/country_store?

Mateusz Konieczny matkoniecz at tutanota.com
Mon Mar 25 15:13:05 UTC 2019

Mar 25, 2019, 4:00 PM by pla16021 at gmail.com:

> On Mon, 25 Mar 2019 at 14:36, Mateusz Konieczny <> matkoniecz at tutanota.com <mailto:matkoniecz at tutanota.com>> > wrote:
>> In situations matching your description I think that either shop=supermarket or shop=country_store would fit.
> There used to be a shop near me which wouldn't really match country_store, convenience,
> variety, or hardware.  It sold a bizarre mix of things.  No food whatsoever, so not convenience
> or supermarket.  No farm or garden equipment or clothing, so not country_store.  Definitely not
> cheap (if anywhere else sold something you wanted this place would be more expensive) so
> not really variety.
> Like I said, it sold a bizarre mix of things.  Kitchen utensils and equipment (but very little
> electrical stuff).  Hardware like letterboxes, letterbox draught excluders, wood screws (not a
> wide selection), door bolts.  Dustbins.  Firewood.  Brushes and brooms.  I rarely went in there
> (after seeing the prices the first time I went in) but there was all kinds of other stuff I barely
> remember.  Two local newspapers reporting its closure described it as a "hardware and
> household goods" store, but the local pound shop carries a bigger range of hardware than it
> did, and neither match up to a proper hardware shop like B&Q (or even B&M).
> The closest fit would be general, and even that is a very poor fit (there were no foodstuffs).  But
> that's the closest match to "household goods and other random stuff."
I am considering shop=random_stuff

I am not sure whatever shop=general would fit here, note that OSM wiki describes
two meaning of general store (UK and USA one) and both explicitly list food as one of sold products.

> I have to ask what purpose is served by deprecating general.  If it were an EXACT synonym of
> one of the other shop types then remove it.  But it's not.  There are a lot of grey areas in shop
> types, so it makes sense to leave it.  Otherwise we end up deciding whether we should force
> a triangular peg into a square hole or a round hole.  There are around 3,500 general stores
> mapped, about 0.1% of total shops.  Are we to assume that ALL of those could be better
> described with a different value?  Or are we to remove all rarely-used values just because
> they are rarely used?
If there is no real information loss then it is preferable to have lower number shop types,
as it is easier to map and easier to use such data.

And given that shop=general is quite often used it would be nice to know what is 
its meaning and how it differs from other shop types.

Additional problem with shop=general is that with so generic name it is used in various ways.
You jest explained that it would fit well in your example because it was selling no food, while Emj
(link to the initial wiki version:
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Tag:shop%3Dgeneral&oldid=168923 <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Tag:shop%3Dgeneral&oldid=168923>
explicitly listed food as one of products shared in UK and US meanings.

It seems to me that this shop value is confusing and duplicates existing ones.
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