[Tagging] building=disused

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Thu Jan 16 00:48:26 UTC 2020

I'm one of the maintainers of the Openstreetmap-carto style, but I
think the community should make tagging decisions based on what works
best for mappers and what makes logical sense, without worrying what a
particular renderer will do.

In this case I believe the decision to "deprecate" the tag disused=yes
was made hastily without thinking clearly about the cases when it
would make sense.

Looking at the history, it appears that back in 2011 a certain user
wanted to get "disused=yes" rendered, but was told it was a bad idea
as the general way to tag a disused feature, including functional
amenities and services like amenity=drinking_water, shop=, etc. The
community pointed out that this would be a problem because most
database users would not interpret the disused=yes tag, so it would be
better to use "disused:amenity=" and "disused:shop=" instead. So then
the wiki page was changed to suggest using disused:<ke> instead and
eventually a strong warning was added to never use disused=yes.

see https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Key%3Adisused%3A&type=revision&diff=646737&oldid=532373
and later it was moved to the namespace:

But this is not always sensible in the case of physical features like
a disused man_made=water_tower - the feature looks the same whether or
not it is full of water, and general database/map users are interested
in these features as orientations points in the landscape, not as part
of the water supply network, so it's sensible to use
man_made=water_tower + disused=yes.

I think part of the confusion was caused by moving the Key:disabled
(e.g. "disabled=yes") page straight to the namespaced version without
clarifying things. But disabled=yes should never have been described
as deprecated - it was always being used.

- Joseph Eisenberg

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