[Tagging] How to map terrace buildings with names

Skyler Hawthorne osm at dead10ck.com
Tue Jul 7 20:48:27 UTC 2020

On Tue, 2020-07-07 at 21:00 +0100, Paul Allen wrote:

> On Tue, 7 Jul 2020 at 20:32, Skyler Hawthorne <osm at dead10ck.com>
> wrote:
> > Maybe it wasn't clear, but what I'm suggesting isn't to remove the
> > suggestion of tagging as individual building=houses, but adding
> > another
> > section that says something to the effect of "for cases where the
> > terraced houses are part of a large building, and not simply
> > attached
> > houses, another approach could be this way..."
> That depends what you mean by "large building."  The original
> British terminology, and the current American terminology, is
> "row house."  Houses with common side walls built in a row.
> If you are suggesting using terrace to describe a topology that
> isn't actually a row of houses, that would be very confusing.
> -- 
> Paul

On Tue, 2020-07-07 at 15:47 -0400, Matthew Woehlke wrote:
> This seems like a really grey area. See also notes below.
> A good question might be, do they have separate *entrances*? If not 
> (e.g. some condominiums), then they should possibly be tagged as 
> apartments. In this case, it appears the entrances are separate.
> Personally, if it's possible to determine the boundaries between 
> properties, my inclination would be to model them as separate
> buildings. 
> (It's somewhat worth noting that townhouses are *owned*, at least in 
> part, separately.) Property records can probably help with this. You
> can 
> probably get shapefiles of the property boundaries from the county. 
> (Conversely, if they *aren't* separate lots, that would be an
> argument 
> for modeling them as single buildings.)

They each have separate entrances, and house numbers. Public tax lot
records confirm that they are indeed separate lots.

But I'm starting to think that maybe this issue is coming down to
semantics. What exactly do we mean when we say "building" vs "house"?
The personal interpretation I am working off of is that a "building" is
the complete physical structure, whereas a "house" in the context of
the existing OSM tags (although maybe not in the general sense of the
word) is the dwelling in which someone lives.

So with this interpretation, a terrace is one building that contains
multiple houses (or dwellings, or whatever). To me, it doesn't make
sense to say that each house is a separate building.

Admittedly, I just map as a hobby, and I am not anything like a subject
matter expert, so I do not claim that these interpretations are the
"correct" ones. But I would be interested to hear if anyone else has
more knowledge or a different interpretation.


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