[Tagging] How to map terrace buildings with names

Alan Mackie aamackie at gmail.com
Tue Jul 7 21:34:52 UTC 2020

On Tue, 7 Jul 2020 at 21:50, Skyler Hawthorne <osm at dead10ck.com> wrote:

> 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.
> --
> Skyler
> To my mind in terraced houses the party walls between are essentially
exterior walls that happen to be shared and are probably all structural,
whereas in apartment buildings or condos they are less substantial. In some
areas there seems to be a tendency for these walls to poke above the
roofline, presumably as a firebreak. I think they also tend not to have any
sort of association that looks after the building as a whole for terraced
houses, they are essentially completely separate properties that are joined
together (not that this is surveyable).

There are instances where I have seen parts of a row of terraced houses
pulled down leaving one of the old dividing walls as the new end wall
without there being much in the way of visible new structure to make it
sound again. There may just be some patched holes where beams were removed
etc. On the other hand I would not expect to see the demolition of half of
a "building" without some significant rework.

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