[Tagging] General Tags for unmapped cities

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Sat Mar 21 03:11:47 UTC 2020

Muchas gracias, Sr. Silva

> we seek to upload more data to mapped building polygons by the MapPYOSM project in different cities of Paraguay.

Do you mean that these buildings are already mapped in the
Openstreetmap Database, but as a generic tag like "building=yes"?

Or are you planning to import the shapes of buildings from an external database?

If you are adding the tags due to local knowledge of the mappers,
especially if the mappers survey the buildings, then that is great.

If the data is coming from an external source, please read and follow
the Import Guidelines and the Automated Edits Code of Conduct:



You may wish to look at how the key building=* is currently used:


Most commonly, the key "building=*" describes how the building looks:
for example, a building that was built as a church, but is now used as
a theatre, is still a "building=church" but then you add
"amenity=theatre" to show that it is used as a theatre.

Residential, commercial and retail areas are mapped with the key
Landuse and include the land around the buildings. In residential
areas, this would include gardens, lawns, garages, parkings spaces,
and so on, tagged landuse=residential. The buildings will be
building=house, building=apartment, building=duplex, building=terrace
and so on.

In Commercial and Retail areas, the landuse area will include parking
lots, service roads, service buildings, outdoor seating areas,
courtyards, and so on, in the landuse=commercial or landuse=retail

And landuse=industrial includes the industrial facilities as well as
warehouses, man_made=works (factories), service roads, parking lots,
power lines, etc.

There is currently no established tag for mixed-use urban areas, but
most of these are tagged as landuse=retail, since retail is often the
main use of the first floor or level of the buildings in a mixed-use
area. If retail isn't the main use, rather offices plus hotels and
some residential, it is common to use landuse=commercial for
commercial+residential or office+hotel areas.

In addition, mappers are encouraged to map the shops, offices, and
other individual features within each building. A building=office will
often contain one or more office=company, office=ngo, or
office=government features. Retail buildings and landuse will contain
one or more shop=* features

- https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:shop
- https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:office

For public services, many things are found under office=government or amenity=*
- https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag%3Aoffice%3Dgovernment
- https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:amenity

As a general overview, you can see the complete list of common
features at Map Features:
- https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Map_Features

Also see "How we map"
- https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/How_We_Map

And "how to map landuse" which includes a relatively complete list of
tags related to how lands and buildings are used:

I hope your project is successful!

-- Joseph Eisenberg

On 3/21/20, Guillermo Ariel Silva Lopez <guillermitus at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello, I am currently working on a project called Atlas Urbano (
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/AtlasUrbano) where we seek to upload
> more data to mapped building polygons by the MapPYOSM project in different
> cities of Paraguay.
> The main idea is to be able to generate a first layer of general
> information on building uses that is scalable and replicable to all
> municipalities. For this, first we want to use more general tags, which can
> then be specified, already in a next stage.
> In this first layer of information we want to classify buildings into four
> general use categories:
> residential
> commercial
> General services
> mixed use
> The tags that exist, for residential and commercial, and we currently use
> are:
> building = residential
> building = commercial
> We also want to map general services for the population, which would be
> buildings that house activities intended to provide services. Educational
> buildings, health posts, public buildings, cultural centers, NGOs, etc. are
> included in this category. We did not find a suitable tag that encompasses
> all cases and, as we did not find an alternative, we want to propose using
> this tag, which will serve to designate generally urban services and
> facilities:
> building = general_services
> Finally, we want to map buildings that house two or more uses, and this
> translates to being buildings that house both residential and commercial
> programs, or commercial and general service programs; that is, mixed uses
> could encompass any possible combination of the three uses mentioned above.
> By not finding a tag that labels this combination of uses, we want to
> propose using this tag:
> building = mixed_use
> I hope you can give me recommendations on the best way to do this.
> Regards to all.
> Guillermo Silva

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