[Tagging] Updating definition and description of place=square

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Sun Mar 22 19:44:21 UTC 2020

On Sun, 22 Mar 2020 at 19:22, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com>

> On 22. Mar 2020, at 15:13, Paul Allen <pla16021 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Ummmmm, the name is everything?  So if it's named "Foo square" it's a
> place=square
> even if it's not a place for people to congregate and it's not square
> yes.

So you say it's purely about the name.  Then, later in your response,

Take a look
at Finch's Square (aka Finch Square):
It's not square.

> squares can be of all shapes, triangular, rectangular, poligonal (regular
> or not), elliptical, round, etc.

I agree that the shape isn't important.  What may once have been square(ish)
may have had the borders change since it was named.

As rendered there appears to be more pedestrian space than there
> really is, it's basically roads with standard-size sidewalks.

pedestrian space is not a requirement

So you say here.  But later you appear to contradict yourself.

It's not a place for
> people to congregate and (possibly) have public functions,

any open space can assume public functions and used to congretate. If a
>  sufficient number of people goes there, any space will become pedestrian

Earlier you said that pedestrian use didn't matter.  Now you say it does.
as for any open space assuming public functions, if people tried to use the
town's "bus station" for that, the police would move them on and arrest
that refused to move.  Motorways are open space, but I doubt many people
would attempt to congregate there.

it's effectively the town
bus station, as can be seen here: https://goo.gl/maps/UjG2pbgG1kRSBu1bA
I wouldn't use place=square on it, even though the name is "Finch's

strange, why not?

Because the name is an accident of history which does not reflect current
usage.  Somebody using overpass to search for place=square to find
public meeting places would end up in an open bus station if
I were to map it as you suggest.

it’s not that simple, one of the conplications is the plethora of local
> names and variations.
> And then there would still be the question what tag to use. If you want to
> tag squares as a feature (i.e. one square is one OpenStreetMap element),
> would you suggest to use just a name?

I would suggest mapping a feature as what it actually is, not what it may
been decades (or even hundreds of years ago) merely because it happens
to retain a name based upon its former function.  Old names for things
persist, even if those things now serve entirely different purposes.

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