[Tagging] Please fix unnamed square tagging / was: ... description of place=square

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Mon Mar 23 14:06:01 UTC 2020

> reads "A town or village square: a hardscaped open public space, generally
> of architectural significance, which is surrounded by buildings in a
> built-up area such as a city, town or village."
> While I do not object that this is describing a part of all squares, I do
> object that these are criteria which are suitable to exclude objects. For
> example  "surrounded by buildings" is a typical situation, but is not a
> strict requirement. A public square surrounded by walls would be equally
> ok, for instance. A square which is not paved would be ok as well (not
> usual in many parts of the world, but quite common in others, where road
> paving is generally rare). Let me post some more examples of squares here:
> ...

> [Indonesian alun-alun]
> From photos it is hard to judge these, because you would usually need to
> see the context in order to understand whether these are just parks or
> parks on squares.

In Indonesia an "alun-alun" is never small, they are always rather
large to very large open areas.

Many are grassy fields with a few trees, planted north and south of an
old palace, or as a parade ground for the military back in the
colonial era, and these are mostly tagged as leisure=park, because
they are grass and trees now. These are mainly for recreation and for
looking nice.

Some are now playing fields, like soccer pitches + volleyball /
basketball courts

A few are still police/military parade grounds (not many), grass or grass/dirt.

But some have pavement (often pavers, sometimes bricks, concrete,
asphalt, stone etc) and are used for temporary markets, rallies,
public events, etc. - these seem similar to a European square.

Should I map all of these as "place=square" since "square" =>
"alun-alun", even though many of these alun-alun could be a
leisure=park, leisure=garden, leisure=pitch instead?

"You would usually need to see the context in order to understand
whether these are just parks or parks on squares."

So what about the context will tell me whether or not it is a
place=square? It can't be out in the countryside, can it? Or a parade
ground in a military base? A grass lawn in the middle of an apartment
complex? A patio in a park?

I think there should be a practical, physical definition of what is a
place=square. If it doesn't have to be hardscaped (whether paved or
just packed soil), should it at least lack tall vegetation which
blocks views and movement?

Perhaps a flat area with mostly short grass can still be a square, but
certainly not if it is mostly covered by trees, shrubs and flower
beds. That's a park or garden, even if it is called "Plaza de Armas"
or "Old Village Square".

-- Joseph Eisenberg

More information about the Tagging mailing list