[Tagging] Updating definition and description of place=square

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Tue Mar 24 02:32:01 UTC 2020

> Place=square was defined until 3 days ago as “a
> named square” and “a town or village square which is an open space common in
> urban centres, typically crossed by streets but can also be a pedestrian
> area or more rarely green areas.”
> I am perfectly fine with this documented definition

But the first part wasn't a definition. "A named square" is not a
defintion at all, since the word "square" is undefined. If this means
"a feature that includes the word "square" in the name" as the page
suggested back in 2015-2016 this is even worse, since it is completely
culturally determined. I would be justified to tag all "alun-alun"
feature as squares, even those that are 100% soccer pitch now, and
those function as a walled palace garden.

It also was incorrect as to how the tag is used; many place=square
features are unnamed, as mentioned in this thread.

The first second definition was a little better: " an open space
common in urban centres..."
Though this could be used for a leisure=pitch or leisure=park or
leisure=garden or an amenity=parking, or a fenced-off roundabout

But then the second half of the definition offers several more possibilitiies:
"typically crossed by streets" - That one is unclear, does it mean a
street intersection/ road junction? Most mapped place=squares are NOT
crossed by streets, it turns out.

"But can also be a pedestria area or more rarely green areas.”

A highway=pedestrian area is certainly a type of open public space, so
that is fine, and the most classic squares fit that definition.

But what does "more rarely green areas" mean? Is a green area just a
flat, mowed lawn, or can it be an elaborate garden with trees, knolls,
ponds? Can it be a leisure=pitch? Can it be a park with trees, picnic

I don't think that is what was intended: generally a "square" seems to
be designed to be used for events or for people to congregate, at
least historically, so if it is green, it is just grass, not trees,
flowers, shrubs, gardens, water features, etc, else it's a park or

That's whey the prior definition is inadequate: it is non-orthagonal,
it can include many types of features, and is impossible to translate
into different cultures.

-- Joseph Eisenberg

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