[Tagging] Updating definition and description of place=square

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 24 13:05:31 UTC 2020

On Tue, 24 Mar 2020 at 12:40, Lionel Giard <lionel.giard at gmail.com> wrote:

> If we take the key "place=*", all the values are only related to toponym :
> place=city/town/village/neighbourhood/locality/... They all are just the
> name of a location of some type (either defined by population or other
> aspect like an ocean/sea/...).

That looks right.

> So the place=square tag seems to be the only one that both indicate a
> location with a name (or not) and a feature.

Some people wish to use it to indicate the name, not the type of feature.
I disagree
with that usage.  Names change and usage of physical features changes.  An
area that was once used as a town square (hard-surfaced place where the
congregate and may or may not be used for meetings) may retain the name
"Foo Square" even though it is now a car park or a bus station.  An area
that is, and always was, a town square (public congregate there, as above)
may be, and always have been, called "The Foo."  An area that was never
used as a town square, indeed is unable to be used as such, may be called
"Foo Square" because a town planner liked the sound of that name.

There is a town in the UK called Hornsea.  It has "sea" in the name,
it should be mapped as an ocean.  There is a housing estate near me called
North Park, so it should be mapped as a park.  To insist on those would be
as illogical as insisting that the criterion for using place=square is the
fact that it has "square" in the name.  The use of place=square should
on what the object is used for, not what its name is.

If somebody wanted to propose place=name_contains_square we might
see this idea of insisting that place=square is for POIs with "square"
in the name for what it is: a pointless exercise that adds nothing

If we extended the principle to other tags, we'd only use building=house for
houses that have "House" in their names, such as "Mill House" or "Digby
and a house without "house" in the name would have to be building=yes.
for the house named "Sea View" which would have to be tagged as a sea, not
a house (no doubt some would argue it should be tagged as tourism=

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