[Tagging] Updating definition and description of place=square

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Fri Mar 27 10:22:25 UTC 2020

Am Di., 24. März 2020 um 18:23 Uhr schrieb Greg Troxel <gdt at lexort.com>:

> Around here, squares are not square.  (Oral tradition is that our roads
> used to be cow paths.)

indeed, from this thread it seems we all agree that squares do not have to
have a square shape (even who asked about this seems was of this opinion)

> So one definition is
>   a square is an area with an indistinct boundary that is known by a
>   placename by most locals.

I would rather say "distinct" boundaries".

> Almost always there are multiple roads
>   intersecting, and typically it has some degree of importance
>   (commerce, cultural, historical, or other) that is locally notable.

question of size. Small square will typically have less importance than
bigger ones.

>   There may or may not be an open area where people can gather.

there must be an open area (a square _is_ an open area), but it may not
always be possible for people to gather (in particular while the space is
occupied by traffic, parked vehicles, lawn that is not accessible, a bus
station, etc.), although in extreme situations (think riots, political
demonstrations, ...) these spaces could probably be used to gather even if
it wasn't possible under normal conditions.

>   Typically the name is not primarily associated with the location as a
>   settlement, although almost always people live there.

people will not live on a square, they might be living around the square,
but you can also find squares in business districts where nobody lives. The
definition is not about usage, but about spatial configuration.

> but by then it is so watered down, it might as well be place=locality.

any toponym (not related to a settlement or part of it) could be a
place=locality, as this is a generic fallback for toponyms.

> To have this make sense, we really need a definition that one can read
> while standing someplace and declare it to be a square or not a square.
> I remain quite skeptical.

squares are like streets, but unlike streets which are made to move,
squares are made to stay.

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