[Tagging] Updating definition and description of place=square

Volker Schmidt voschix at gmail.com
Fri Mar 27 12:35:10 UTC 2020

I am German, so I am tackling the issue with my conscious and unconscious
German background: The German word for a "square" is Platz, a word  that
can also mean "location".

I would like to came back to the proposal of using place=square with the
addition of the type of the square as a second key where we can
accommodate  the various interpretations according the local varieties.
We could start with an image gallery in the discussion part of the "square"
wiki page. Each image would be accompanied by the local term used for the
object and an English translation/explanation of what the local term means.
Once we have enough samples we could look into how to tag theses objects
with a second tag ("square=" or "square:type=")
Note that "square=" is already in use:


On Fri, 27 Mar 2020 at 13:06, Paul Allen <pla16021 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, 24 Mar 2020 at 14:09, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Am Di., 24. März 2020 um 14:07 Uhr schrieb Paul Allen <pla16021 at gmail.com
>> >:
>>> An area that was once used as a town square (hard-surfaced place where
>>> the public
>>> 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.
>> Maybe there is a fundamental difference in the expectations of what a
>> town square constitutes, e.g. in English as compared to German or Italian?
> It's starting to look that way.
> From my understanding, a square is about a spatial configuration, but it
>> does not imply any specific function and does not exclude that there is a
>> car park or bus station _on_ the square.
> This is untrue of British English, when speaking of town squares.  In
> geometry
> a square is a particular shape, a subset of the class of rectangles,  In
> the
> geometrical sense objects can be square regardless of their function.  But
> when you're talking (in British English) about a town square you're talking
> about a specific function, rather than the shape.
> A town square need not be square.  It could be in a village or hamlet
> rather
> than a town.  It usually has a hard surface (or it would probably be better
> mapped as a park).  It is usually bounded by roads and/or buildings, but
> not
> necessarily so on all sides (one or more sides could be a border with a
> field).
> People can go there either as individuals to contemplate, or to congregate
> for
> some pre-arranged purpose.  There may be a few seats here and there, but
> not so
> many as to fall into the category of picnic area or outdoor seating area.
> It may or
> may not have the word "square" in its name; not all places with "square"
> in the
> name are town squares (but may once have been).  It is open to the public.
> The above is a broad generalization, of course.  An alternative (but
> broadly similar) view of it is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Town_square
> Particularly useful in that article is the translation of town square into
> other countries: "platz" (German), "piazza" (Italy), "markt" (Netherlands)
> because the town square is sometimes used as a market place,
> plaza (Spain).
> I wouldn't quibble about minor deviations from my definition or the
> Wikipedia
> one: it's primarily about function and if the locals think of it as a town
> square
> then it's a town square even if it has far too many seats and planters
> filled with vegetation for my liking.  But it's not about having a square
> shape or having "square" in the name - a lot of places in the US have
> "square" in the name despite being irregular in shape and not being
> public squares.
> --
> Paul
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