[Tagging] Updating definition and description of place=square

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Sun Mar 29 02:15:27 UTC 2020

sent from a phone

> On 28. Mar 2020, at 01:07, Greg Troxel <gdt at lexort.com> wrote:
> I think you are saying that the open, typically hard-surfaced, typically
> square area that is typically contained within roadways, is exactly the
> square.  That one should draw a way around that area, such that no roads
> are in the way, and typically no buildings, and then place=square should
> be tagged on the way.  In other words, the square is only that area, not
> the nearby roads, not the buildings that are across streets from the
> square, and not buildings that are 50m down a side street from the
> square.

indeed, the square is the empty space without the buildings at its borders, and without the small roads you might find in proximity. If there are buildings on the square (inside the square area), they can be part of it.

> For a US(New England) square, taking "Harvard Square" as an example,
> that refers to an area around the road junctions.  It includes the
> sidewalks, and it includes the businesses and buildings that are on the
> roads that border the center, and even includes things that are perhaps
> 50-100m down side roads, as long as they are sort of part of the same
> logical larger place.

I can understand that there is an area around the square to which you may refer with the square name, but I would see this as neighborhood rather than the square itself. It could have the same name, but it is a different feature. It will also not have clear borders, oftentimes, unlike the square, so we agree here.

> Which i think amounts to "Things called
> squares in New England are very rarely place=square in OSM, and
> certainly having square in the name is not a presumption that it is
> place=square."

I’ll leave this up to the locals, it may well be as you write but I have no idea. Around here, you will be able to recognize a square by its name, although there can be some other things that are also called like a square (e.g. shopping malls, subway stations taking the name from a square, shops etc.), so not literally every object with the term square in the name will be actually a square.

>> streets which are made to move,
>> squares are made to stay.
> I don't find that clear enough.  Streets were made for walking and for
> horses, and now they are used by cars.

I don’t see a contradiction, walking and driving by car are both movements (not saying it’s the same)

> What about a grassy area surrounded by streets.  We call that "town
> common" usually (even though people may not bring their animals to graze
> on it), but we would not call it a square, almost always.  

I agree those grassy areas are a bit strange, they are a different kind of thing compared to a hard scape, usually they are probably either occurring in a rural setting (villages and hamlets) or are a more modern invention (this could be culturally different). I guess you won’t find them inside the historic centers (inside the (former) city walls) in Europe like in Germany or Italy and many other countries but I’m unsure about the Anglo Saxon world, and they may have been added in modern times (e.g. to structure big roads designed for automobile traffic)

Cheers Martin 
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