[Tagging] Colocated school/churchgrounds (was Re: multiple schools on one plot)

Minh Nguyen minh at nguyen.cincinnati.oh.us
Mon Apr 5 08:14:11 UTC 2021

Vào lúc 05:47 2021-04-01, Robin Burek đã viết:
> Hey everybody,
> in a chat of the german community we have discussed the problem, that in 
> some locations we have two or more school on one plot/ground. Sometimes 
> they use the same buildings.
> So you have a "school area" and two or three schools.
> There were the problem, that often the "school area" (as an area) and 
> the schools (marked as nodes) get the amenity=school-tags. So when you 
> have two schools, there are three amenity=school-tags. How would you 
> handle this? We (the german chat group) aggreed, that this technique is 
> not fitting, but there is no better method.
> I would propose there to use the tagging-schema:
>  1. only one school -> you *can *add landuse=school to the
>     amenity=school-Area but it isn't required.
>  2. When on one plot are multiple schools -> landuse=school for the plot and
>      1. seperate nodes with amenity=school for every school or
>      2. when only one building used by one school - amenity=school on
>         the building=school

To complicate matters, in the United States, where I live and map, 
parochial schools (or other religious elementary schools) are very often 
colocated with churches. The church and school share many facilities on 
the grounds:

* The church uses the parking lot on weekends and the school uses it on 
school days.
* The church uses some of the classrooms for Sunday school and the 
school uses them on school days.
* The school cafeteria is also the church's bingo hall.
* The church and school both field volleyball teams for different age 
groups that use the same gymnasium.
* The bell tower rings in the school day and the start of a worship service.

To an observer on the ground, the property has many of the trappings of 
a schoolground _and_ many of the trappings of a churchground:

* The roadway in front of the grounds is signposted as a school zone 
with a school speed limit. [1]
* There may be a "Church Entrance" [2] or similar "School Entrance" sign 
in front.
* A prominent sign may indicate both worship service times and upcoming 
school events.
* There's both a leisure=schoolyard and a meditation garden.

So far, I've tended to map these shared school/church grounds as an 
amenity=school area (named to the effect of "___ Church and School" if 
that's how people refer to the campus), plus additional amenity=school 
and amenity=place_of_worship nodes within it.

I choose amenity=school instead of landuse=religious for the grounds 
because it has more similarities to a dedicated schoolground than a 
dedicated churchground, if only because schools typically require more 
infrastructure than churches do. The amenity=school area also has some 
side benefits for use cases that primarily need to know about the 
schoolgrounds, regardless of its other amenities:

* A game such as Pokémon Go can choose to avoid distracting students 
whether they are in the classroom or on the playground.
* A city planner or concerned resident can easily determine how many 
alcohol, gun, or cannibis stores would be affected by a proposed zoning 
law that says such stores can't be within so many yards of a 
schoolground. (OSM has been used for this purpose in my area.)
* Renderers in general are more likely to choose colors for 
leisure=schoolyard etc. that look good against amenity=school than 
colors that look good against landuse=religious. (Some features are 
simply more closely associated with schools, so the reality is that 
they'll be designed that way on any map.)

I still add a separate amenity=school point around the cluster of school 
buildings, because the school and church are coequal on the grounds. 
Neither the church nor the school is subordinate to the other, and 
either the school or the church might be operated as part of a 
multi-campus group that the other isn't a part of. The amenity=school 
point also allows navigation software to route more precisely to the 
cluster of school buildings.

The fact that there are two amenity=school features doesn't 
_technically_ violate the "One feature, one element" rule, because the 
amenity=school tag implicitly has two different definitions and each 
definition is being used on a single feature. However, this approach 
could still result in surprising behavior by some data consumers:

* A search engine would return both "St. John School" and "St. John 
Church and School" when searching for schools.
* An analysis of OSM's coverage of schools would double-count colocated 
parochial schools.
* A QA check would incorrectly flag the amenity=school area as lacking 
an address, even though the school and church might have completely 
different addresses on different streets. Other details like grades or 
ISCED level are somewhat nonsensical when applied to an amenity=school 
that functions as a landuse placeholder.

Overall, this isn't an ideal situation, so I'm receptive to the 
landuse=education proposal in [3] as something that the data consumers 
above could choose to use alongside amenity=school or landuse=religious 
or neither, depending on their needs. That said, there could be other 
approaches to solving the dilemma above.

[1] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MUTCD_S5-1.svg

minh at nguyen.cincinnati.oh.us

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