[Tagging] Grouping buildings together using relations

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Sat Jan 9 19:40:11 UTC 2021

If the type=site relation is being used in this way, I believe this is a
mis-use of the concept of relations in OpenStreetMap, since it is not
representing a distinct feature that can be observed to exist locally, on
the ground.

If a site relation is used to group any set of related features in one
"city", consider that there are cities like Jakarta and Tokyo which have
millions of people spread over thousands of square kilometers and several
different admin_level=4 (province/State) features. The city of Atlanta, as
an urbanized "place", has almost 7000 square kilometers of suburban land
with 5 million people

If a university has 4 campuses in 4 different suburbs of Atlanta or Tokyo,
how is it  reasonable to map them with one relation?

What about all the Los Angeles County libraries, spread over a county with
over 10 million people and dozens of municipalities?

While it's good to use a multipolygon to precisely map the area of a
university campus which is split in 2 or 3 parts by streets in between,
mapping widely disparate faculties in different neighborhoods as one
database object is not something that can be verified practically by

-- Joseph Eisenberg

On Sat, Jan 9, 2021 at 10:22 AM Volker Schmidt <voschix at gmail.com> wrote:
> ... besides that the wiki's original and main job is to actually document
the use of tags.
> I was surprised how widespread its use is for universities - I had not
checked that before i proposed  it.
> As far as the use of the word "site" for extended or distributed objects:
Hadrians Wall in the UK is a World Heritage Site. So is the Great Wall.
> On Sat, 9 Jan 2021 at 18:05, Stefan Tauner <stefan.tauner at gmx.at> wrote:
>> On Sat, 9 Jan 2021 17:35:26 +0100
>> Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > A site is something at the same place, more or less. It is not
>> > the parts of which are located in 5 different places, that would be 5
>> > sites. Spatial proximity is implied in a site relation. Universities
>> > different locations (typical situation in Europe at least), are
>> > different "sites", not the same site which is distributed. That's not a
>> > "site".
>> I love how you maintain to be completely vague in that paragraph
>> allowing for my example to be perfectly covered by it. "same place more
>> or less"=same town works for me. ;)
>> NB: if the site relation would only be used for arrangements that are
>> packed together it would be completely unnecessary since then one could
>> use a polygon to mark the area for most uses that I have seen in the
>> past (hotels, unis, schools).
>> --
>> Kind regards/Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Stefan Tauner
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