[Talk-GB] too many universities in Cambridge

Christopher Baines mail at cbaines.net
Fri May 22 13:03:05 UTC 2015

On 21/05/15 22:39, Dan S wrote:
> I don't relish bringing this up since it's a bit of a tangle, but I
> noticed Cambridge has a lot more universities than I thought!
> Apparently 1219, judging from the number of amenity=university tagged
> objects. In real life I'm aware of two: Cambridge Uni, Anglia Ruskin
> Uni.

I think that it is a poor assumption to make that there exists a one to
one mapping between objects (nodes, ways, relations) tagged with
amenity=university, and actual organisations.

For example, you would not count the roads in a town by looking at all
ways tagged with highway=(primary|secondary) in that town, as more than
one way can make up just one named road.

> I think someone mentioned Cambridge Uni was using OpenStreetMap for
> some of its maps,* so I'd be nervous about proposing anything radical
> right now. But is there anyone on this list who is a Cambridge mapper,
> or connected to the university's use of mapping? It's possible that
> some team decided to use the tag to mark every college building (etc),
> when really amenity=university is supposed to mark a university, not a
> piece of a university.
> To do it "properly" it might need some neat relations to group these
> things. (Might be fun for someone who loves relations - various
> multi-site and hierarchical connections among the buildings scattered
> across town!) Alternatively there are tags in use such as
> building=university which might be good drop-in replacements...

I have been doing some things around the University of Southampton, I
have just made an attempt to bring the wiki page a bit more up to date
[1]. It should now cover some of the basics.

As for the tagging, for the University of Southampton, none of the
software that I have written (e.g. [2]) relies on amenity=university. I
am pretty much only relying on the URI's (uri tag) to link out of
OpenStreetMap. This allows for going in to OpenStreetMap and identifying
bits of information.

In summary, I am not sure what amenity=university means, or should mean,
however, it obviously plays a part in rendering OSM. I am unsure about
relations, I think it remains to be seen if they are fit for purpose in
this regard.

1: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/University_of_Southampton
2: http://maps.southampton.ac.uk/

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