[Talk-us] More things that are no longer there: schools.

Kevin Kenny kkenny2 at nycap.rr.com
Fri Jul 13 19:40:56 BST 2012

As I've mentioned in the past, I have some personal mapping projects
that use OSM data.

One at least one of them, I display icons for facilities such as
schools, hospitals, police and fire stations, and houses of worship.
I notice that a great many of the schools that appear in the generated
map are, in fact, not usable as landmarks, because the map is reporting
places where schoolhouses once stood; in many cases the sites have been
redeveloped and no trace of the historic school remains, or the site
has changed hands and the historic schoolhouse is now a private home.
For many of the old schoolhouses, it certainly isn't obvious from the
street that they were ever anything but private homes.

I see that these tend to have (historical) ending their names. Is
this generally a reliable indicator? Is there another tag I should be
looking for to tell me "there was once a school here, but there is
no longer?" I don't see anything obvious, for instance, in the feature
with OSM ID = 375600685 to distinguish it from an active school.

If there is no reliable information distinguishing historical schools,
and if I were to attempt to correct the situation in areas where I have
personal knowledge, is there any consensus on the correct way to tag
these objects? I surely don't want to revert someone else's edits
simply because they contain data that do not interest me, but is there
any way that I can start being able to filter them?

I have read http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/USGS_GNIS - but I find
it uninformative for answering this question. I see the instruction,
"If you come across a feature that no longer exists in the real world,
feel free to delete it," but what's the right thing to do with a
former schoolhouse that still stands as a private house? It exists,
but it is not in service nor any longer easily identifiable as a school.

And please, don't flame me. This is simply a question about, "if I
wish to exclude historical schools from a rendered map, is there a
way to identify them in order that I can do so?" I advance no position
about whether they ought or ought not be in OSM.  I recognize that
they must have been of value to whoever put them there, and respect

If my question has no good answer, I'd rather tolerate the clutter
than mess up the map.

73 de ke9tv/2, Kevin

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