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

Richard Weait richard at weait.com
Fri Jul 13 19:57:18 BST 2012

On Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 2:40 PM, Kevin Kenny <kkenny2 at nycap.rr.com> wrote:
> 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 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,"
[ ... ]
> If my question has no good answer, I'd rather tolerate the clutter
> than mess up the map.

When you have local knowledge that supersedes existing map data,
please fix the data. :-)  That "If you come across a feature that no
longer exists in the real world, feel free to delete it," is pretty
good general guidance.

Your first-quoted paragraph above suggests that you are looking for
historic markers and other evidence.  That's good too.  If there is
such a marker, you might consider adding a tag for it to the otherwise
ordinary not-school-building.

There might be other exceptions as well, that would lead you to tag
something like, loc_name="The old school house what ain't thar no
more" if it is still used as a local landmark based only on local
knowledge but I'd expect that to be rare.  :-)

And, with GNIS and any other source, the questionable data that you
are seeing could well be an error from the source.

Recapping: If your local survey suggests that something is gone, then
you can delete it from the database.  Use your best judgement.

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