[Talk-us] shop=chemist as "Drugstore" for Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, etc.

Peter Dobratz peter at dobratz.us
Tue Jul 5 17:08:26 UTC 2016

After arriving at a local drugstore chain with a prescription in hand,
walking past the shampoo aisle, only to find that the pharmacy counter is
closed for the day, I've been updating tagging of drugstores and pharmacies
as described here.

For example, there is a Walgreens:


The building outline has shop=chemist.

Inside the building, there are 2 Nodes, one for the pharmacy and one for a



In this case, all of these entities have different opening hours.  Other
contact info like phone and website may be different as well.

For the older style independent pharmacy, I do still use amenity=pharmacy
on the building outline:


They do sell a few items like bandages without a prescription, but they
don't have the extensive personal hygiene section of typical of the
drugstore chains.  The pharmacist is also on duty for the entire time this
shop is open, so it doesn't feel like there are two separate entities
operating in the space.


On Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 8:45 AM, Minh Nguyen <minh at nguyen.cincinnati.oh.us>

> Recently, iD was changed so that shop=chemist is labeled as "Drugstore"
> for American English users (and continues to be labeled "Chemist" for
> British English users). [1] An American mapping a Walgreens, CVS, or Rite
> Aid who searches for "drugs" will see the following choices, in order:
> * Drugstore (shop=chemist, marked with a shopping cart icon)
> * Pharmacy (amenity=pharmacy, marked with a pill bottle)
> Meanwhile, searching for "pharmacy" -- a synonym of "drugstore" in
> American English -- produces only the amenity=pharmacy preset.
> The rationale is that amenity=pharmacy should be used only for pharmacy
> counters (which can be found at both drugstores and inside supermarkets),
> while shop=chemist should be used for full-service drugstores that *may*
> contain pharmacy counters. Currently, this is at odds with the wiki and
> longstanding practice, which stipulates that a shop=chemist *may not* fill
> prescriptions.
> This change to iD came about due to a discussion in the Name Suggestion
> Index project, which is the component in iD that suggests tags when you
> fill in a commonly used name. [2] I happened to notice the change because
> it caused Transifex to prompt me to update iD's Vietnamese localization. To
> my knowledge, there has been no discussion on the mailing lists or formal
> proposal on the wiki, though the iD maintainer intends to edit the wiki to
> match iD's interpretation. iD is the only software that has made this
> change.
> On the one hand, I've come around to liking the proposal, because it makes
> it easier for data consumers to distinguish between pharmacy counters and
> full-fledged drugstores. On the other hand, I think it's problematic
> because an American mapping a Walgreens or CVS could potentially tag a
> "drugstore" and be unaware that they'd need to separately map the pharmacy
> counter in order to indicate that prescriptions may be filled on-site.
> Currently, amenity=pharmacy is far and away more common than shop=chemist
> in the U.S. as a way to tag drugstores. Certainly anyone retagging
> amenity=pharmacy to shop=chemist would be careful to add an additional
> amenity=pharmacy POI where the pharmacy counter would be. (For a typical
> Walgreens or CVS, it'd be next to the drive-through canopy.) However, I
> have little faith that the average iD user would know to do the same, since
> the word "drugstore", like "pharmacy", implies the sale of prescription
> drugs.
> I've hashed out many of these points in [3], but I think the discussion
> needs to involve the wider OSM community now. There's little chance of data
> consumers and other editors updating their logic if the change is only
> discussed in the iD project.
> [1] https://github.com/openstreetmap/iD/issues/3201
> [2] https://github.com/osmlab/name-suggestion-index/issues/30
> [3] https://github.com/openstreetmap/iD/issues/3213
> --
> minh at nguyen.cincinnati.oh.us
> _______________________________________________
> Talk-us mailing list
> Talk-us at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-us
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