[OSM-talk] iD invents nosquare=yes for buildings which should not be squared

Jmapb jmapb at gmx.com
Thu May 9 22:00:20 UTC 2019

On 5/9/2019 4:14 PM, Michael Reichert wrote

> Quincy Morgan, one of the maintainers of iD, invented a new tag called
> nosquare=yes today which should be added to buildings which are not
> square and should not be flagged by iD's validator.

This strikes me as a pretty bad idea. I map in NYC where we have lots,
lots, lots of nearly-square buildings with official footprints imported
from the city's open data initiative. When a mapper not familiar with
the history here gets a message from iD (which, to many mappers, is
indistinguishable from getting a message from OSM itself) encouraging
them to square a building, they'll do it because it seems like the right
thing to do. So the official, highly-accurate footprints are lost. And
adjacent buildings with shared nodes are also distorted.

If I were to communicate with this mapper and say "Hi, welcome, please
don't square the buildings" it will simply be confusing because the
official editor, hosted at https://www.openstreetmap.org, told them they

JOSM's validator used to flag nearly-square buildings here, and it
caused thousands of unnecessary and inaccurate updates to building
footprints. And of course people doing these thought they were doing the
right thing -- if the validator says there's a problem, there's a
problem, right? Fixing it is helping the map!

I'd hate to see iD go down the same road. And I certainly don't want to
mass-tag all of NYC's imported buildings with nosquare=yes.


More information about the talk mailing list