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

john whelan jwhelan0112 at gmail.com
Thu May 9 22:10:35 UTC 2019

I agree it's a bad idea inflating the database size and I don't agree that
all buildings should be square.  Let iD warn about buildings mapped in this
session by all means but that does not require all existing buildings to be

Cheerio John

On Thu, 9 May 2019 at 18:02, Jmapb <jmapb at gmx.com> wrote:

> 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
> should.
> 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.
> J
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