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I am currently working on mapping a city school that has various buildings. The buildings are spread around a few streets and have other unrelated buildings (e.g. houses and shops) and public roads in between them, so I can't just draw an area around the buildings and tag it. I have mapped out the buildings - sometimes using closed ways and sometimes using multipolygons for adjoining buildings - and tagged them as building=school. Some of these buildings have specific names e.g. Old Block, so I have tagged the closed way or multipolygon as, for example, name=Old Block.

Currently there is a node positioned at the school's reception to hold the amenity=school, address and website tags. However, this does not show exactly which buildings belong to this school, so I would like to use a multipolygon. (There is also another school nearby, with another set of buildings.)

I am using JOSM to edit. Should I create a new multipolygon for the entire school by selecting all the buildings (so that I have child multipolygons)? Or should I select all the outer ways for each set of adjoined buildings and use these to create a multipolygon? Or should I stick with what I have already?

If I go for a multipolygon approach, do I need to tag all the buildings with role=outer?


asked 01 Mar '12, 18:16

Greg's gravatar image

accept rate: 50%

Check this widely used relation type "site":

instead of nesting multipolygons relations.

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answered 01 Mar '12, 18:36

Pieren's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

This seems to be a good solution. I will edit the wiki page for amenity=school as I wasn't aware that this relation type existed. Thanks.

(01 Mar '12, 19:54) Greg

Use amenity=school like you would a land use, encompassing the entire campus.

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answered 01 Mar '12, 19:49

Baloo%20Uriza's gravatar image

Baloo Uriza
accept rate: 9%


The campus is spread around so there are a number of other buildings in between which are not part of the campus. I don't really want to map the whole area as a school when it is just part of the city with school buildings in amongst others.

(01 Mar '12, 19:53) Greg

So, it seems like you can manage that landuse of the school by creating a multipolygon for the amenity area, with the donut holes as inner. This would limit areas inside the whole that are not "on campus" as not being part of the school.

(01 Mar '12, 19:58) Baloo Uriza

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question asked: 01 Mar '12, 18:16

question was seen: 7,285 times

last updated: 12 Apr '13, 11:06

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum