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I recently added a school to OSM (via Potlatch2). I outlined the school property and named it "XYZ Elementary School". I outlined the school building and named it "XYZ Elementary School". I outlined a 2nd school building (the gym) and named it "XYZ Elementary School". And finally I know that there is a single point (a node?) for a school that I also added on the center of the building and named it "XYZ Elementary School" too. None of these were wrong to name, but at different zoom levels I got a whole bunch of overlapping text of the exact same redundant name.

Now I know I can easily remove the name from the school gym building and I can also remove that single point school designation (a node?), but that still leaves both the building and the property with the same exact name. My question is mostly that of best practices:

  • Is it a problem to redundantly name both the property and the building? To me they are both valid and should be labeled.
  • Should one add a single point identifier (like that school node) to a building if the building itself is drawn out?

asked 17 Oct '12, 19:10

gopanthers's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

The usual practice is one feature, one OSM element.

In your specific case you should add an area outlining the whole school territory and add amenity=school, name=, addr and whatever you like. Tag each single building with building=school (building=yes would also suffice) and remove the single school node as there is absolutely no need for it (see my first sentence).

permanent link

answered 17 Oct '12, 19:22

scai's gravatar image

scai ♦
accept rate: 23%


There is also a graphical example on the amenity=school page scai links above.

(17 Oct '12, 21:34) EdLoach ♦

Note that streets are one notable exception to the "one feature, one element" rule. One street often consists of multiple OSM ways, which have the same name= tag. However, this usage is probably for historic reasons.

(11 Mar '15, 11:48) sleske

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question asked: 17 Oct '12, 19:10

question was seen: 3,984 times

last updated: 11 Mar '15, 11:48

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