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I've been adding large shopping centers in my area to OSM, in some fairly descent detail I might add. But as I compared a recently added shopping center with one I added earlier, I realized that I did the parking lots a bit differently.

For one I did every parking aisle.

But for a more recent one I did every parking aisle PLUS I also marked off each parking area

What are your opinions on marking both parking aisles (obviously parking areas) AND parking areas? Aside from feeling a bit redundant, it bothers me because of all the "P" logos that it creates all over the place. (Zoom out to level 15 on that second link to see how the "P's" get a bit ridiculous and pretty much overpower the area). To me it's just a visual thing. All those "P's" and all those tan areas don't look good. But is one data set more important than others, or more useful to certain applications or devices?

As I move forward with more details in other areas I'd like to be consistent on how I do major parking lots. I don't mind doing the parking aisles but I'm not so sure about additionally circling the same area as a parking lot too.

asked 30 Jan '13, 14:30

gopanthers's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

those parking areas bug me in real life. :-) I guess they can be just as distracting on the map as well. I would probably use less areas.

(30 Jan '13, 14:38) emj

Don't map/tag (or not map/tag) for the renderer: add the parking areas! Also, having the area gives the viewer an idea how much parking there is

(30 Jan '13, 16:20) neuhausr

If you have the time, add both. The area shows the extent of the parking, and is all I used to add. I now add the parking aisles as well, as it shows how to get into the parking area from adjacent roads, as well as how to navigate within the car park (for example there might be one way parking aisles).

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answered 30 Jan '13, 15:23

EdLoach's gravatar image

EdLoach ♦
accept rate: 22%


I'm a big fan of both, but if you have to choose based on time and effort, area is more important than aisle. Area finds you a convenient parking lot, aisles are awesome for finding your way back out.

(01 Feb '13, 18:54) Baloo Uriza

I would say that the parking areas are clearly more important than the aisles. I think the parking aisles are most times not even mapped. Raw usage numbers:

Keep in mind that one parking area usually contains several parking aisles, which are usually mapped as several ways; so we have much more amenity=parking.

If you ask the data/router/satnav/… where you can park usually software would answer with the parking area positions (but not with some streets - parking aisles). Since that is the meaning of amenity=parking.

If something looks ugly in the current standard mapnik style rendering it is the renderings "fault". ;-) I don't think it even looks ugly with "all" the Ps. It is very much parking space there - it should be in the data and it should look like parking space. If one wants to see forests and parks one need to look elsewhere on the map.

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answered 30 Jan '13, 15:12

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦
accept rate: 18%


I second that, the area is more important than the aisles.

The area also contains usefull tags which do not belong on the aisles, like wether a fee is required, what are the opening hours, is it only for customers, are there spaces reserved for handicaped people, etc.

(31 Jan '13, 12:35) Vincent de P... ♦

Hi You could look at this one, I only added 3 extra P dots. The P dot in the left corner is caused by the parking area, its not much but sufficient IMHO. If you would like to make your own doiing at the same way, too bad its a lot of work and like what emj states, make a choice to cover them all together as the same area without in a multipolygone the buildings. It looks like a large shopping area, where not all the shops are in the same building. The use of multipolygone is ment for this kind of tagging Greetz & have fun

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answered 30 Jan '13, 14:56

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%


This example I don't like, you (or somebody) have used both a node and a polygon to add the same parking area twice.

(30 Jan '13, 15:12) tothod

I'd definitely remove the node in that example as the data (such as the number of spaces) appears in both. To an application looking for car parking spaces it'll look like there are 500 spaces there rather than 250.

(30 Jan '13, 15:41) SomeoneElse ♦

I like the change Hendrik made just now. not very standard but very good; a parking node and a surface=paved area. That would make it possible to tag the parking area as private and the the surface=* area as public.

(30 Jan '13, 22:51) emj

I'm thinking of deleting the other comments, or at least the first, since the data has since change and they add little. ok?

(30 Jan '13, 22:53) emj

Then Ill skip the area and stick to the single nodes, since the numbers are right (design).

(30 Jan '13, 23:14) Hendrikklaas

Usually you should prefer areas over nodes because they provide more detail.

(31 Jan '13, 06:40) scai ♦

As I said he does use areas, but not for the amenity=parking.

(31 Jan '13, 11:33) emj

Right and exactly that's the point. In his case I see no value in keeping the parking node instead of deleting it and adding all relevant information to the area. And by the way the barrier=lift_gate should also get an access tag because some routing engines assume access=no on all barriers unless specified otherwise.

(31 Jan '13, 15:25) scai ♦
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question asked: 30 Jan '13, 14:30

question was seen: 8,594 times

last updated: 01 Feb '13, 18:54

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