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Locally we have had a pub and terrace building demolished to give way to flats. Do I just delete the existing buildings, or what is the best practice?

asked 24 Apr '13, 23:21

ThomasMarkas's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 25 Apr '13, 01:56

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

Thanks very much for this. As the site is now effectively a clear area for some time I have:-

  1. Using the bing background I have marked the construction site.
  2. I have left the pub and marked it as demolished-yes.

The pub had a long history, so I'd like to see the tag stay as people will refer to it locally for a long time.

This looks like the right thing to do.

(25 Apr '13, 12:07) ThomasMarkas

As I already explained in a comment below Andy's answer you should use the disused tag. In your case, change "amenity=pub" to "disused:amenity=pub" because it is obviously not a pub anymore.

(25 Apr '13, 13:01) scai ♦

Have made the change as requested. The disused: prefix to a tag seems to me important for my mapping going forward.

(30 Apr '13, 10:37) ThomasMarkas

In this case the disused prefix is actually wrong. Disused means the building is still there but no longer used as such. In stead you could do the same with the word "demolished" or simply use a note tag.

(30 Apr '13, 11:09) cartinus

You are absolutely right cartinus. The disused tag is only for features that still exist but are currently not in use. If the feature doesn't exist anymore then another prefix or a note should be used.

(30 Apr '13, 13:43) scai ♦

I would use the landuse=construction like this one I used the old pub name then and intend to use a new name if the builders sign it. That way anyone doing a search for it should have a chance of success.

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answered 25 Apr '13, 00:40

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

edited 25 Apr '13, 00:45


If the building is still visible on Bing you can change the building tag to "disused:building=yes" so that other people don't add it again. See the wiki page about the disused key for further information.

(25 Apr '13, 09:06) scai ♦

@scai: No, "disused" is wrong - it's for objects that still exist (but are not currently in use). The right tag would be "removed" or "demolished" - though arguably the buildings should just be removed.

(13 Nov '17, 09:25) sleske

To avoid other users recreating it based on memory and/or aerial images I would

  • remove building tag from demolished buildings
  • add note "building demolished according to survey (<date>), delete once aerial images are updated"
  • create new objects (landuse=construction etc) and tag it additionally with note tag "objects created according to survey made after update of aerial images, update geometry after update of aerial images"

It is better than adding demolished=yes that harms data consumers (it is like tagging prison as amenity=hotel + involuntary=yes).

It is better than just deleting as it helps mappers relying on aerial images and memory.

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answered 11 Nov '17, 15:38

Mateusz%20Konieczny's gravatar image

Mateusz Koni...
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If a recent edit looks wrong against aerial, but the source is survey or recent visit then either believe the last edit or survey it yourself but not from an armchair. Most aerial is several years old. I have received several and sent one or two messages to mappers when mapping was or seemed to be incorrect so contacting them is a sensible option if in doubt.

(11 Nov '17, 16:50) andy mackey

Some people prefix the building key with "demolished:" or "razed:". They are known as lifecycle prefix.

Old version: building=residential, new version: demolished:building=residential.

(12 Nov '17, 00:10) Nakaner

Yes, it's absolutely ok to delete a demolished building. In fact, that's the default way of dealing with things that no longer exist.

If you're worried about people re-mapping the building from outdated imagery, leaving a hint to your fellow mappers can make sense, though. Mapping the construction site often gets the message across, but for additional emphasis, you could leave the original building outline in place with only a note tag.

Some mappers prefer leaving the old tagging in place, but adding a lifecycle prefix such as demolished:building=*. Unlike notes, these tags are not just for consideration by fellow mappers, but intended to be usable by data consumers. However, historical information about features that no longer exist is generally considered out of scope in OSM (albeit not unanimously), so I would not recommend that approach.

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answered 13 Nov '17, 18:04

Tordanik's gravatar image

accept rate: 35%

I'd leave the polygon(s) in place until either new construction is in the area or the satellite imagery is updated to show the area without the buildings. That will keep arm chair mappers from elsewhere from erroneously adding them back in.

However they are no longer buildings, so use the lifecycle prefix, see to change the building= tag to demolished:building= This will remove the buildings from maps that render building=*

It probably is a good idea to add the note tag as suggested by Mateusz Konieczny as well.

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answered 11 Nov '17, 16:31

n76's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%

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question asked: 24 Apr '13, 23:21

question was seen: 7,629 times

last updated: 13 Nov '17, 18:04

NOTICE: is being shutdown on 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum