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Hi there

I am working on mapping my university campus, and I was wondering if I had to leave the word "building" in, for example, name=Don Nicklin Building even though it is tagged with building=yes.

A list of the buildings is available here.

asked 10 Aug '13, 03:37

stephane-guillou's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 11 Aug '13, 13:47

Following the "Ground Truth Rule" of OSM, I would set the name=* tag to whatever I could find as a reference locally at the building. Most buildings you would want to map a name to have a plate, sign or big-letters-above-the-entrance way of telling you how they are called.

This way there is also no dispute with the next mapper, wanting to add/remove the "Building" from the name-tag.

If you can't find such a clue and you're talking about the English language, try to find an official document mentioning the building and see if the "Building" is capitalized. This would indicate that it's part of the name, not a description.

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answered 12 Aug '13, 16:18

Chaos99's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%


I chose this answer as it is the solution is based on recommendations, and the least prone to lengthy subjective discussions. Cheers!

(13 Aug '13, 03:53) stephane-gui...

If a building is normally called " The Something Building" for example "The Empire State Building" or one I found called "Le building " then use building in the name in other cases I think it is unnecessary.

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answered 11 Aug '13, 14:53

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

I don't know what the recommended practice is, but I would suggest using the name of the building. Similar to when naming schools: "of Washington" just makes for a terrible name, similarly "Western Washington."

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answered 10 Aug '13, 05:07

he_the_great's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%


I think the observation that we do not omit the "street" from street names supports this suggestion.

(10 Aug '13, 09:59) Tordanik

@Tordanik, Well we also don't tag street/avenue/court... so the name is the only way we know it is a street.

(10 Aug '13, 17:12) he_the_great

Hi, I'm still a newby so this is just my gut feeling as to how I would name the buildings in your list - I'm not sure if there is a recommended practice. For those on your list which include the word 'building' (eg Don Nicklin Building) I'd omit the word 'building' when naming on the map. I'd do this mainly to save clutter as the word is probably superfluous in the context of buildings on a university campus. For buildings like 'Alumni Centre' I'd tag as named in your list including words such as "Centre", Laboratory", "Annexe" etc as part of the name as they are descriptive re the use of the buildings. For 'numbered' buildings (eg Building 33) I'd tend to include 'Building' in the name tag. I feel that it is clearer that using just a number. IMO if just the number is used it could give rise to the question "What does this number refer to?" The fact that the buildings are already tagged with building=yes is, I think, irrelevant to what appears in the name tag. I think the tag "building=yes" is an instruction as to how the area is rendered and shown on the map - determining any colours or icon shadings which display. I hope this helps - just my opinion - open to correction if anything isn't quite right. Graham

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answered 10 Aug '13, 08:53

NZGraham's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%

edited 13 Aug '13, 06:12

Thank you for your insight, Graham! Now, I 'm not sure what to think... I reckon I will wait for a few more comments and votes to see what is more accepted! Cheers

(11 Aug '13, 13:49) stephane-gui...

If the sign at the entrance says "Don Nicklin Building" then it should definitely be mapped as such. Consideration also needs to be given to the fact that the official website refers to "Don Nicklin Building". On the same campus there are the Frank White Building and the Frank White Annexe, suggesting that the whole name is important to avoid ambiguity.

I would not worry about space on the map. If users of OSM data want to have their own naming convention including removing "Building" from building names or abbreviating it to "Bldg", they are free to do so.

(12 Aug '13, 00:41) and1969

Having just read Chaos99's answer re 'Following the "Ground Truth Rule" of OSM' I revise my earlier thoughts. Chaos99's answer is definitely the most logical!

(13 Aug '13, 06:13) NZGraham

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question asked: 10 Aug '13, 03:37

question was seen: 5,786 times

last updated: 13 Aug '13, 06:13

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