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I was having a look at the "proyecto mapear" in Argentina and they offer free maps (means "no cost maps" here) for Garmin GPS navigation devices which include also the display of what they call "zonas peligros" (dangerous zones). Those "zonas peligros" are villas miserias (slums, shanty towns) which are not safe to pass by car or on foot.

I was wondering whether OSM also has a tagging scheme for such shanty towns (e.g. Kibera in Nigeria, Villa 31 in Argentina, etc.). How do you tag such zones?

asked 22 Feb '11, 14:04

ALE's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%

edited 22 Feb '11, 16:30

Map it! Rendering and use is another problem, keep a top tag that is documented as subjective and then let people find other tags that are hard facts.

The problem isn't really about whether a part of the town is a slum or not it's about limiting the scope of the tag. You want to tag areas that might be dangerous, these areas are pretty easy to find if you talk with local people so map recommendations.

The meaning of the recommendation "don't go there if you are a tourist" is different in São Paulo, Baghdad or Cuzco. But that doesn't mean you actually have to care about the differences, just map it as a subjective danger_zone and let people who want to use it find better tags to specify it.

As for the tag name?

  • recommendation=no_go_zone
  • danger=violence
  • crimes:high=2005
  • police_protection=low
  • danger:for:gringos=high
  • unsafe_for=turist
  • boundary=unsafe_zone
  • cocaine_selling=yes
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answered 23 Feb '11, 08:54

emj's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%


I specifically like the tag "danger:for:gringos=high" ;-) . But are some of the tags mentioned above already in use? Were there already discussions about this issue?

(23 Feb '11, 11:56) ALE

I have seen no such discussion.

(23 Feb '11, 13:13) emj

The short answer is: One man's slum is another man's landuse=residential

"dangerous zones" is rather subjective. I guess cities in Argentina are similar to São Paulo which I have visited a few times. The favelas mostly stick out with surprising contrast against more wealthy residential areas, so in these cases it would be quite easy to make a judgement about which area is slum and which isn't, but that's a slippery slope towards all kinds of debates which we try to avoid by only mapping things (and inventing tagging schemes) which are "verifiable". We avoid subjective judgements and fuzzy scales. See Verifiability

You could devise a separate mapping project built on top of OpenStreetMap, to gather this kind of data. For example there are a lot of initiatives set up to do "crime mapping"

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answered 22 Feb '11, 14:21

Harry%20Wood's gravatar image

Harry Wood
accept rate: 14%


You are right. It is subjective to some extend. However I think it could be important for routing. I remember some Germans getting shot in Miami because they took the wrong exit from the interstate.

(22 Feb '11, 14:35) ALE

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question asked: 22 Feb '11, 14:04

question was seen: 6,683 times

last updated: 23 Feb '11, 13:13

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