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Say you are mapping a building like a restaurant. You make an area for the building and classify that area as a restaurant. Should you then also add a point, or leave just the building?

asked 11 Jun '14, 19:46

Travis1000's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

At the right of this page is a column with related questions.

The top one at the moment is: Should I use POIs or areas to identify shops?

For your question there is no effective difference between mapping shops or restaurants.

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answered 11 Jun '14, 21:41

cartinus's gravatar image

accept rate: 27%

If you map the building as an area there is no need to also add a point (node). Just tag the building with all the attributes you would normally apply to a restaurant such as "amenity=restaurant" plus things like name, cuisine, opening hours, website, address, phone etc. I'd also amend the "building=yes" to "building=retail" in the case of buildings housing shops, cafes, restaurants etc. Mapping both a node and an area is unnecessary duplication. Graham

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answered 12 Jun '14, 00:15

NZGraham's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%


Just to clarify my previous answer. It is based on the restaurant being the only occupier of the building. If the building houses other businesses then each business would be mapped with its own point/node placed inside the building area. For instance if the building housed a restaurant and say a hairdresser then I'd tag the building as "building=retail" and add a node tagged with "amenity=restaurant" and another node tagged "shop=hairdresser". Each of these nodes would be tagged with the additional attributes applicable to the individual businesses.

(12 Jun '14, 01:27) NZGraham

It would be helpful to know, if there is a building area shape and a POI, is it worth transferring information on the POI to the area and deleting the POI?

(29 Nov '15, 10:39) pmackay

Providing that they do both relate to the same item I'd say yes. Update info on the building tag to include any extra details which may be on the POI tag before doing any deleting. Add any other useful information which you may have from local knowledge or other legitimate sources too. In the changeset comments I usually just say 'Merged POI tags into building tags'.

(30 Nov '15, 00:42) NZGraham

@pmackay In general it is not needed to merge the building and the node of the POI. It might even give problems in case the building has a name that is different from the POI. You should only do this when the POI occupies the complete building, the address is the same for the whole building, etc.

(01 Dec '15, 16:39) escada

@escada I'm definitely only thinking of situations where the building completely represents the POI. Otherwise I agree they are better separate.

(01 Dec '15, 18:22) pmackay

In general don't add a point to carry the same information as you could add to the entire building.

Sometimes you may see POI points on buildings where things are yet to be updated and properly integrated or not enough layout detail is available yet to differentiate multiple site uses in another way.

Below is an explanation why things may be lagging in being integrated yet:-

Historical detail change

When OSM began it had modest aims and simply getting a map of all the roads and paths with there name and ref (and some useful major locations like stations and important places added too)of a single country was seen as a good thing to aim for.

Today flight sim users and gazetteer makers and requesting more details form them to add into their models so where a an entire city was once marked by a single point the post boxes streetlamp telephones and ever increasingly detailed buildings and their internal layouts are being added. Also its moved from the single founder to millions of contributors to share the workload involved.

Level of detail is matching level of knowledge

The variations also stem from what people have known or found out about a site and the amount of positional (layout infomation they have to hand when adding to OSM. There is a progresion from the quickest form of a point in about the right place though buildings and the areas owned by the business (like beer gardens, carparks and outdoor: showrooms, garden shelveing and other business yards)though to sub-divided buildings' individual retail units and flats (marked with indoor tagging) and eventually detailing out the details and room layout of the entire buildings stores (down to maybe the 3d or indoor tagged windows, doors, lamps & power features).

As it is not always easy to find everything about all of a shopping arcade by passing it, in a bus or even going inside the public areas then the less detailed options above allow useful information to be added about what you can find out.

Over time others can come and enhance the area you've mapped adding more detail and filling in the blanks and use the above methods to integrate your efforts with theirs.

The basic idea is to add what you can find out and a are happy to release into the public domain. and try to avoid duplication of same data in different such as a POI point for a shop in a single use building, indoor:subunit or area. If things share the same place separate points can hold the description tags till the building layout is sufficiently mapped into OSM.

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answered 15 Jul '14, 17:41

Govanus's gravatar image

accept rate: 3%

edited 15 Jul '14, 17:45


OSM data is licensed under the Odbl and not public domain.

(15 Jul '14, 18:09) scai ♦

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question asked: 11 Jun '14, 19:46

question was seen: 9,485 times

last updated: 01 Dec '15, 18:22

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