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There is a city block that's known locally as the "civic center'. It contains a city hall, sheriff's station and miscellaneous government services. I want this civic center to stand out on the map. I did not find landuse=government and I am not sure if office=government is appropriate when tagging a whole block. Is there an accepted solution?

There is an abandoned proposal for tagging civic centres/centers with amenity=local_government. But is it a good idea to adopt something that dies in the wiki?

asked 25 Mar '11, 19:01

ponzu's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

My, fairly pragmatic, approach would be to use the following pretty widely used tags:

  • landuse=commercial for the area of the block, adding name=Civic Center.
  • map the building outlines building=yes or building=office (or indeed anything else which suits).
  • add nodes for the principal POIs such as amenity=town_hall. If these are in specific building they can be attached to the areas.
  • add appropriate operator=* tags.

Combined together these different tags should be adequate both for plain rendered maps and apps which might want to consume the tags directly.

There are a small number of landuse=government tags (55 at the time of writing), but the range of activities of government bodies does not make this a very useful tag, whereas identifying the operator or owner of the land as such provides the same information without compromising more specific uses of the landuse tag.

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answered 25 Mar '11, 19:13

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

I am intrigued. My first reaction was: "Commercial???" As I read on, it started making sense. I guess as long as visually it does not look like the shopping plaza next door, I am good with it. Testing to see what Mapnik will do with it.


(25 Mar '11, 21:30) ponzu

Yeah, my attitude is that these are basically offices & I don't get too hung-up about whether they belong to for-profit, not-for-profit business, local govt, national govt. It's realistic as my local council has just taken over a building which used to a bank back-office.

(25 Mar '11, 21:50) SK53 ♦

While I agree that at the moment there is not yet a well established method to tag public administration and services in greater detail (there is amenity=public_building to mention), in the future this will most probably change. We should employ some time in finding a solution.

(26 Mar '11, 11:14) dieterdreist

In reviewing my city's zoning maps (official stuff), I realized that we left out a pretty basic land use type, namely landuse=institutional. It covers schools, government, etc. It would have been perfect for my civic center. I added a note to the landuse key discussion page on wiki, not sure what's next.

(06 Apr '11, 05:03) ponzu

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question asked: 25 Mar '11, 19:01

question was seen: 3,480 times

last updated: 06 Apr '11, 05:03

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