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Dear OSMers,

I am working on improving OSM in Kermanshah, Iran and have come across a problem that needs your attention. The town hall is comprised of a couple of small size buildings enclosed in a sizeable piece of land, the premier of which is walled and restricted to public access. Here is the location on OSM:

I'd like to mark the entire premises as the town hall, rather than the individual buildings within. Something more flexible than the landuse tag. It's because First, the aerial resolution of Bing images leaves much to be desired. Second, I have no idea about the use and function of their buildings.

Here are the different things I have tried so far:

  1. Draw a polygon and mark it as amenity=townhall and building=yes. This gets drawn nicely on the map but is semantically wrong. Because it treats the land as one giant building.
  2. Do as above but set building=no or remove it altogether. The location disappears on the rendered map. Not desirable.
  3. Do as No 2 but add barrier=wall to the polygon. Now only the outline of the location is drawn, no names or any telling sign.

Any suggestion and advice much appreciated.

asked 10 Feb '15, 11:58

AmZaf's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 10 Feb '15, 12:31

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

Thank you all for the responses. As @aseerel4c26 pointed out, it seems to be a rendering issue. At least I'm now sure that I was on the right track. However, until the rendering issues are sorted out many people might resort to ugly hacks to get items shown on the map. It's strange that landuse areas are rendered in distinct colours, while Office, Historic, and Amenity features without the accompanying building tags are completely ignored, even if these features have names on them (as in example 2 above).

Maybe I should raise the issue with the OSM team. The way the standard layer is rendered, discourages my particular approach. Anyone knows how to file a bug report?

(10 Feb '15, 14:16) AmZaf

bug report for the standard map style: see there or there.

(10 Feb '15, 16:27) aseerel4c26 ♦

There has been discussion on the tagging list of a landuse value for government administration buildings and surrounding land, and a proposal (see also the talk page), but as far as I know, it hasn't come to any consensus yet.

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answered 10 Feb '15, 14:20

neuhausr's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%


  • amenity=townhall on a closed way around the "entire premises". You could add a barrier=wall tag too (maybe on a separate way, so you could add area=no to make clear that it is no area, although this would not be needed for most renderers, I guess).
  • If possible (aerial imagery suffuciencent): Add the single buildings as usual (with building=civic).

Do you mean this with your option 2? Then the rendered map (the one you are looking at) should be improved (and not your tagging). On the "Humanitarian" map this is rendered as a symbol in the middle of the area. Example 1, Example 2. As far as I know the standard map has recently got a style update regarding those symbols, maybe those places would soon also show up on the standard map. Update: ah, now the icon appears at example 1 on zoom levels 17+ and at example 2 at zoom 18. So, you picked out a nice example of where just mapping/tagging "right" is the best way (instead of doing it somehow else, just because one map does not show it otherwise).

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answered 10 Feb '15, 12:17

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 10 Feb '15, 12:41

Yes. My option 2 is the same (no building tag). You are right, it seems to be a rendering issue.

(10 Feb '15, 13:34) AmZaf

Likel the best solution to your problem from a data perspective is likely a site relation (no idea how it gets rendered though).

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answered 10 Feb '15, 12:18

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 10 Feb '15, 12:28

This is all at one continuous location/area, not at separate places, isn't it? So there is no need for a relation of any type.

(10 Feb '15, 12:25) aseerel4c26 ♦

Depends the intention of the site relation is to group all buildings landuse etc that belongs to one facility (avoiding for example multiple name labels etc).

(10 Feb '15, 12:30) SimonPoole ♦

Right, but here, we likely will not even get buildings ("the aerial resolution of Bing images leaves much to be desired"), and if everything is at one place (even without holes) it does not hurt to just use the simple thing of a closed way, IMHO.

(10 Feb '15, 12:33) aseerel4c26 ♦

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question asked: 10 Feb '15, 11:58

question was seen: 3,440 times

last updated: 10 Feb '15, 16:27

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