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People do not seems to enter building heights or levels. That is OK for 2D vectoral representation but if you go 3D it is a problem. The information is simply missing so the 3D views are not correct. I found it almost impossible to update it one by one. Is there a way to update them at once?

If not for this purpose can we have some kind of area tags as dense to sparse/high to low in gradient so that we can get a general height information.

asked 29 May '17, 07:59

Europa's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

The reason why people rarely enter building heights or levels is that many buildings are drawn from aerial imagery where you can't see how high the building is.

A general fuzzy area height information is probably not a good match with OSM, but you can of course get third-party DEM data and mix that with OSM to achieve the desired result. In some areas such data is even available as open data.

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answered 29 May '17, 08:02

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

Yes the reason is very obvious. The problem is using some public DEM data will not fix the missing height information in OSM database.

(29 May '17, 08:45) Europa

Hi Europa, there seems to be one other way. Since OSM depends on the mapper / volunteers for the data go out and make a survey in your own area and start enlarging the area bit by bit steadily :-)

(29 May '17, 09:13) Hendrikklaas


I'd LOVE to do this for my local university campus.

The university does not publish the height (either in feet or stories) but does publish photographs, and I can count.

However, the very first building I tried did not have a "Levels" field, although subsequent ones did, and no clear way for me to add it.

Brand new to OSM editing. Can someone give a pointer maybe?

(08 Jun '17, 01:52) dopensm

in iD (the editor in the browser), open the "All tags" section, press + , type "level" in the left side, type the number of levels in the right box. Done.

Please create a new question next time, do not add follow -up questions as answers.

(08 Jun '17, 04:11) escada

Keep in mind that "level" indicates the floor on which the tagged object is located (e.g. an office on the second floor/level). If you want to indicate the number of floors in a building, the tag would be "building:levels".

(08 Jun '17, 16:55) alester

But I wasn't asking a "new" question: I was asking a "related" question, in an attempt to elicit information that would make this thread more valuable for people who come upon it as the result of a search. I fail, completely, to see how asking for more detail makes for a poorer product.

BTW, does anyone know where I can rent an elephant cooler? Now, that's a new question--for which I apologize.

(18 Jun '17, 13:10) dopensm

@dopensm: Unfortunately the "question and answer" format here doesn't really handle discussion well - it's limited to "questions", "answers" and "comments". If I ask related questions I usually link both the original and new questions via comments - that way people can see the answers and comments on each one separately, yet still know that both exist.

For some sorts of discussions though, another forum may be a better option, and where that is will depend on what the question is. For 3d stuff might be the best place, whereas for general "why do mappers not do X" or "how do I do X" one of the mailing lists or IRC might be better, and some non-English-language communities have most of their discussions in particular language forums . I'm sure it's frustrating to get an reply of "don't ask that here, ask over there" but it's beneficial in the long run because if you're asking a question you'll want the maximum number of people so see it.

(18 Jun '17, 13:38) SomeoneElse ♦
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question asked: 29 May '17, 07:59

question was seen: 4,224 times

last updated: 18 Jun '17, 13:38

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