sorry for this question which in the end is so ridiculously simple that the answer must be staring me in the face and I can't see it.


The above is the plot (I'm not certain this is the correct English word) where the building (a public library) is. The plot is clearly defined and has fences and gates that close during the night and have signs with the opening hours etc. Essentially it is a garden with footways.

(This is marginally related to what I am asking, but after some pondering I decided to tag the plot and not the building as amenity=library. This is because when the library is closed, the plot is closed; because the address refers to the plot; and because when people say "X is next to the library" they refer to the plot.)

I also have a similar problem with churches. Quite often the churches are on a clearly defined (and fenced) plot. The instructions about landuse=churchyard imply that the church is not part of the churchyard, however it seems obvious to me that there is a plot of land of which the building is a part, not a separate area adjacent to the building. That is, there is a plot of land that consists of building, yard, gardens, parking, etc.

How on earth do I tag this area?

asked 18 Oct '17, 08:50

aptiko's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I would disagree with tagging the plot of land the library is on as a library.

Historically we've tagged such tags on the buildings or as individual nodes (in the building outline if such exists), with a tendency (for good reasons) towards the later as of late.

I can understand your sentiment, but that would probably be better expressed with a site relation if at all. Definitely just because the access to the grounds around the library is linked to the amenity doesn't make it the amenity itself.

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answered 18 Oct '17, 10:04

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 19%

edited 18 Oct '17, 18:43

Greetings, if you click on the "i" (information) button on your tag for "library", it states, "A place to read and/or lend books". If you click on the link below this statement, "View on Openstreetmap Wiki", you will see this sentence: "For OpenStreetmap only physical libraries as library buildings and/or as organizations are relevant." https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:amenity=library

Openstreetmap Wiki states, "library buildings", it does not mention building "grounds". Besides, if I want to tag a house, I tag the house building. I wouldn't tag the front and back yards as part of a house. They are part of the property or "grounds", certainly yes, but they are not the house. Church grounds are not a church. The grounds are only part of the church.

I feel if you tag the grass, trees, fences and sidewalks around a church, museum or library, this communicates that the area belongs to the church, museum or library. People viewing the map will understand perfectly. - happy mapping :)

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answered 18 Oct '17, 12:46

chachafish's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

This has been discussed on the tagging mailing list a couple of times. The idea is to use landuse=civic, the proposal can be found here

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answered 18 Oct '17, 20:26

escada's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%


also note that proposal has been untouched in years, and is still very undefined.

(19 Oct '17, 20:24) neuhausr

I think I found the answer after finding a similar question, the answers to which suggest that what I've done with the library is correct, and propose more or less the same thing with a plot of land that is a "shop" consisting of several buildings, parking, etc.

Likewise, for churches, what I'm looking for seems to be landuse=religious.

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answered 18 Oct '17, 09:41

aptiko's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


If the area surrounding the library is a garden, then it should be tagged as a garden, not as a library. If you like, you could add other attributes to the garden, such as opening_hours, access, or address.

(19 Oct '17, 20:19) neuhausr

I'm going to go against what other answers say and suggest that what you did is perfectly fine. The generally-accepted method for mapping a school is to put the tags on an object representing the entire school grounds, not on the school building itself (see amenity=school). I see nothing wrong with using the same method for other amenities if that amenity is more than just a building.

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answered 18 Oct '17, 20:11

alester's gravatar image

accept rate: 30%


School grounds are definitely part of a school and used by the pupils.

(18 Oct '17, 20:38) SimonPoole ♦
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question asked: 18 Oct '17, 08:50

question was seen: 2,170 times

last updated: 19 Oct '17, 20:24

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