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I saw two questions about how to tag food trucks and mobile vans that are at a specific spot every day :

Can we tag a similar truck that is at the same location every week but only one day a week?

I would like to tag a convenience truck that sells bulk products on markets. So as the truck is on a different market every week day I would have to tag it in 5 different places. Is it something allowed by OpenStreetMap? If no, do you see any alternative to reference theses shops that we find more and more on the streets?

asked 16 Dec '18, 11:04

AJojo44's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


An analogous problem is Mobile Libraries, see OSM really does not have a mature tagging scheme (or practical data consumption processes) for such things, and, although SimonPoole argues that we map permanent things in answer to one of those questions, I would say that if it proves useful then ultimately it is likely to get mapped. I would say the key thing is to avoid using tags which would confuse it with something which is permanently at the same location, because not doing so imposes a heavy burden on all data consumers whether interested in these POI or not.

(16 Dec '18, 11:33) SK53 ♦

In a way it's comparable to a shop that will use a vacant space in a building. The building is permanent but not the shop. In the case of a mobile shop, the shop uses the public space but the shop itself could be more permanent than a shop occupying a building. Even if most of the mobile shops stay in time less longer than shops in buildings, I know some food trucks that are on the spot since more than 5 years. In my case, I'm working on a map to help people finding bulk products: and mobile shops is a true and useful alternative to shops in buildings.

(16 Dec '18, 11:46) AJojo44

What it may be worth doing is finding a tag to describe the space used by the mobile shop. In markets this might be called a stall or pitch: access rights to the pitch are quite likely to be officially regulated (at least in Europe & North America), and regulated informally elsewhere.

(16 Dec '18, 17:23) SK53 ♦

At the very least use opening_hours to say which times of the week it is there.

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answered 16 Dec '18, 12:52

aharvey's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

For sure, but I think this is more related to marketplace information. In marketplaces, the opening hours of independent stands are in most of the case the same as the marketplace's itself.

(16 Dec '18, 16:23) AJojo44

IMO it would be better to add the markets themselves (as amenity=marketplace) and list the sorts of products available -- from this vendor and others -- under the description=* tag.

If these markets have a fixed layout, with the same vendors in the same locations every week, you could consider drawing a polygon for the marketplace and adding nodes for the vendors, with appropriate opening_hours tags. But to do it for only a single vendor would be a little confusing.

EDIT -- Having slept on this, I believe (and this is no big surprise) that OSM, as currently conceived, coded, and integrated into various data consumers, is simply not a good platform for mapping things that are not static. The marketplace, we can pretend is static and "closed" when it's not there. Same with the food truck that always parks in the same location. But there's no good model to extend this to truly mobile entities, like a travelling food truck, the spice van, the bookmobile library. These sorts of amenities can publish their own schedules, by email, twitter, whatever -- but there's no place for that data in the OSM model.

But that doesn't mean we can't create something that would work. We could develop a data model for non-static elements that would allow for a node with descriptive tags but a flexible location. There's already work being done to integrate GTFS data (published train and bus schedules, or even real-time locations of individual trains and busses) from various public transit organizations. Possibly this could be extended to allow other non-static entities, like the spice van, publish their schedule or real-time location and have that extra layer of data available to OSM data consumers.

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answered 16 Dec '18, 16:07

jmapb's gravatar image

accept rate: 22%

edited 17 Dec '18, 18:21

Adding a description to marketplaces is a limited amount of information. How can we add a website or contact for each stand? The name of the stands could also be an important information but for huge marketplaces we won't describe all stands inside the marketplace description.

Moreover, the description tag is difficult to filter. What if someone would like to find a mobile shop that sells spices? He won't look for all marketplace which description contains "spices". Looking for a tag like shop=spices or mobile_shop=spices is more suitable, no?

In my opinion, tags we use to complete an amenity=marketplace should describe the marketplace itself (if it's a market of local producers, a food market, a clothes market, a market with only organic products ...) but not stands independently.

(16 Dec '18, 16:18) AJojo44

Similarly, there’s a shop near me that sells coffee beans, tea, and spices. But it’s primarily branded as a coffee store, so people searching for spices won’t find it — "spices" is in the description tag, but as far as I know there are no UIs that provide an indexed search of shop descriptions. Still, as far as I know, it’s the best solution we have at the moment.

I agree that it would be great to be able to add contact info for individual vendors in a market. Sometimes the market itself has a website with this info, but not always.

Putting vendor shop nodes inside a marketplace polygon seems like it would work, as long as everything is tagged with the appropriate opening_hours. There are two obvious down sides that I see: 1) If the market area is used for other purposes on non-market days -- park, parking, pedestrian, whatever -- the various vendor nodes would clutter the map, making the space seem crowded when 6 days a week it's not. 2) Adding nodes in multiple markets to show a certain vendor's market schedule seems to run afoul of the One feature=one OSM element rule

(16 Dec '18, 20:07) jmapb

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question asked: 16 Dec '18, 11:04

question was seen: 1,876 times

last updated: 17 Dec '18, 18:21

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