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In Europe there are lots of areas (especially in city centers) where the first level of a building is occupied by something commercial (retail, services, catering) and all the higher (1 or more) levels are residential/living spaces. For example:

Shops with residential/housing levels on top

High-rise shops with residential/housing levels on top

How should we tag such buildings and the landuse for them? Are they residential or retail/commercial?

asked 10 Oct '19, 23:34

UntaggedWay's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 10 Oct '19, 23:34

There is no mixed landuse in OSM and to my knowledge there is no general agreement on how to tag such areas. As often in OSM where concurring characteristics have to be tagged try to use the prevailing one. In my area such areas tend to be tagged as landuse=retail or commercial if they are main centers for people to go shopping, often in the city/suburb center and often being a pedestrian area. They tend to be tagged as landuse=residential if they are just some shops along the road. But I say "they tend to" because there is clearly no general rule.

Some general remarks:
Try to look around how similar situations are tagged in the vicinity.
Do not use two values at the same time. While that might be acceptable for some keys, I don't think landuse=residential;commercial is evaluated at all.
Youe don't have to be too detailed. Landuse is about the general use of the land not about a specific building.

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answered 11 Oct '19, 08:24

TZorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

I see TZorn's very reasonable answer has already been upvoted and accepted but I'd like to offer a different take.

My experience comes mainly from New York City which obviously has very high density of both residence and commerce. There are purely residential neighborhoods and purely retail/commercial/industrial areas, but a lot of the city, especially closer to the centre, is mixed zoning. Early NYC mappers found that trying to classify all of the city's landuse was counterproductive and prone to disagreement, and arrived at the following "standards":

  • For residential/retail/commercial landuses, only draw and tag if they are formally named and have distinct boundaries.
  • For other unambiguous landuses, most prominently industrial and religious, tag at-will. (But note that this requires ongoing maintenance as the city's industrial areas are slowly being repurposed.)
  • Omit landuse tagging in other situations. Let the tagging on the buildings and POIs speak for themselves.

Just to be clear, I don't think this is the only valid solution. But nor is there a law that says every square inch of the Earth's land has to be tagged with a landuse, and therefore we have to just assign the best fit even when it's not 100% true. Leaving off the landuse tags altogether is similar to using building=yes -- sometimes there isn't a more detailed tag that's accurate. (And in fact I wouldn't have a problem with landuse=yes to distinguish between used land and unused land.)

Speaking of buildings, you also asked about building types. I'd be perfectly comfortable using building=house for the top picture (or building=terrace if you want do them all as one element) and building=apartments for the lower picture, and then adding the businesses as nodes. The map will speak for itself. But obviously falling back on building=yes is also fine!

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answered 11 Oct '19, 15:34

jmapb's gravatar image

accept rate: 22%

edited 11 Oct '19, 15:53

This type of question has been asked frequently in the past. See for example answers to : Tagging landuse in downtown areas.

Your nice pictures I would unequivocally tag as landuse=retail (see my old answer above).

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answered 11 Oct '19, 17:40

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

edited 14 Oct '19, 09:02

EdLoach's gravatar image

EdLoach ♦

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question asked: 10 Oct '19, 23:34

question was seen: 5,976 times

last updated: 14 Oct '19, 09:02

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