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Alwalton Post Office has a small convenience store attached and a cafe upstairs.

Is this a case where I should break the 'one feature, one OSM element' principle and add all relevant amenity tags to the building? Or should I crowd three POIs into the same (small) building?

[Separately, I don't suppose there's a way of showing some multiple uses as senior to others? e.g., a convenience store I tagged with a money exchange service renders as a money exchange, even though that's a very small part of the business - what you see and feel is a convenience store first and foremost)

asked 12 Oct '19, 16:40

eteb3's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%

This section in the wiki article you linked to has multiuse buildings as an example of where to use multiple elements.

There are several ways to represent this in the map, the simplest being nodes for the individual amenities within the building and the most complex being the simple indoor tagging scheme.

Tagging what level the individual places are on is probably useful and whether they have specific entrances. If one of the amenities could be said to contain the others then you may choose to leave it on the building.

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answered 13 Oct '19, 00:14

InsertUser's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%


"Post offices as nodes within something else" are pretty common in the UK now (first example I can think of - ). That's the approach that I'd take here (with a level tag to indicate floor).

(14 Oct '19, 15:59) SomeoneElse ♦

Thanks both.

How does this read as a proposed clarification of the wiki (which I didn't readily understand)?

Proposed: *Multiple-use buildings. The building should be tagged as {{Tag|building}}, and then the different 'uses' should be tagged separately within the perimeter of the building (but as separate elements). You can use either nodes or areas for these: use your judgment.

Was: Multiple-use buildings. The building should be tagged as building=*, and should have point or area objects representing the locations of what is in them. e.g. shops within a shopping mall

(14 Oct '19, 18:08) eteb3

Hi eteb3, I see you already edited the wiki and the clarification is good. But I've edited it a little further to emphasize some of what InsertUser said above. "If one of the amenities could be said to contain the others" is a key distinction here. In your case the question would be: does the convenience store feel like it's inside the post office, or merely in the same building?

...Regarding your second question, there are two popular answers: 1) Don't worry about how things render, just tag correctly! 2) Only use one "primary" tag (like shop or amenity) and indicate other information using unrendered tags. In your case, instead of tagging the shop with amenity=bureau_de_change you could use bureau_de_change=yes. This particular tag is seldom used, but the technique is popular with some tags (like atm=yes). This is the recommendation given at,_one_OSM_element#One_feature_per_OSM_element

The problem with answer #2 is that piling up tags is actually very popular and there is not, to my knowledge, a canonical list of which "primary" tags should not be combined. (And if there were, there would doubtless be a list of exceptions.)

(16 Oct '19, 16:21) jmapb

Thanks. I only belatedly realised that the 'that' of SomeoneElse's answer referred to his link, rather than to jmapb's solution.

@SomeoneElse especially - if this is the place to ask (still trying to work out OSM netiquette after all this time...) how would one indicate the levels on the two tags? Does one also need to have building:part=level_1 etc in order to do that? In this case the cafe is over the shop - my updated Alwalton Post Office is here.

(16 Oct '19, 19:24) eteb3

This is my solution so far: adequate? amenity=cafe level=1 outdoor_seating=yes

(16 Oct '19, 19:44) eteb3

Looks good principally. A few remarks, though:

I'm not really familiar with building parts tagging but I think you should also put building:levels with the maximum value (2) also on the overall building outline.

Does the building in total really have the name 'Alwalton Village Post Office Stores & Tea Room' or is this merely a description? You have already named the post office and I would expect names for the store and the cafe on the individual objects.

So the cafe is above the store? Does it really have outdoor seating then? Or does the cafe stretch over two levels?

(17 Oct '19, 09:37) TZorn

It would indeed appear that is the name: Photo from 7 years ago (looks to have just been Alwalton Post Office at the time.

(17 Oct '19, 10:25) SK53 ♦

Thanks both. Yes, the cafe is upstairs, with a table outside downstairs if you want. I didn't try to describe that in tags tho as I'm already pretty deep in here for what is a teensy little place!

Hopefully not a case of OCOSMD - I set out just trying to learn the principles, so all comments much appreciated.

(17 Oct '19, 12:29) eteb3

If the building still looks like the photo SK53 linked at , it doesn't really appear that part of the building is single-level and another part is two-level. It seems to have a continuous roof over both parts. (The way it's currently mapped implies a building more like this: , see rendering at: )

So I'd recommend just removing the building parts and adding the post office as a node tagged with level=0, like the convenience store.

(18 Oct '19, 15:59) jmapb

There are room tags that can be used instead of building:part if you want to map as area.

That photograph looks like it would normally be building:levels=1, roof:levels=1.

(19 Oct '19, 05:12) InsertUser

Thanks. The building is actually two floors where you can see the dormer windows (roof windows) and only one floor where you can't (in other words, there's a room in the 'roof'). But I can see it's an unusual case and hard cases make bad law. I will use the room tags in due course, I think. Thanks all for all comments.

(20 Oct '19, 12:13) eteb3
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question asked: 12 Oct '19, 16:40

question was seen: 2,742 times

last updated: 20 Oct '19, 12:13

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