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Recently, a local hospital changed their attitude to smoking. The entire premises is now a non-smoking area, with the exception of smoking pavilions, aka. smoker's shelter, and a bunch of other designations.

They look like these: (image on Wikipedia)

(I won't link embed the image directly)

Basically, it's quite similar to a bus shelter, except it's usually equipped with an ashtray, and the roof/cabin thing has no door. When it's closed on all four sides, the entrance is usually a missing panel. Sometimes, it's just a roof with one wall. Around here, they're mainly made of a metal corrugated roof, with glass panels as walls.

The actual defining thing of those shelters, is that it's specifically allowed to smoke in these, while everywhere else it's banned.

Here's how I mapped one of them so far:


As they're usually too small to map them as a building, I usually just place a node with the tags above.

I couldn't find an entry on those in the Wiki, so I'm asking here, before I map more of these. The hospital has built around 20-30 of those, next to nearly all buildings there's one or two of those.

asked 28 Oct '19, 12:17

polemon's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Edit -- I've come full circle on this and I'm retracting my previous recommendation. Better to describe the primary purpose first and mention the shelter via subtag:

amenity=smoking_area smoking=designated shelter=yes

Sorry for the about-face, which breaks the structure of this site. Please adjust your up and downvotes accordingly! ;)

------ WAS: I'd have probably gone with amenity=shelter + shelter_type=smoking + smoking=designated.

Checking taginfo, there are currently 49 uses of shelter_type=smoking (plus 2 uses of shelter_type=smoking_shelter.)

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answered 28 Oct '19, 12:49

jmapb's gravatar image

accept rate: 22%

edited 31 Oct '19, 16:21


I have a different perspective from the discussion in other ans: In a conflict of amenity=* value, I suppose the dedicated, purposed use as =smoking_area should prevail, just like how we shouldn't add amenity=shelter to every place with a roof. Non-smokers won't treat a smoking area shelter as an amenity=shelter either. There are ~1.5k =smoking_area, 2 magnitude more than shelter_type=smoking. Such a shelter itself should be represented by an appropriate building=* or man_made=* instead.

(30 Oct '19, 19:18) Kovoschiz

Personally, as a non-smoker, I wouldn't hesitate to duck into a smoking shelter during a downpour. And as a mapper, I'd be reluctant to tag something that's not an area smoking_area.

I do see the value in having a single tag that can apply to all designated smoking areas/rooms/shelters/etc. I think the best candidate for that tag is smoking=designated.

I could also see the value in restricting amenity=shelter to wilderness shelters and their ilk, and using building or man_made for other shelter-like things. But since the current use and wiki documentation are much broader in scope (public transport shelters, picnic shelters...) it seems odd to exclude the smoking shelters.

(30 Oct '19, 20:22) jmapb

After uneasy dreams, I've come around on this one and revised my answer. The fact that a node is being called an "area", I'll have to just live with. I mean, it's not half as bad as entrance=exit!

Let no one say productive discussion can't take place on, even if that's not what the software's designed for.

(31 Oct '19, 15:41) jmapb

Heh, OK. Well, it's closer to what I've gone with initially. Tagging in general isn't exactly easy, it's something I go back and forth before committing, all the time.

(31 Oct '19, 22:55) polemon

@jmapb I actually like smoking=designated, but not sure whether that's enough (only area=yes or building/shelter?), and how it fits into the broader picture (at the very least, with other smoking=* values and uses). Cigarette, along with other consumption (eg: e-cig / HNB,cannabis, alcohol, and food & drink in general) could use some tidy up.

(01 Nov '19, 17:40) Kovoschiz

@jmapb: perhaps a better way would have been to write a new answer disagreeing with your old one. (Not sure if you can vote your own answer down though).

(02 Nov '19, 14:17) SK53 ♦

@SK53 you can't vote your own answer down but you can ask (here or on IRC) for other people to do so :)

(02 Nov '19, 14:57) SomeoneElse ♦

I've decided to use this to map smoking shelters for now. So thanks again for answering (and editing) your answer as you did.

(02 Nov '19, 19:28) polemon
showing 5 of 8 show 3 more comments

Both your option, using amenity, and that suggested by @jmapb seem acceptable. I personally have reservations about the trend for a huge variety of shelters to be mapped generically: in particular the risk of confusion where shelter locations are needed in mountainous areas for emergencies. The trend is well established, and I imagine some data consumers are now making use of the shelter_type tag. BUT only 55% of all amenity=shelter have a shelter_type tag.

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answered 28 Oct '19, 13:58

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

Well, I guess the question is, what is it first and foremost. A smoking shelter can't really be used for anything, except smoking and perhaps as a temporary shelter against rain and snow, but nothing else (you surely can't sleep in one, etc.). A "shelter" as you described (and the tag shelter=* kinda implies), is the kind you'd use to hang out when making a break while hiking, etc. Hence, I'm not sure I'm happy with what I tagged them with.

(28 Oct '19, 14:34) polemon

Smoking shelters are usually in urban areas. You won't find a smoking shelter in the mountains, so this shouldn't lead to any confusion. Likewise, you won't search for a typical mountain shelter for sleeping in urban areas. So while the shelter_type tag is important and useful I doubt anyone will confuse a smoking shelter for a sleeping shelter if this tag is absent. Still, shelter_type should be added whenever possible.

(28 Oct '19, 14:47) scai ♦

In this urban context I feel that most map users probably won't be looking to sleep in a shelter, and that a smoking shelter can serve the purpose of a generic weather shelter in a pinch. So I don't feel it's a damaging form of troll tagging.

In the wilderness I'd tend to be a lot more cautious with the amenity=shelter tag. I'm not a fan of shelter_type=rock_shelter for instance -- it's too subjective. I've seen caves so small and shallow that I could barely fit inside lying down, but still tagged amenity=shelter + shelter_type=rock_shelter. This I consider to be incorrect and potentially dangerous, because many OSM-derived hiking maps show the shelter without regard to the value of the shelter_type subkey.

(28 Oct '19, 14:57) jmapb

Not true anymore, summer mountain restaurants have smoking shelters. These are unlikely to be of use as a bad weather shelter. Generally I think it's a really bad idea that the interpretation of OSM tags should depend on something like urban/rural, flat/mountainous. Either use different tags (my preference) or ensure that shelter_type is always tagged & consumed. A start might be not rendering any amenity=shelter without the shelter_type tag.

(28 Oct '19, 15:26) SK53 ♦

OK, so what I gather is, I should use amenity=shelter; shelter_type=smoking and not use the bin=yes tag? From my understanding a *=yes denotes an is-a relation. Hence I'm wary of using bin=yes, as in my mind, it denotes "this is a bin", rather "this has a bin". Similarly, you also tag ways as area=yes if it is an area or building=yes if this is a building.

(28 Oct '19, 16:35) polemon

*=yes doesn't always carry the same meaning. It depends on the key being used. Some keys, such as building, are typically treated as defining the object carrying that tag. However, there are others that only provide additional information. Some examples of the latter would include oneway=yes on a highway, bench=yes on a bus stop, or bin=yes on a shelter. On their own, none of these tags define what the object is. If one wanted to define an object as representing a trash bin, they would want to use amenity=waste_basket.

(28 Oct '19, 18:23) alester

@alester hmm, ok, I guess I learned something then. However it doesn't feel right, if you know what I mean. this kind of ambiguity. With oneway=yes one might claim it's still an is-a relationship as it defines an attribute ("<way> is a one-way road"). The other ones are kinda confusing (to me), as it denotes features being present or not, which kinda won't sit right with me. But I guess I'll just accept it as a quirk of it.

(28 Oct '19, 23:28) polemon

@polemon: it can sometimes help to think of things like bin=yes and shelter=yes as an interim step to a finer degree of micro-mapping. Most of the time they are fine, but sometimes the tag clashes with an existing 'top-level' tag (i.e., one which is always used for a thing, not adding properties of a thing). A good example of the latter is the combination amenity=fuel with shop=yes (meaning a gas/petrol station also has a shop), whereas shop=yes means "there's a shop here, but I couldn't find out what it sells". With gas stations the usual solution is to map the shop, usually as shop=convenience (or possibly shop=kiosk). I cant see this taking off with bus shelters, however.

(02 Nov '19, 14:15) SK53 ♦
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question asked: 28 Oct '19, 12:17

question was seen: 1,626 times

last updated: 02 Nov '19, 19:28

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