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Simple 3D buildings on the OSM wiki defines several roof shapes. However, they all seem to be mostly symmetric.

In the area where I was thinking of tagging roof shapes, it is a very common pattern to have the roof be "hipped" towards the end of the building that faces the street, and "gabled" in the back.

Hipped Gabled

Hipped (left) and gabled (right) roof shapes.

What would be the correct way of tagging the roof shapes of such buildings?

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asked 20 Jul '20, 11:38

attilaolah's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

At the time of writing, there is no established tagging in OSM that allows you to model this as a single roof shape. If you want to limit yourself to standard tags, you'd have to split this into multiple building parts with simpler roof shapes, e.g. a gabled roof plus one or more skillion roofs.

There are some proposals which would allow you to model this as a single roof. None of these have much software support at the time of writing:

  • OSM-4D suggests roof:shape=side_hipped, which is actually quite common in the database as well (also note the definition for the roof's orientation, although the roof:direction key which has become more common after OSM-4D was written would probably be a better fit).
  • OSM-4D also suggests parameters for roof shapes, but it doesn't clearly state which keys should be used to tag these parameters. If it did, we could treat this as a hipped roof that has a ridge distance of 0 on one side.
  • ProposedRoofLines lets you draw ways for the roof's ridge (roof:ridge=yes) and edge (roof:edge=yes). It also suggests linking these ways to the building with a relation, but the only implementation I know of (my own in OSM2World) does not require this.
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answered 20 Jul '20, 15:19

Tordanik's gravatar image

accept rate: 35%

There is a far more extensive roof table which lists this type as side_hipped. Be sure to note orientation.

There is also a proposed roof lines relation which looks very involved and probably isn't supported by any software yet.

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answered 20 Jul '20, 13:16

InsertUser's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%


OSM-4D is not an established standard and doesn't really have any better software support at the moment than roof lines (which are supported in OSM2World, but nowhere else as far as I know). Doesn't mean one can't use it, but it merits a disclaimer imo.

(20 Jul '20, 14:50) Tordanik

In advanced settings you could could put roof_type = your examples or flat, or Solar have a look at what has been used before.

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answered 20 Jul '20, 12:52

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

edited 20 Jul '20, 12:56


Inventing an arbitrary roof type isn't of much use here.

(20 Jul '20, 13:05) scai ♦

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question asked: 20 Jul '20, 11:38

question was seen: 1,925 times

last updated: 20 Jul '20, 15:19

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