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I'm trying to map an area that has many houses and significant, patchy tree coverage that prevents mapping them accurately as areas.

I can verify that they're there and check things like addresses and building types by looking from the street, but I'm not about to tromp across residents' yards to verify their shape to make accurate areas.

What is the best way to deal with this situation: Map the buildings as points (honestly, I've already tried this as the wiki suggests it's a supported feature, but iD won't let me do it)? Map their shapes approximately? Leave it as an exercise for later or another mapper?


asked 11 Jun '21, 01:09

Tesla4D's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

You can also draw a landuse=residential for the area around them.

(11 Jun '21, 07:00) Kovoschiz

Sometimes the wiki and the iD editor's developers aren't entirely in agreement.

The "Address" preset can be found with iD's feature search and and added to a point. This gives a nice form for input. It is then possible to add the building=house tag manually in the Tags section near the bottom.

I think mapping outlines with poor or patchy imagery tends to be a bit of a personal judgement call and can even be case by case house by house. Ways can always be refined later so if you think you can make a good enough estimate to be helpful then you may consider them worth adding. If tree cover is bad enough that it is almost entirely guesswork then it might be worth leaving it until better imagery is available. It is also not unusual for a mapper on foot to prioritise getting address data available and following up with traces when time or patience permits.

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answered 11 Jun '21, 04:59

InsertUser's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%


There's absolutely nothing wrong with mapping a building as a point (aka node). IMO it's appropriate to draw a building's shape if and only if there's sufficiently good imagery to make out the details reasonably well. Which is certainly not the case in many locations worldwide, due to problems like tree cover, outdated imagery, poor image resolution, or imagery missing altogether.

Note that the manual "Tags" section at the bottom of the left panel might need to expanded before you can use it, by clicking the blue arrow next to the word "Tags". You can then add building=house, or building=yes, or any other tag.

Also note that you don't need to add an address if you don't know it (and in fact you can simply select "Point" from iD's feature list instead and "Address".)

(11 Jun '21, 15:29) jmapb

@jmapb I probably should have made it more explicit that I do map buildings as points when I don't have imagery (or time) to add more detail.

(11 Jun '21, 18:41) InsertUser

Hi Tesla4D, estimate the volume for instance in a square and leave a note to make clear that the building is approximated and should be surveyed or imported later.

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answered 11 Jun '21, 08:52

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

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question asked: 11 Jun '21, 01:09

question was seen: 958 times

last updated: 11 Jun '21, 18:41

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