Landuse as paint, place tagging


I’ve recently been swayed to the persuasion that landuse features should be considered more as a separate entity than other elements in OSM.

The non-standard nature of the current state of landuse mapping means that some mappers map every single plot as a residential area, others map a city block as a residential area, and some mappers map an entire suburb as a single residential area. This spectrum of different ways these objects are mapped in my opinion makes them impractical to try and use for anything other than as a tool to paint the map and signify the purpose the land is used for.

Because of this it’s easier to make a dataset of all mapped McDonald’s when they’re all mapped as a single node rather than when some of them are tagged onto buildings, and some are tagged on a landuse area. I think that it isn’t a good idea to guide mappers to map POI data onto landuse, or to put names or other metadata on any landuse if there’s a viable alternative.

With residential areas, there are already viable alternatives to tagging the name of a neighborhood or community than on the residential area. That’s where the place=* key comes in. you can use tags such as place=neighborhood or place=hamlet, and they are much more appropriate and easier to query objects than landuse=residential.

The problem arises with commercial and retail areas. If you’re tagging a shopping center or office park, your only option is to put the name of the shopping center or office park on the landuse area, since there are no alternative tags to put the name on.

For this reason I’m considering making a proposal to introduce new tagging for this problem, something along the lines of place=offices or place=retail to represent these objects with an easier to process data scheme, but I’d like some public input first.

Thanks, -SherbetS

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