OpenStreetMap

Which businesses to tag

Posted by Chaos99 on 2 March 2010 in English (English)

On my last dairy entry about Protecting personal information in POIs I got great response.

The question was if to tag amenities like doctors with their full name if written on a sign outside. (The consensus was: yes)

But another question arised: What businesses to tag anyway?
I mean people tag manhole covers and street lamps so the obvious answer would be: all of them.

But really, what makes sense? OSM doesn't need to be a business register. It would be impossible to keep up to date anyway. Businesses with street offices is a reasonable constraint. Maybe in addition to those company buildings which are big landmarks or points of orientation.

But what about lawyers, engineers, agents etc. who don't normally have offices where the normal customer may walk in without an appointment. They would clutter the map in big cities with multi-story office buildings. But a map user would quite probably want to search for it with his in-car navigation device if he actually has an apointment, wouldn't he?

So is this a case of 'don't map for the renderer'? What would be legitimate sources of information, if signs on buildings are not present?

So please give me your opinion on this. I would be really happy if I could get as much response as from my last entry. Thanks in advance...

Comment from dd1 on 2 March 2010 at 09:16

Personally, I think this is a case of don't tag for the map renderer(s).

I recently started trying to tag any shop/building in streets in my city centre. You will quickly find that you need to dig into OSMdoc or something similar to check if there is consensus on tags for stuff.

The only guide, I guess, whether to tag or not is whether it is (fairly) static. Anything in a building is. And if it does change, people will be quite quick in correcting it.

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Comment from Chaos99 on 2 March 2010 at 09:25

Another point beside the usefullness for osm is the consideration between the people who want to find things and the people who maybe don't want to get found.

I believe opt-in is the only fair way to do it, but in no way practical.
So we have to fall back to some guessing like: when he's putting a sign out, he want's to get found. And I pesonally don't count door bells as signs.

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Comment from Waldo000000 on 2 March 2010 at 09:48

Interesting question. The problem we face is where to draw the line, to define the scope of OSM. One possible solution is to define that scope as only information that a member of the public (i.e. a potential OSM contributor) is likely to be able to *verify*.

The assumption is that information that falls outside of this scope is not likely to be reliably verifiable/updatable, and therefore does not belong in the OSM database.

If you try to define a narrower scope, I suspect there will always be people who want it broadened.

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Comment from Fabi2 on 2 March 2010 at 17:26

If people run a registered business, then their name and address can always be requested from the trade register in Germany, but they are not easy to verify and available, so I would not put their bank account information in OSM, because I just received a bill from their business. What should people do with it besides from donating some money? ;)

I know no official registered business which want's their shop locations, telephone, fax, url, openinng hours and operator to be secret, just as their income depends on the availablity of this information. So if a shop which is visited by many people (e.g. pupermartet), put their telephon number or url on every bon/receipt, then I will put it in OSM, as they try to widely distribute this information,

For Germany you can get the foreign language knowledge and even more for most doctors from http://www.kbv.de/arztsuche/178.html, so the information they put on their house or patiant cards are just a subset which they need to run their "business".

To find the shops and services which are imported to map first, just map them by your personal usage interval. If there are nothing more to map, you can continue with the less ferequently used ones. As Flo(o)r wrote, the businesses which are needed to decribes tge usage of a building must be mapped.

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Comment from lyx on 2 March 2010 at 21:39

Don't worry about the map getting to cluttered; the renderers do render only a few kinds of POIs by default. Several kinds of shops, e.g. florists, are not rendered on the default map, but can be searched for anyway.

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