POI standardization: Tractor Supply Co.

Posted by Jack the Ripper on 2 February 2017 in English (English)

I think it would be useful to people who simply use OSM data to have standardized, common values for POIs, in particular chain stores. I've come across lots of chains where individual stores have wildly varying tags (e.g., variations on the name, incomplete "shop" tags, etc.).

The purpose behind this note is to standardize the tags I will apply to Tractor Supply Co.

My standardized TSC tags:

  • addr:city={city name}
  • addr:housenumber={street number}
  • addr:postcode={zip code}
  • addr:state={state}
  • addr:street={road}
  • alt_name=Tractor Supply
  • building=retail (usually)
  • building:levels={as appropriate}
  • contact:phone=+1 {phone number}
  • contact:website=
  • image= {if available}
  • name=Tractor Supply Co.
  • official_name=Tractor Supply Company
  • opening_hours=Mo-Sa 08:00-20:00; Su 09:00-19:00 {as appropriate}
  • phone=+1 {phone number}
  • ref={store number}
  • ~~shop=farm_supply; pet~~ replaced by next line due to discussion
  • shop=country_store
  • short_name=TSC
  • website=

Comment from Alan Trick on 2 February 2017 at 19:45

This is already done in the iD editor for popular things like McDonald's, however, most of those fields (like contact info & hours) can't be automatically populated.

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Comment from SimonPoole on 2 February 2017 at 21:50

In general POIs are "standardized" via presets which typically provide both the fixed values and fields for those that need to be provided on a case by case base.

Typically you would provide such a preset for both iD and JOSM formats and then lobby the devs to include it.

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Comment from Math1985 on 3 February 2017 at 00:18

Have a look at the project, which is currently used by iD.

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Comment from Jack the Ripper on 3 February 2017 at 03:10

Alan: While it has been my observation that the stores all appear to have the same hours of operation, it wouldn't be a big loss if that couldn't be auto-filled. Of course the phone number, ref, and a few other store-specific things couldn't be done, and that's expected. I would think that website could be, though, if we wanted to use the company's top-level webpage (but again, no loss if it couldn't be done).

Simon: Thank you for that info! I had no idea that there might actually be a process for doing that.

Math1985: Thanks for the pointer! I was not aware of that project.

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Comment from maxerickson on 3 February 2017 at 16:28

Is there a reason to double up phone and website? I think using one scheme or the other is sufficient and makes updates easier. Maybe not an issue for a single chain, but I think using both shouldn't be encouraged as a general practice.

(in my opinion all the "contact:" scheme really adds is 8 characters, but it isn't worth much arguing, it's trivial for data users to consume all the various tags).

I would also give some consideration to shop=farm_supply without pet, shop is a key where multiple values don't make sense to me. It's been a while since I was in one, but I guess TS isn't anymore of a pet store than say Walmart. Maybe pet=yes or petfood=yes to capture that part of the business?

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Comment from Jack the Ripper on 3 February 2017 at 17:09

Hi Max. I would prefer to just use one type of contact scheme myself, but since I don't know how data consumers are processing the fields (e.g., do they all know how to use one or the other, some use one, some the other, etc.), I've decided to keep using both for now. I have a preference for the contact: method because it groups those tags together, much like addr: does for address data. This sounds like a good topic to bring up on the tagging mailing list, though.

With respect to the shop= tag, at first I was just doing farm_supply, but they have a large enough pet section that I thought it was worth including that, too. In contrast, while they also sell clothing, that area is just too small, in my opinion, to include as an additional tag. I put pet on the shop tag because they sell pet supplies, whereas my understanding from various pages on the wiki is that pet=yes simply means pets are allowed.

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Comment from maxerickson on 3 February 2017 at 18:09

Sure I understand the desire to capture that it has lots of pet related merchandise.

The downside is that most data consumers will not interpret the tag at all if there is a semicolon. I guess given the low usage to date of farm_supply it doesn't make much difference.

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Comment from SK53 on 4 February 2017 at 17:04

I wonder if there's any overlap between your shop=farm_supply and what we map in the UK (or at least the East Midlands) as shop=country_store.

These sell a range of farm supplies, but usually in smallish sizes so you cant buy enough seed to sow 25 hectares with wheat. I get the impression that most customers are folk with a few acres, probably grazing for horses: small-holders, hobbyist farmers, stables etc. Therefore the pet side is significant.

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Comment from Jack the Ripper on 7 February 2017 at 01:20

SK53, you might be on to something. The wiki entry does seem to cover what TSC sells, and it does cover pets, too. I'll spend a little time contemplating that tag because I don't want to rush into a bunch of changes, sounds like you're right. Thanks for the pointer to that one!

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Comment from SK53 on 7 February 2017 at 11:04

I'd completely forgotten that I'd documented this on the wiki! Mapping in a couple of small country towns I came to realise we'd missed this category, and after a bit of sleuthing I realised that it was not insignificant: say, a couple of hundred in the UK.

Let's collect more information about formats in the US. I'd be rather surprised if there were not something similar in Canada and Argentina. I presume they evolved from the historical general dry goods store. If the TSC category is slightly different from those in the UK then maybe the formal use in Retail Week rural_supplies will cover a broader scope better.

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Comment from Math1985 on 7 February 2017 at 22:33

How similarly are these to Dutch 'Boerenbond' (literally 'Farmers Union') shops? See for a picture gallery.

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Comment from Jack the Ripper on 8 February 2017 at 01:52

SK53: The next time I'm in a TSC, I'll take some pictures of the inside for you to look at. I'll note that the exterior photo from your wiki article looks almost identical to TSC.

Math1985: The pictures from that link remind me more of what I would tag as shop=hardware. TSC has more animal-related products than anything else, and usually very little in the way of building supplies or tools.

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Comment from maxerickson on 8 February 2017 at 03:33

In the Midwest we also have Mills Fleet Farm and Blain's Farm & Fleet (both modest sized chains). There's a Wikipedia category:

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Comment from Jack the Ripper on 12 February 2017 at 03:34

SK53 (and others): Here's a sample set of photos from a Tractor Supply store to give a feel for what they look like inside. I just took some general shots to cover the sections. You can see some merchandise, but not all.

While I was there I also reread your shop=country_store wiki page, and I guess it does fit in with that type of category. But I'll take your feedback from the pics.

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