OpenStreetMap

Occasionally I've found streets which have particular land uses or addresses on either side of the street, but where I haven't wanted to set up a whole 'area' near the street to mark the feature.

For example, here on Chingford Road there is something odd with the house addresses. One side of the street has one postal street name and the other side has a different name. Yet the road in the middle is still called Chingford Road. I resolved this by creating a closed area with landuse=residential on each side and attaching the pseudo-street-names to that. But I wonder if there was a better way.

Now I am wondering what happens when the street itself has a particular land use. What about nearby Walthamstow High Street ? This is a street market and the way has been tagged with landuse=commercial. However, is it allowed to attach landuse to a way, or must it be a closed area? Is the right answer to create a fairly arbitrary area either side of the street as I did above?

Similarly, there are some odd roads which belong to industrial estates. I am tempted to tag those with landuse=industrial but I fear this is only allowed for areas. What's the official policy here?

Location: Rowden Park Gardens, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Walthamstow, Greater London, England, United Kingdom

Comment from Ed Avis on 19 January 2009 at 13:20

Thanks for pointing that out. I don't believe it covers this case. It explains a way of tagging a building to associate it with an existing street, but here a single street in the map effectively has three names: its road name, the postal street name for the houses on the left, and the postal street name for the houses on the right. I don't want to create three ways on the map, however, because it is just a single road on the ground.

Comment from Circeus on 20 January 2009 at 02:48

For streets instead of area, it is abutters=. I could swear I saw somewhere a way to tag opposite way names, but I can't find it...

Comment from Circeus on 20 January 2009 at 03:49

Wait, on closer examination: If the street market is a non-car street, I'd go for highway=living_street or highway=pedestrian with a POI noting the street market aspect. Streets that "belong" to industrial estates, but are not public access are simple highway=service with the appropriate access tags (likely access=private). THey are othrwise no different from a regular street running through an industrial area and should not receive any particular tag.

Regarding your first problem, mailing address is clearly in this case linked not to the street itself, but to a building/set of building/estate with a specific name. Your way of dealing with it appears appropriate to me.

Comment from Ed Avis on 20 January 2009 at 09:43

According to , abutters= is deprecated. I think there is no way to tag the fact that the area near a road is industrial apart from creating a new area and tagging that.

For the street market I will just remove the landuse tag attached to the way. It is already marked pedestrian.

Comment from Richard on 20 January 2009 at 17:28

To say "abutters is deprecated" is another example of the wiki-gnomes acting in defiance of reality. There are over 40,000 abutters tags in Europe alone. I'm not planning to remove it from the Potlatch autocomplete any time soon.

That said, the abutters tag is meant to describe what abuts the road, and a street market is held on the road itself. So I doubt this is the right tag here.

Comment from Ed Avis on 20 January 2009 at 17:30

Richard: I assumed that the people writing the wiki were just documenting a policy that had already been agreed by Those In Charge. It's quite possible for something to be deprecated but still widely used - that is kind of the meaning of deprecated.

If in fact abutters is not deprecated, and contributors are encouraged to continue adding new abutters tags to the data, then could you or someone who knows about these things fix the wiki documentation so it doesn't confuse people?

Comment from Richard on 20 January 2009 at 19:11

If only!

There's a divide in OSM between those who think that the wiki defines the tags to be used; and those who think that usage defines, and the wiki should chiefly document. I'm firmly in the latter camp (and, for what it's worth, so are most of "Those In Charge" - insofar as OSM has any such people!).

However, the former camp has some very keen wiki-gnomes who've hatched their own intricate voting system, procedures for "approving" and "deprecating", and so on. One brave soul recently tried to amend one of their more ridiculous schemes (a "smoothness" tag which could have the value "very_horrible" - I'm not kidding) and an entire wiki flamewar erupted.

Really we could do with a concerted attempt to sort all this out; but until then, as a humble editor author all I can do is pay some attention to the presets in Potlatch and try not to impose any daft tags, or relegate any sensible ones.


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