Funeral Homes

Posted by skorasaurus on 13 November 2012 in English (English)

(Note: I also updated this entry to include some American usage, etc. When I wrote this diary entry, I was referring to this version of the wiki article.

While tagging some local amenities in Cleveland, I was wondering how to tag funeral homes (places to mourn and remember those deceased before burial and cremation. In the USA, these places also embalm the body - prepare it for burial or cremation, and have a small office where the undertaker takes care of paperwork). I haven’t been to any funeral homes that also bury people on their grounds and such places may exist.

So, quick search of the wiki for funeral brought up one ‘official’ tag for these places, shop=funeral_directors. I never heard it called as a ‘funeral director’ before and conjures up in American minds, perhaps the name of the person who runs, or directs the operations. I chalk this up to just another British English usage in OSM (I never heard of High Street either, also referenced in that wiki article).

Taginfo returned 1000+ uses of shop=funeral_directors compared to the ~100 uses of other tags that use ‘funeral’ in the value.

To consider it as a ‘shop’ seems a bit cold in an American and likely possibly other cultural perspectives as well. Humbly, classifying it under amenity would be a bit more appropriate although that discussion gets to the more abstract point of what makes a shop and what makes an amenity and whether they are mutually exclusive, distinctions which vary from culture to culture.

Comment from seav on 18 November 2012 at 05:14

Well, a footway is not a highway but we have highway=footway.

I’ve learned that OSM life would be easier if we treat keys and values as just English-like words instead of actual English words. It would help prevent debate on whether something is supposed to be under “shop” or “amenity” or “leisure” or “tourism”.

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