Classifying an object: `man_made=street_cabinet` vs `building=service`

Hello everyone,

I have a question regarding the classification of the object in the picture.

I would like to know if it is correct to classify it at the very minimum as:


My main concern is with the man_made=street_cabinet tag. I have come across similar “cabinets” that were tagged as building=service, but in my opinion, they don’t resemble buildings. However, I must admit that this particular object is a bit large for a cabinet as well, but it still doesn’t qualify as a building.

Additional Tags

Furthermore, I’m considering the possibility of including the following additional tags:


However, I’m not an expert in street electric equipment, so I cannot confirm the suitability of the last two tags.

Node vs Area

The wiki suggests mapping street cabinets as nodes, and if they are sufficiently large, mapping them as areas. In this case, I believe that the object in question is large enough to be mapped as an area. Can anyone confirm this?

Thank you in advance!

If the street cabinet in question is not made to be entered, then I wouldn’t tag it as a building. If there’s a door, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you enter this thing. Looks like a street cabinet to me, we have some like this over here as well, though I’ve never seen them made out of concrete as this one.

If your satellite imagery allows you to precisely determine a surrounding way, then by all means, map it as a way :slight_smile:


Thank you, @Nadjita , for such a detailed response!

I don’t know particulars of that street cabinet, but a lot of times they have small doors and stairs inside of them that lead to an underground passage where the power cables are. So at least in those cases they would be buildings. If I’m being honest I have a feeling that’s what’s going with the street cabinet in your image because otherwise it wouldn’t be made out of cement and there would be a heatsink on it for cooling. Either that or it’s a telecommunications cabinet. But it’s extremely rare to see cement street cabinet for power because they can over heat really easily. So I don’t know. You might want to at least double check it to make sure it’s not for underground cables or telecommunications if nothing else.

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I would treat it as a street cabinet unless it appears to be more building like. It is not a big deal If you are wrong. Mapping it means it is likely that someone with more familiarity with the equipment will notice the object and fix the tags. Until then everyone else will get a more accurate count of street-side electrical equipment.

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Hi, ‘expert in street electric equipment’ here as I work at a distribution system operator :slight_smile:

This is an old standard type of cabinet for electrical power (or: compact station) which we have many of, made by Alfen. It’s definitely not a building as you can’t enter it.

Your additional tags are correct, these are minor distribution substations.

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@Jillis_E, getting input from an expert like you is incredibly valuable :slight_smile: Thank you so much for reinforcing and adding more details to all the previous responses!