Entrance=staircase issues (initially was: New tag idea: entrance=unclassifiable (or other way of marking that entrance=yes is not really assignable to more specific entrance categories))

Yes, I don’t consider any of the identical doors “main”.

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Can you elaborate why? To me, main entrance is the one that is preferred for most users (e.g. entrance to the apartment building from the street). The one that is not preferred is secondary (e.g. one from the back park, or via underground garage etc.). The special category of users use service instead (e.g. trash collection if stored inside building)

So, in the case above, if most of the people living in that apartment and their visitors prefer to use entrance X (and it seems to me that they do), than that entrance X is entrance=main.

(That is according to original entrance proposal - the later additions of straircase, house etc. muddy the issue further, but are not relevant for what is to be considered main entrance IMHO)

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I agree, though with several entrances having the same importance neither fullfills this.

by that logic service entrance for garbage handling would be also main as it is preferred by garbageman :slight_smile:

(I have no problem with replacing =staircase with =main just pointing out that it is unintuitive in a different way)

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entrance=main is considered to be the primary destination for the “users” of the object. So it’s not applicable for the garbage collector.


IMHO, entrance=main would’ve better been called entrance=preferred (it is of course too late to change that now! And probably it still would not eliminate confusion, as people might still say “but I don’t prefer either of them, as I like them both equally” , while the meaning was “yes, but you prefer either of them to all the others which are non-preferred”)

I would say that with several entrances having the same (“preferred”) importance, all of them fulfill that, as any of them is preferred to other (non-main) entrances. I mean, just because you e.g. can’t decide which of the two brands of chocolate you like the best (i.e. which of the two entrance=main you like better), does not suddenly mean you don’t like either of them (i.e. that they both should be degraded to entrance=yes).

I think @aighes answered that; of course correct value for garbageman would be entrance=service

(Sure, huge number of OSM tags are unintuitive. That’s why we have the wiki and human-oriented UI in editors; otherwise OSM would be hopeless mess if we were to rely on intuitiveness alone!)

While I see problems with many of the new values which were not present in the original proposal (e.g. entrance=shop should IMHO probably rather be entrance=yes|main on building|building_part=retail) I am not per se against entrance=staircase, provided someone defines what it is supposed to actually mean.

As far as I can gather from the discussion so far, entrance=staircase seems to mean something along the lines of “preferred entrance (or one of the preferred entrances) to the apartments building (condo), which has at least 2 steps (or maybe at least 1 floor worth of steps?) shortly before or after the entrance door.”

Would you add or change something from that definition, @Mateusz_Konieczny ?

Because if that is all it is, I do not see much use of using separate value entrance=staircase - because entrance=main node on building=apartments (or building_part=apartments) (and maybe building=house etc?) polygon (perhaps with building:levels>1 if that is a requirement) should provide the same or better information (e.g. if there is both main and secondary entrances with staircases, such mapping would provide better information then entrance=staircase which would lose that main/secondary distinction).

Still, if people prefer using entrance=staircase, I do not object.
Just let’s have clearly defined meaning of the tag - what is covered by it, and what isn’t.

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The biggest issue I see on some new tags is, that they are changing the initial purpose of the tag: Gave a ranking to entrances, so the router/geocoder knows which entrance to take.

I could understand entrance=staircase if there would be as well something like entrance=elevator. Then there would be a benefit and they would be on same level as entrance=main, just being more specific.
entrance=shop sounds reasonable, in case of dual usage (shop + condos) to indicate this entrance goes to the condos and that entrance you should take if you want to go to the shop in ground floor. It is like entrance=service an entrance for special purpose.

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That follows the same logic you were using with residents. Also there is nothing “main” about multiple doors going to diferent places. The word implys a single thing like the when aplied to a train line.

Main entrences are all about where strangers go to be greeted. It could involve checking in a hotel, for an appoint or a simple requedt for information.

An important note is that most buildings are designed with thier main entrance apearing larger and more grandiose so visttor don’t have guess which entrance to use.

Even single family homes usually have one door that is in the front or on the street facing side. That door is often bigger and nicer looking than all the secondary entrances. This is the door that the residents expect to greet those with official business or strangers to thier home. Would you consider using a different door to enter a house of family your not familar with?

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I don’t understand. Of course there must be multiple “main” about multiple doors going to different places. Otherwise, there would be only one entrance=main in the whole world?

There are two cases that are mentioned here:

  • if you have building with 7 not-interconnected (i.e. different) parts, those should be mapped as 7 different building_part=*, each with its own entrance=main (as each enters only in its separate building_part – same as different building=* polygons have different entrance=main)? Agreed?
  • if you have building in which all parts are normally connected (i.e. it is not important which entrance you use as you can reach all parts from any entrance), then they can all be marked as entrance=main, as any of them preferred to any one of entrance=secondary which can also reach all those apartments. Agreed?

Hmmm, @IanH, in this post of yours the text seems to be completely agreeing with what @aighes is saying (i.e. that entrance=main is considered to be the primary destination for the “users” of the object). Yet the tempo of your post seems to imply you disagree with him about that? Could you clarify which is true?

This kind of problem arises whenever a tag simultaneously doubles as a primary feature tag (answering the question “What is it?”) and as a secondary property (“What kind is it?”). The “Homonymous keys” page lists a few other examples of this very common phenomenon. Data consumers can cope with highway=road and shop=yes by basically ignoring them, but there’s so little semantic difference between entrance=yes and, say, entrance=secondary that ignoring entrance=yes as a tagging error would be counterproductive.

I wonder if these values actually started out as a way to differentiate between entrances of a multipurpose building. For example, I frequently connect driveways to the attached garages of detached homes. I’ve been avoiding entrance=house because it should be obvious that an entrance connected to a house is an entrance to a house. Instead, I tag the front door as entrance=main and the garage as entrance=garage.

Since the garage is attached to the house, the only way to implicitly distinguish the front door from the garage door would be to indoor-map these homes, which would run afoul of the project’s privacy expectations. But classifying the entrances might still be useful. In a subdivision of McMansions, you could even measure the difference to a delivery person or canvasser in minutes per street.

Perhaps some of the building-type values of entrance=* started out this way, but then mappers saw these values and thought they needed to apply them more broadly for consistency.

Note that not all of the garage entrances above are overhead garage doors, and not all the main entrances are private either. I’m counting on data consumers to infer that houses and their entrances are private unless something about the building says otherwise.

Thanks for bringing up the exit=* key. I think it’s quite an improvement over the entrance=exit and entrance=emergency tags that were defined in the original proposal. Recently, I came across an emergency entrance to a postal sorting facility. Naturally, a warehouse of flammables would have dedicated entrances for firefighters. entrance=emergency is the most obvious tag, but unfortunately it’s defined as a kind of exit.

San José Main Post Office (© 2017 Nikki Diaz, CC BY-SA 4.0)

entrance=emergency is the most obvious tag, but unfortunately it’s defined as a kind of exit.

exactly, entrance=emergency with the intent to tag an exit not usable as an entrance, is troll tagging, it doesn’t make sense and should be deprecated.

I would expect it to have staircase with at least 2 different levels, but in general I agree

I agree

I agree

Since entrance=emergency is defined as an exit, I’d suggest entrance=service + service=emergency_access, identical to how you tag service roads.

I don’t quite agree. There is no word that properly describes an entrance and an exit at the same time (opening? No.), and nearly every exit can be used as an entry (once opened), except for turnstiles, which are tagged as barriers.
I’ve always treated entrance=* as both entrances and exits to/from buildings. I haven’t heard anyone complaining that “we should deprecate entrance=*, because nearly all of them are also exits and not just entrances”. The alternative would be to

  1. Have entrance=* being used for everything that is an entrance and optionally an exit
  2. Redefine the tag exit=* to be used for everything that is an exit only from a building and cannot be used as an entrance to a building

Or we just continue to treat entrance=* as either an entrance, an entrance+exit, or an exit-only, depending on the value. Having two different keys, just because there isn’t a proper English term for “entrance or exit” seems moot.