How do I correctly map houses

I am new to Open street maps, and I started mapping the houses in the neighborhoods that I know of. I’m in Virginia, USA. Is there a way to put in additional information about the houses? For example, around here (and I think most of US) houses are either townhouses, single family houses or apartments. Is there a way to tag the type of house?

Also, usually streets have schools assigned to them. So, any kids living in that street would all go to the same school. Is there a way to link a house to the school? or maybe draw the boundary for each school? Note that the school itself might be outside it’s boundary, and the boundary might have holes/multiple polygons.


After you drew the way of the building (do not forget to make it rectangular) you add the tag building=house for a house - for example.
More information you can find here and here.

If the boundaries are official: sure you can put them into OSM but I cannot help you there. I prefer to map more concrete data and still am not done with this. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the link. I was mapping everything as points. I’m glad I caught the mistake early on

The boundaries are official, and available on public government websites. How do I draw multiple polygons? or polygons with holes on them?

It is not really an error to map a building as node - but with ways it is just better. :slight_smile:

You have to make sure that you are allowed to use the data from the government in OSM.

Mapping boundaries could be tricky with the editor you use - but just try it.
Have a look at the existing data to get a feeling how things are done.
The wiki about boundaries.
The wiki about boundary relations which are necessary when you have more then one polygon for the boundary.

The most advanced editor for OSM you maybe should have a look at for advanced tasks: JOSM. Maybe you will like it. :slight_smile: