Introduction of Supplier and Customer roles for relations

Hi folks,
I am happy to have joined this awesome community recently. My mapper experience is quite short yet. However, I am active in those community map projects as software engineer:

I find relations interesting and have a question about it.

I found relations used to map administrative bounderries, geographic objects like islands or public transport routes so far. Probably, there is more going on I did not know yet.

Did anyone came up with the idea to map the supplier/customer network of our local communities to stress its importance?

The more local our customer/supplier relation network, the more resilient is our community. That idea originates in the Matrix of the Economy of the Common Good: Common Good Matrix - Economy for the common good

For instance, I am running a Tech company in Brunswick. My print products are supplied by Umweltdruckerei from Hannover, the weekly fruitbox is supplied by a BS BIO farmer, the Umweltzeitung newspaper is also supplied locally, the DIY/hacking space is supplied by Stratum0 BS, power is supplied from a Coop in HH and refurbished IT is supplied by AfB from Dürren. That are all objects already in the OSM database, only the links are missing to make up that network.

A relation could be of role supplier in one way and of role customer in the other way, if it is a mutual link. With this concept, you achive a relationship network of suppliers and customers telling you the degree of conectivity and resilience of you community.

Would be the OSM database a good place to maintain those relations?


No, this kind of information has no Geo aspect.

  • It is a realatioship between conpanies, persons.
  • the information might be company-confidential.

You could say the same about public transport routes. But those are mapped already.

Wrong. A bus stop is a geo location and a bus takes you from one location to another.

I myself am not a fan of mapping public transport routes. However, they are verifiable on-the-ground if you are willing to invest some time. There are some exceptions to this, for example the already mentioned administrative boundaries, which are normally not verifiable on-the-ground, but which are very important for almost everything and therefore integrated into OSM.

Supplier-customer-relations on the other hand cannot be verified by others and are merely a niche application. They are definitely not important or geo-related enough to be mapped anyways.


Well, if routing and navigating with apps is a geo-application then it should include public transport as well - also to provide multi-modal routing. If you want to go from A to B by public transport, then use bus 210 as mapped in route-relation xxx.

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Yes, I see their right to exist. It’s just that I can’t verify them by foot (walking) or bicycle or aerial imagery, so they are always out of date in my area. :confused:

Which would be even more of a problem for the supplier-consumer-relations discussed here.

Hi and welcome!

No, but you could make your suppliers database and from there reference elements in OSM database. And use the combination to produce the map you want to have.

For extra reasons why OSM would not be a good place, see for example Verifiability - OpenStreetMap Wiki and Good practice - OpenStreetMap Wiki (yes I know your suggestion is not about local legislation, but same principles apply)


What’s your area? For many public transport associations we have GTFS data and the right to use them. If your ‘network’ is not on the list, maybe they nevertheless provide the info with an OSM compatible license?

Thx everyone for your helpful replies. Appreciate!