Should school grounds include their sports fields?

A few schools in my area have a simple field as part of their grounds/owned land, used by the pupils for recreation, sports, and semi-public events like fairs. (This isn’t quite a schoolyard, but is sometimes used as one.) Since this is within the boundary of the school and used by students on a daily basis, I’ve included it in the amenity=school area, but this has the unfortunate side-effect of moving focus away from the main building(s) of the school, which is the part that most people are interested in when looking at a map.

To demonstrate what I mean, in the image below the school field is the rectangle-ish bit to the north, but the main building and classrooms are in the area to the south. Because of how the geometry works out, the label has ended up far away from the ‘logical’ centre of the school and perhaps the amount of area highlighted is misleading.

Screenshot of OSM Carto at 51.27382, -0.40057

Should these school fields even be included in the school’s area? Should landuse=education come into this? Or is this just a rendering problem that could theoretically be solved by tagging the main entrance/building and smarter rendering? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Practically all our school grounds are fenced and have pitches, playgrounds within, so here yes.


That’s a question of rendering and in my opinion should not affect what is mapped as the area that belongs to a school (if it does).

All larger facilities “suffer” from this. The same implication arises when navigating to such facilities. You will most of the time end up at the centroid of the area. I am therefore very much an advocate to use landuse=education and map schools (and other POIs) as nodes.


I agree with both of your points made: the field is indeed part of the school, as demonstrated by it being fenced off for most/all of the perimeter.

A similar rendering problem has been solved for country borders by creating label nodes in the boundary relation, but at present we don’t do anything similar for small-scale areas.

Regarding schools as nodes, I believe it is still useful to also have an amenity=school area, e.g. to answer the question “which school is this building part of?”. But I suppose that is a separate discussion.

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