Tag standard needed for "a post_office in a store"

I have seen so many variants of this since 2010.
OpenStreetMap need a standard for tagging shops that are offering parcel services, manned, or un-manned.

This is a problem that been around for a long time, discussed in many forum threads, but I can still not find an official tag standard.
International parcel operators have historically always delivered directly to customers, but times are changing, and there needs to be a tag for the new “pickup points”. Manned or un-manned.

Some background from my country:
In Sweden regular post offices are almost gone entirely. Instead postal services are available in many different types of shops. Supermarkets, Tobacco stores, Candy stores. And with same opening hours as the “shop=”. Same staff. NEVER the postal operators staff, never with own opening hours for the parcel service. There is even a new type of pick-up service available on some locations, which is a “fusion between a shop and pick-up-point” called Leveriet (a made-up-word, maybe “Ship-n-Store”). You get your parcel, try your goods in a personal cabin, keep it, or directly return it to sender.

And because the lack of wiki-standard for tagging this, shops are in a risk of vanishing on openstreetmap shops in Sweden, because people re-tag shops as “amenity=post_office”. Or there is a risk the map will never have correct tags on where you can send/receive parcels. And this in times where more and more buy stuff online. Need to return parcels to shops online, etc…

A common suggestion of solving this situation has been to place two nodes, where one is a “amenity=postal_office”. But first: it is not an Amenity, these pickup-points are “a-part-of-a-store”. It is the shop employees manning the pickup-point, with the exact same opening hours. Secondly: Not all postal services are available. And lastly: For us users editing opening_hours, etc, this will create duplicate work, updating two nodes. :rage:

At least in Sweden one of the most common questions customers have when they know a package is available for pickup is: What opening hours do the shop have that has the pickup point?. The parcel operator says: Ask the Shop (because the pick-up-point is not theirs).

Again: I think there is a need of creating a tag standard for nodes with “post_partner/pickup” services

According to tagfinder.herokuapp.com there is a tag “post_office=✱”, to be used “for post offices in a store”.
(https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:post_office) ← which is empty

Someone with knowledge about proposing a new tag in wiki should create a well written proposal, and let us in forum know about it (so we all can vote).
I do not dare do it as a newbie, because I have learned that when the vote is done, the case is closed. Like forever.

My proposal (so far, and based on both German and French variants seen in other threads):

(post_office=yes) -> so widely used so can't probably take this away
post_office:operator=Deutsche Post|DHL|Hermes|TNT|...

So lets brake the above down if it works:
The main shop is a “supermarket” in this case, and this is what the signs on the street say. At most there is a small sticker in the window saying something like “DHL”. At least in many parts of Sweden.

A “brand” should not be mistaken for what it is a brand for → Check

Is this a post_office → Sometimes, so could be useful if more specification is then added

So what is the situation going inside the shop?
When you enter the shop, there is a manned desk where you can send/receive parcels from one, or two operators, or sometimes (not always) an official post_partner for that country. Stamps are not always available to buy, it needs to be defined. → Check

Is this an official postal partner? → Tag for that too → Check
Although: Lately more and more “self-service-boxes” are being put INSIDE shops. So these tags need to be flexible, but rock solid. So maybe the tag postal_office:type needs expansion to things like “vending_machine”. Although quickly you end up with possibility for multi-value. Not sure if that could be allowed.

Last tag is important if you know which operator you know is delivering to you. But I feel that a parcel “operator” should be able to be tagged, without the “demand of being a Post Office”. So not a perfect fit, but good enough if this tag is ALWAYS used (if updating from open sources by script)

And the above suggestion would need updates to the following pages:
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:post_office:type → exists when writing this post

Although the more I think about it (writing this down matures my thought) is to maybe even complement the vending=parcel_pickup, to maybe something like parcel_pickup:type=vending, and then tag other main tags (like shop=, amenity=) with tags showing it is a pick-up-point for parcels. Because I do not see why you from a customers point of view would care if it is manned/un-manned as long the opening hours are the same as the shop you are entering. Which would change my suggestion to a completely new tag:

parcel_pickup:type=vending or manned
parcel_pickup:operator=Deutsche Post|DHL|Hermes|TNT|... <- multi-value accepted

Summary what I want help with in this thread:
What are the steps of getting ONE official “tag definition”/way in OSM-wiki for all these parcel pick-up-points which are located in another amenity/shop?
I mean: The answer could be that you always need to define

There is a german version for post_office: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/DE:Key:post_office

There are no longer any “real” post offices in Germany. In Germany there are only shops or bank branches (“Postbank”) that offer postal services.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with shop=*, amenity=post_office. Obviously only one can be rendered, but it is correct tagging, particularly if opening hours etc are the same.

In the UK many post offices have relocated to other stores (most small post offices- sub post offices in official speak - were already various kinds of shops), although in general they have distinct counters with a separate till (and potentially opening hours), but not necessarily staff. Additionally post offices can be found in village halls (East Keswick, Yorks), pubs (Cookham Dean, Berkshire) and no doubt other places. The only general difference to is that in larger shops it is usually possible to map the post office as a separate node.

Good points. And from another two country perspectives thumbs-up

I have no time to test this now (or the nearest couple of days).
But would the following render a supermarket icon?:

post_office:operator=Deutsche Post|DHL|Hermes|TNT|...

Because if the above would render a Supermarket, where you still could use search to find “a specific post_partner operator”, then I feel it is “good enought”.
(and that wiki-page could then need some love with about the same info as in the German variant)

FYI, there’s a proposal for a dedicated tagging scheme for abitraty shop/amenity/… that also offer postal services: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/DE:Proposed_features/Paketshops

While I agree to this, I still see need to either add a new key or to review the general rule to have only exactly one value for amenity: How else to map if the postal service is not offered by a shop but an amenity, e.g. a cafe, library, bank or social_centre?

I also fully agree with that.

But amenity=post_office is wrong if you can only pickup parcels.

It is also wrong to delete shop tag in such case.

Such case may, sadly, need two nodes.

Or introduction of special tagging that would make post office part see facto hidden.

Have you really got banks where you can send parcels and buy stamps? Someone really hates OSM tagging :slight_smile:

Yep, completely agree a parcel office/pick-up point is not the same as a post office.

I really dislike that because of redundand information (sometimes we’ll need even 4 nodes for the same physical thing!) which runs out of sync relatively often. It just came to my mind we could add a new datatype “reference” (i.e. one node tells "take opening_hours values from node 123"*) to overcome that. I will look for exisisting forum posts and if I find none, I will start one.

Luckily, we already have mature data consumers like searches and renderers that are powerful enough to overcome that problem :slight_smile: For example, in OsmAnd, Locus, Maps.me etc. I can search as well as filter for kinds of POIs (e.g. “food & drink” or “financial & postal service” in Locus) and that way, I can make post_partner=yes appear in a result list and/or on the map even though initially, the cafe function/icon is dominant. Moreover, vector maps have the ability to change rendering themes, i.e. for the same offline map data file, a user may switch between “outdoor” and “shopping” and “transport” and “communication theme”. The latter would neglect amentity=cafe in favor of *post_partner, post_office, shop=mobile,… *properties showing their icons. The data consumption of themes can be neglected (kbytes) compared to the map data (gbytes) so it does not hurt to have multiple themes.

Another approach would be to show multiple icons in one. Similar to file managers showing 4 image thumbnails in a folder’s icon, or like grouping nearby POIs in low zoom levels of a map application.

Ultimately, I hope at least, we will not any more need the restriction “excatly one value only” for keys like shop, amenity, craft etc.

Suprisingly, also to me: Yes, indeed. A few times it was really hard to decide what amenity - bank, post, or cafe - is predominant as all had around the same space, advertisement etc :expressionless: That happened mainly in really rural areas (think northern Scandinavia or alpine regions, where the same POI is often also bus/train ticket office and/or food shop) where many services have of course not :wink: to be bundled to attract sufficient amount of customers per day to pay off the employee’s wage and the infrastructure, but just and only to make OSM tagging more challenging :wink:

@airship Sorry, I forgot to reply to your inital post!

IMHO this can already be nicely tagges with existing vending=parcel_pickup and these things really are machines (i.e. the term vending_machine matches), so personally, I don’t see need to change that.

That would be OK for me. The initial proposal author chose a different wording which re-uses another tag already used for the purpose, and emphasizes it’s not primarily a postal location but some random location “just” partnering with a post as a secondary business. Also this is OK for me - for me, the wording does not matter as much as to finally get an agreed tagging scheme :wink:

Your 2nd idea of “parcel_pickup” is IMHO from the wording too narrow, as e.g. in Germany these locations do mostly always offer pickup/receiving as well as mailing/sending parcels. So the name would not match the function.

Do you feel the current proposal will match the Swedish reality and you needs?

In Germany: Yes. Postbank often offers services of Deutsche Post and DHL. In some cases, the bank branch look more like a post office.

Like @OSM_RogerWilco wrote: it has grown historically. More than 100 years ago, the only option was to use the post office to carry out cashless payment transactions over long distances. (Thank god for internet :smiley: ) After the federal post office was privatized, the resulting state bank still belonged to the new “Deutsche Post AG” and was only later sold to another bank.
To make it more complicated: Often you have post-offices, that have services of the “postbank” and you have banks of “postbank” that offers servises of the “Deutsche Post”… :smiley:

Hello everyone,

Since time has turned a little further, post_partner has become a modification to post_office in the consensus building.
The updated proposal can still be found at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/shop_as_post-partner
If anyone has any comments - bring them on! Otherwise, I would soon push it towards voting.