Tagging of markets

One thing that is prevalent in Thailand are these “markets” or market areas. I was wondering how to best tag them. I am not sure if the amenity=marketplace is the right choice here. It already reflects in the name:

The classical european market is a marketplace, meaning it is located on a big open otherwise empty area like the plaza at the town center or a big parking lot.

The Thai “markets” are different though. For starters, many stalls are fixed in place, like on the Jatujak. Otherwise, they sprawl along the sides of sois and roads. So first, the borders of these markets are hard to make out as sometimes within the market area, sometimes there will be even large roofs or market halls within that area but otherwise the buildings “inside” the market area might not belong to the market but be normal residential houses.

Soo… how would you map these Thai markets? If they aren’t marketplaces, how else could one map them? What do you do with the houses in between the busy market stalls? Would you include the road in the market area even if it is a big street with multiple lanes and not just a soi?
To map a market area just as a commercial area is also not a good solution in my opinion because the market could as well be within a larger commercial area. Take for example the Jatujak market, or the Pratunam market (both in Bangkok)


most “marketplace” are actually exactly what you expect to be a marketplace in Thailand. The same expectation on what a marketplace is in Europe also exists in Thailand.

If you forget a second about these “souvenir”/non-food markets most marketplace are fitting quite well into the definition of a marketplace.
I see no problem in the fact that many of them have a roof. Given the strong sun and rain happening in Thailand it’s a logical way of building a market like that and not that much open-air like known from Europe.

Also don’t forget that unlike Europe a lot of people are still using these markets on a daily basis to buy food there. These non-permanent markets in Europe are often only once a week or less.

Much of this probably was caused by only some towns had the right to have a market at all:

Everyday indoor marketplaces are also tagged with amenity=marketplace. I consider this perfectly matching the meaning of tagging:

For Jatujak I would have used probably landuse=retail or something like that. What’s different of Jatujak comparing the goods on sale with eg MBK? the animal section maybe :slight_smile:


The issue here I think is the loose meaning of the Thai term ตลาด (talat), which directly translates as “market”. It usually refers to dedicated areas (usually roofed, with several stalls) serving as permanent marketplaces, but it can also refer to large downtown retail areas, covering several streets and including all the shophouses along them (which are distinct shops in their own right). For the former sense I think amenity=marketplace works well. For the latter, I think landuse=retail is probably a better description, possibly combined with place=neighbourhood if the name is established.