Tags in containing area vs tags in contained building


Many times I see commercial/residential/religious buildings, with an area surrounding it, strictly correlated to it and with the exact same usage.

It’s clear that I should tag the area with “landuse” and the building with “building”.

But which one is the amenity? The land, the building, both?

And what about all the other tags? Like the religion, the address, the operator… the guide suggest to give the detailed tags to the building, but to me it makes way more sense to give the detailed tags to the area. What should I do?

generally add the tags to where they apply. The amenity could be the whole grounds or the whole building, or just a part of them (all typical situations). It is preferable to not mix things, i.e. when the whole building is occupied it is still better to use a different object for the amenity and not add its tags to the building object (although it is commonly done)

To echo @dieterdreist - it depends on what actually IS an amenity.

For example in some religions/places entire grounds are place of worship, in some entire building is a place of worship, or part of the building, or part of the grounds…

Address may be assigned to building, entrance, gate, part of building, entire grounds… - tag it depending on situation. Address node works in general, but in case of address assigned to entire hospital with many buildings: tag it on hospital area.

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yes, and apart from where the address is assigned to (entrance, building, site) there will often be businesses or other pois which use the address (also several pois can all use the same address sometimes), and I would add address tags to these as well.

I give you two practical examples.

First example, Church, OpenStreetMap .
For me, it doesn’t make sense to mark only the building as a “place of worship”, and leave the area as just “religious”, because the area is dedicated exclusively to that specific church, so the area has the same address, religion, historic status, wikipedia page of the actual building inside it. In my opinion, it seems more natural to put all relevant tags (address, denomination, name, historic status, wiki page) on the area and put only the tag “church” on the area built up above ground. In my opinion, being the built up area materially inside the land area, it “inherits” all tags in the land area. The opposite (the big area inherits from the small one) looks illogical.

Second example, pumping station, OpenStreetMap .
For the same reasons as above, instead of the recommended way

  • tag on area: landuse industrial
  • tag on building: amenity pumping station, relevant name/operator/substance

It looks way more natural to set

  • tag on area: amenity pumping station, relevant name/operator/substance
  • tag on building: building

For the same inheritance observations of the first case.