University of Cambridge: codes for buildings


This building
appears to have a university-related code.

Does anyone know why that’s there, and what it means for me wanting to edit that building?



Looks like it has been added long time ago, you can ask the original mapper then:

The map that the University uses is based on OSM, and the original mapper was a believe employed as a contractor to set things up. Generally, the principle is that anyone in OSM can edit anything, and if something’s wrong, anyone can correct anything.

There has been some discussion (on the talk-gb mailing list as least) about whether each individual building such as should have “amenity=university” on it.

If you were going to add more information about the building I’m sure it wouldn’t cause a problem

Yes David Earl mapped all the university sites as a contractor. The two things not to change are the amenity=university and the reference codes: to do so may break an app which has been in use for many years.

The problem with altering amenity=university is that to do so may break both the university’s web map & the mobile phone app offered to students. The reference codes are used for things like location of events etc. These are both examples of tags which whilst perhaps not mainstream, are not wrong and always being aware of the needs of **existing **consumers.

Thanks for those: v. useful.

Can anyone (familiar with Oxbridge?) suggest a suitable tag for a ‘court’?

The building in question is part of Thirkill Court, that western bit of the campus that metonymically gets called Memorial Court (you’d only care about the difference if you were heading to Thirkill and wondered why you couldn’t find it).

I see elsewhere just the central grass has name=X Court, which isn’t quite what I want.

Is this a case for a relation? If so do I have to give it a key=value or is just naming it enough?

Well “not wrong” is debatable - at best I’d say it was “understandable, given it was all set up in 2011”. The “too many universities in Cambridge” issue was raised back in 2015 (see ). I fully agree with David’s concern at the time that any schema “doesn’t change under our feet” (as he said in a reply to that thread), but to be fair that was posted 4 years ago and I can’t believe that between then and now there hasn’t been time to revisit apps and websites using that data.

With regard to “court tagging”, the name and tag you’re seeing has a fairly localised use - see and (all Cambridge apart from two ways in Oxford). Another approach was taken in the college just to the west (see e.g. ), but that’s a bit different because the courts there are just pedestrian areas - no lawns etc.

One place you might try asking is the tagging list - you’ll probably get 94 different answers but in amongst the chaff you might find one or two sensible suggestions. In the mean time if you go with “landuse=college_court” it will at least fit in with what else is there, and if those are ever changed in the future, yours can be too.

I had to laugh at the “familiar with Oxbridge” question - OSM as a project in the UK has rather more than its fair share of contributors from Cambridge University (and to a lesser extent Oxford), including at least two of the people replying in this thread…

:slight_smile: and the OP, still so affectionately attached to the place that I haven’t discarded my Hermes moniker…