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Public-images-osm logo.svg shop = vacant
30 E Jackson 2017-01-11 242.jpg
Shop that is currently not being used. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: lifecycle
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)should not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
See also
Status: in usePage for proposal

shop=vacant can be used to indicate empty shops and other empty retail premises, in particular if the premises are in a good condition and re-use for retail seems to be intended (for example, but not required, if “vacant”, or “for lease/for sale” is posted in the windows).

If a shop becomes vacant, e.g. if a business moves out, the element should not be deleted. Instead, the information about the retail space and its use (both its history and current vacancy) should be preserved in OpenStreetMap as long as it exists in reality (Keep the history).

shop=vacant does neither require nor imply that past or future use of the premises was or will be of type shop=* but could be, for example, amenity=restaurant, leisure=fitness_centre + sport=yoga, or tourism=gallery.

How to map

Set a node node or draw as an area area along the shop outline. Tag it with shop=vacant. Do not include, instead remove if present, any information about the previous use of the shop (e.g. name, opening hours, phone number, website, usage type if not shop=*). Keep information about the premises (e.g. location, address, level).

Tags used in combination

  • addr:*=* – the address of the premises
  • level=* – the level(s) of the premises in a building
  • operator=* – the operator of the premises (e.g. a property management agency)
  • owner=* – the owner of the premises

Relation to disused:shop=*

Some mappers have critized shop=vacant; they argued a shop should sell something to be called a shop while a vacant shop sells nothing, and they prefer the use of disused:shop=* over shop=vacant. The criticism has been discussed on the talk page. While vacant and disused cannot be used synonymously in English language, OSM data is practically not useful to differentiate disused from vacant shops. shop=vacant and disused:shop=* are approximately equally popular and are widely in use, and the selection of either scheme appears to be a matter of personal preference. However, empty new retail premisses that have never been used before can be argued to be not qualifying for disused as not fully qualifying “A closed-down shop of some sort [sic!] that is no longer a shop.” describing disused:shop=* On the other hand this distinction is really minor.

See this OSM Tag History which shows the development of the usage numbers of the different tags in comparison.

Data consumers that need to identify vacant retail premises should support both shop=vacant, and disused:shop=*. StreetComplete's quest “Check if vacant shop is still vacant” is issued on vacant shops that are tagged using either scheme. If a data consumer needs to specifically identify shops that sell any goods or that provide any services (without further specification), elements with shop=vacant should be ignored. As with any other shop type, it is the data consumer's responsibility to understand what shop=vacant-elements are and how to use them in their application.

The use of disused:shop=* allows to keep the previous shop type (e.g. disused:shop=hairdresser). This information, however, should only presevered if the corresponding features are actually still on the ground, for example, if operations of the shop have been ceased, but inventory has been left behind. (The history of the OSM element is captured in its history and past tag values rather than in its current tags.) If the shop location is empty (even if the previous use is still identifiable as a shop=hairdresser, e.g. by markings on the floor or walls), the shop is no longer a disused:shop=hairdresser but would be a removed:shop=hairdresser. In any case, preserving the information of the previous use in the current tags would usually violate the “Don't map historic features” practice. If the name of the previous shop is no longer verifiable by survey (e.g. shop name signs), the name=* should be removed from the element following the “Map what's on the ground” practice.

Relocation of a business

If a business moves to a new location, transferring the shop information to a different (new or existing) element at the new location, and updating vacancy or new use of the element at the old location accordingly is most consistent. It preserves the history of a physical object on the ground and hence is in line with the “Map what's on the ground” guideline.

Some mappers, however, move the original OSM element to the new location. In this case, a new element at the original position must be created preserving all present information about the old shop (e.g. address, level) and its new vacancy or new use. On the moved element, any address tags need to be updated. Eventually, the amount of editing is the same if all existing information is preserved. (Mappers who move the element often tend to forget updating all data accordingly, such that some information is lost.) In the beginning, moving the element preserves the history of an intangible business rather than the history of the physical shop. Eventually, however, histories of a physical shop and of a business get mixed up when a new business follows at the new location (unless the element is deleted and recreated, which would not preserve any history). A shop element should not be moved if a shop is mapped as part of an area (e.g. a building) that is not physically relocated.

Possible tagging mistakes

If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!

See also

Related keys and tags

  • abandoned:*=* – Namespace for features that have been abandoned by their owner, but which are still useful for navigation and visible in the landscape. Immediate reuse is not planned, and they may have fallen into disrepair.
  • disused:*=* – Namespace for features that have fallen into disuse, but which are still useful for navigation and visible in the landscape.