Talk:Proposed features/landuse=civic

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Status of this proposal?

Barring my edits today, the last edit on this page was in 2015. Based on the proposal process guidelines, I have changed to abandoned for now. Casey boy (talk) 08:39, 15 September 2020 (UTC)


For collection, to be refined for the main page. Land used by...

  • immigration offices
  • ministries
  • parliamental structures
  • government offices
  • embassies, see below

Often such buildings are surrounded by some land and often fenced off. The office=* tag should be kept on the building only, or different offices in a building.

It needs to be discussed if the following should be included:

  • emergency services, hospitals [1]
  • judical services, detention facilities
  • airports[2]

[1] Hospitals are already in their own "landuse" (like schools/universities) by marking the gounds with the amenity or the stubtag. Police/fire/safety are up for discussion though. Javbw (talk) 05:20, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

Police and fire station areas should be treated the same way as schools and hospitals. No need for special landuse for them. Rafmar (talk) 22:12, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

[2] Airports are pure transportation, such as freeways and train stations. This is about *administration* landuse. Amenity=Immigration will cover immigration at the airport. The government office of aviation or rail would be =civic_admin. Javbw (talk) 05:20, 14 November 2014 (UTC)


Depending on the final tag, it needs to be decided if it should include embassies, or not, as they refer to a foreign state, in contrast to 'civil' implying 'domestic, interior, home, national'. But as in amenity=(hospital|school), amenity=embassy can be applied to an area without hassle. [3]

[3] An embassy is not a military installation, and administers services (passports, etc) to it's citizens abroad. It also administers visa and immigration programs for foreign citizens. It is a giant paperwork office - so it really sounds like civic_admin to me (just as the UN is supranational, Embassies are international. There is no locality of service implied by civic_admin, so local to supranational citizen admin is covered. (comment by Javbw on 14 November 2014)

Emergency Services

Fire stations: I see fire stations mentioned in this page several times. Yet landuse for fire stations is already covered by amenity=fire_station. From what I can tell, this is to be used on the whole landuse area and building=fire_station on the specific building).

Ambulance stations: Similarly, the emergency=ambulance_station tag already exists. Though it is less clear how this should be tagged as building=ambulance_station does not officially exist. Does the ambulance_station tag therefore only apply to the building or to the whole landuse area?

Police stations: The amenity=police tag exists to map police stations. However, as with Ambulance stations it is not clear if this applies to the building only or whether it should be used for the complete landuse area.

It would really make sense to clean these three tags up and get some consistency (i.e. use the emergency tag for top-level and then have building=fire_station/ambulance_station/police_station) but that is outside the scope of this proposal. But, regardless, a consistent approach to applying this proposal should be achieved. --Casey boy (talk) 08:28, 15 September 2020 (UTC)


The initially proposed 'dark blue tint' would certainly be nice, but might not fit in the pastell-tone landuse scheme of the main carto style. We might not even want to suggest a particular hue, maybe a rendering recommendation 'solid fill colour' would be sufficient?

Agreed. Rendering should be handled by the renderer. Not the OSM wiki page. Casey boy (talk) 08:30, 15 September 2020 (UTC)

Alternative values

In the related discussion in the tagging mailing list, so far landuse=( governmental | public_administrative | civic | civil | public ) have been evaluated for the purpose in this rationale. Opinions about their pros and cons can be discussed here.

civic and civil

Oxford: civic: "of or relating to a city or town, esp. its administration; municipal", "of or relating to the duties or activities of people in relation to their town, city, or local area", municipal: "of or relating to a city or town or its governing body"

civil: Oxford defines as attribute "of or relating to ordinary citizens and their concerns, as distinct from military or ecclesiastical matters", and in law as "relating to private relations between members of a community; noncriminal"

Thus it includes civil government, civil services, civil affairs, civil law, civil defence. Thus land occupied by tax/pension/immigration offices, ministries, parliaments and their subsidiaries.

It would semantically exclude military, religious, judical/prison areas. By tag definition we can clarify that we want to exclude emergency services, hospitals, educational institutions which are not exclusively provided by the state. --Polarbear w (talk) 16:40, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

civic too broad in meaning

I'm opposing "civil" or "civic" by the definitions you cited above, because it would mean all land excluded that used for military and religious purposes, i.e. it would include residential, commercial (when there is no military or church), retail (if its not a religious institution selling something), industrial (if ...) etc.

I don't see this as helpful given the point from where we are starting (we already tag residential, industrial, commercial, retail areas according to the type of usage, regardless of the nature of the operator (military, civilian, ecclesiastical)).

This would also imply a toplevel distinction between governments that are civil, those that are military and those that are religious (not necessarily a bad thing but might lead to strange tagging differences between countries).

I don't think we should be looking for a "one tags catches all" solution, and see which tags are needed (maintaining compatibility with our current scheme) and what are the best words to describe them.

What about using more specific definitions, e.g. landuse=public_administration? --Dieterdreist (talk) 10:09, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

Clarified civic is short for Civic Services = places for administration or distribustion of services.


of or relating to a city or town or the people who live there
relating to citizenship or being a citizen

Hence, "Services" of or relating to a city or town ➛ government provided services to it's residents ➛ Civic Services.

I'm not understanding how the distinction of government provided (mostly) monopolistic services, relates to what method that government uses to rule it's citizens. A supermarket sells food, regardless if its halal, Kosher, Pastafarian, or Vegan. A DMV registers cars, regardless of the method of regulation creation. --Javbw (talk) 00:30, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

Maybe I skipped over part of your post Dieterdreist, landuse=public_admin is quite good. But would that cover places like Community centres? They are usually thrown into the mix. Maybe Government_admin is a good place to start, but I thought landuse=civic was just a bit wider in scope to include these kind of facilities, and went well with building=civic. if that is a huge sticking point, maybe landuse=Government_admin is a good compromise. --Javbw (talk) 03:34, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

Maybe we need both, =civic and =public_admin? --Polarbear w (talk) 09:57, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

If we want to split civic up into multiple sections, is this a good time to get an Emergency Landuse - a landuse for police/fire/lifeguard/ski patrol/etc? Maybe one seperate for police / fire / safety? This would allow rendering similar to the hospital/ school "grounds" rendering. Javbw (talk) 03:58, 14 November 2014 (UTC)


This value was discussed on the mailing list, however it might be a too limiting concept.


This value was discussed on the mailing list as being used in some context: "Civic refers to the duties of people associated with their governments. Public refers to being "open" as in the lands and buildings." However, "public implies much more openness than we have from some ministries, immigration offices etc, but is certainly a value to consider", and "the line between public and private is not one OSM singles out very much."

public_administrative or public_administration or public_admin

The first value is an adjective fitting good with 'residential' or 'commercial', the noun form is more intuitive. It covers both 'administering the public' and 'being public'.

If we need two tags, what should be covered in each?

Along with some discussion which is the most appropriate tag is the thought to have more than one. To evaluate if there are enough use cases to split the proposal, please collect use cases for each potential tag group:

tag group use cases
civic, civic_services (or similar) [citizen benifits]
 * town hall
 * department of motor vehicles [1]
 * public library 
 * Public Pool
 * Police / fire / rescue /  lifeguard / road  (might be good to make emergency services land use?) 
 * Recreation center / communtiy center / community hall / (any event space) 
 * mixed-use citizen-use complexes (Rec center /park/ swimming pool all together) 
 * 'please add more'
public_admin, civic_admin (or similar) [citizen regulation]
 * Gov't "leadership" building ( City hall / regional capital / national capitals) 
 * Gov't legislation building, from regional to supernational.  (eg: school board to the UN)
 * ministry office (EG: US Dept of Agriculture, non-military facilities  (no Defense, military) 
 * immigration / customs / border inspection offices 
 * embassies
 * power project  areas, dams, offices  and surrounding land (administration of power) [2]
 * irrigation and other water projects' offices   and surrounding land (Administration of water)  [2]
 * offices of program & licensing admin (Motor Vehicles / public pension-medical / tax etc) 
 * Mixed use government admin complexes  (City hall, City Clerk, City council, Police HQ, & tax offices all together)
 * 'please add more'

[1] Town halls and Department of ___ are offices that *administrate* a city or a government program. A library /pool / rec center offers a *service* to to the citizen. -Javbw

[2] most utilities have their own subtag (water, power, etc) so Dams, power generators, irrigation projects, and other physical objects/areas that harness a natural force/resource should fall under those tags somehow. But the local water board or public works office (where the office *administers* the project and interfaces with the citizens) would be civic_admin. Javbw (talk) 03:48, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

Not covered in this proposal

  • Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), such as greenpeaces, red crosses, civil defence, doctors without borders, political parties. A tag landuse=organi[z|s]ational might be feasible here.
landuse=institutional is criticized as being too broad by some in Proposed features/Tag:landuse=institutional. ---- Kovposch (talk) 06:08, 16 September 2020 (UTC)