I am looking to find all residential buildings with overpass-turbo.eu. I am trying to use the following query:


However, not many residential buildings are found in this way.

Which tags should be used to find the buildings through overpass-turbo, which may be multi-use but also residential (residential and commercial, or residential and retail...)?

1 Answer 1


Not all buildings have a corresponding typology tag. Many are just tagged with building=yes (currently 81% of all buildings). Some might have an additional building:use=residential tag.

Remember that the OSM database is primarily populated by volunteers. Some are too "lazy" to enter the building topologies, others just don't know or care about it. Feel free to improve the situation by contributing to OSM.

  • You might be able to derive dual use buildings from those tagged building=yes by also querying lots of POIs (amenity=*, shop=*, office=*) and then using some GIS afterwards to perform point in polygon analysis.
    – til_b
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 20:44
  • Thank you for the replies! @scai: Is this building:use=residential the only residential tag left, among upper 5 mentioned, as far as you know? I tried searching for it, and it's very rare. Although I understand what you said about volunteers being lazy. @til_b: How would those POIs identify if a building is also residential or not?
    – marco
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 22:13
  • 1
    @marco You can take a look at the taginfo page for building:use to see the most common values. taginfo generates statistics about OSM tags and their usage. This page also shows that you are correct and this key is rarely used (600k usages compared to 200M buildings in OSM).
    – scai
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 6:50
  • Thank you once again for the useful reply @scai !! I understand that it may be difficult to manage open database as OSM, where each user can tag what ever he wants. Nevertheless, I am very surprised, that the OSM community itself, hasn't came up with at least a suggestion, on the best way of tagging these sorts of multi-use buildings (residential + commercial/retail...).
    – marco
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 8:20
  • 2
    Theoretically you can add multiple values separated with a semicolon, for example building:use=residential;commercial. However various software won't handle this correctly.
    – scai
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 8:29

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