[OSM-talk] Giving everything a unique ID
osm at inbox.org
Thu Jun 3 15:07:37 BST 2010
On Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 2:26 AM, jamesmikedupont at googlemail.com <
jamesmikedupont at googlemail.com> wrote:
> here is a humble suggestion, instead of giving *everything* unique id,
> we might focus on making some form of permalink that is usable upon
> request. Like for wikipedia articles etc, that we can link to and be
> relatively sure that the link will still be there. Some form of watch
> tool that would inform the user that the permalink he created is
> It would be easier to maintain a list of "don't break me" links than
> to rework the whole system.
Okay, here's a plan. I took some of the detail from
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/UUID but adapted it a
*From the URL for any node/way/relation (or lat/lon pair) one can click on a
button "make permanent link".
*The node/way/relation gets tagged with uuid=*, where * is generated using
an algorithm expected to create a universally unique id (I'll let someone
more expert determine how, but I was thinking some sort of hash on the xml
of the feature itself plus the time). If a lat/lon pair is created then a
new node is created with that uuid.
*A wiki page is set up where http://domain/wiki/UUID has text, links, and a
slippy map. The slippy map highlights the element which has the UUID. The
text is meant to be brief - only enough to uniquely identify the "thing"
(perhaps the description text could even be duplicated in a uuid_description
tag). Links would be used for the actual interesting data about the
*If more than one element points to the same UUID, this is an error - use a
relation if you want to do this.
*Mappers are encouraged to check http://domain/wiki/UUID before deleting or
*A bot goes through regularly checking for additions, deletions, drastic
changes, duplicate UUIDs, etc., and adds them to a list for people to
*All external sources are encouraged to point to UUIDs, not to the element
Please note that I've abandoned the functionality of having multiple uuids
on a single element (e.g. uuid:building and uuid:shop). I felt that this
overcomplicates things from the standpoint of someone clicking on "make
permanent link" - they shouldn't have to know anything about the internal
workings of OSM and I want to maintain the flexibility to tag *anything*,
not just a predetermined list of things. I suppose this could be allowed
for advanced users who want to do things by hand, but it's not in this plan.
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