[OSM-dev] Proposal: Make relations ordered

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Mon Mar 17 20:56:25 GMT 2008


> No, but the argument is actually that if it's too complicated for
> potlatch then it's too complicated full-stop. If only experts end up
> being able to do something then in general it won't get done. That
> might be OK for the bits where there are experts, but most areas on
> our map have never had an expert anywhere near them. We want cyclists,
> walkers, business owners etc mapping


> not computer geeks

Why don't we want them too?

The fact is, even if it may not be en-vogue to say, making a good map
requires a hell of a lot of experience and training and advanced
tools. The army of schoolkids will help us tremendously, but we will
need people with an eye for detail to polish it up. Some areas on our
map have moved past the stage where we could actually use an army of
schoolkids - they are now where we want to encourage people to enter
stuff like turn restrictions, or the information that certain roads
actually share one bridge instead of running over parallel bridges, or
certain buidlings actually form one big entity together, etc.; this
can only be done with relations, and we have to give these people the
proper tools for the job. Yes, it IS complicated, but it is a
complicated matter, what did you expect? The alternative is saying
that anything we can't do with a limited toolset we just don't do.
That is a strategic discussion we should perhaps have at some point,
but currently my opinion is that I don't want to say "no, we don't do
<complex cartography feature X> in OSM, it requires too much expertise
when entering."

Leaving anything that cannot be done by an army of schoolkids to the
competition is a very bad idea in my eyes. Asking the army of
schoolkids to enter complex relationships is a bad idea as well.
Dropping support for complex concepts because the army of
schoolchildren doesn't understand it anyway is... of course also a bad

> Ofcourse making relations ordered arguably isn't really that
> complicated, and in itself it isn't, except that relations are already
> extremely complicated for the average user. The more levels of
> indirection and rules we add the worse it gets and the steeper the
> learning curve becomes.

True. By making relations ordered, I believe you can save some
otherwise-needed extra indirection.

> And having a mixed set of editors, ones that support ordering, and
> ones that don't, are likely to cause more confusion.

It's going to straighten out eventually. We don't have a requirement
to be done by a certain day. 


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00.09' E008°23.33'

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