[OSM-dev] Tag Handling in the Database

Mikel Maron mikel_maron at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 27 02:01:16 GMT 2008

The discussion that followed Gervase's email last week was fascinating, especially the analysis of the OSM community as a anarcho-collective.

However I was surprised to see no one suggest necessary (at least to my mind) technical solutions that don't even touch on the subject of the tag "approval" system.

Currently there's massive duplication of information on tags. Besides what's described below in the wiki, there are presets defined in JOSM and Potlatch, rendering rules for osmarender and mapnik, and other places as well.

Can the key/value, rendering rules and outputs, comments and descriptions, photos, and perhaps if we decide it makes sense, the "approval" process be abstracted to a model for use in rails? What would the goal look like, and are there small intermediate steps which are obtainable?


----- Original Message ----
From: Gervase Markham <gerv-gmane at gerv.net>
To: talk at openstreetmap.org
Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 5:54:29 AM
Subject: [OSM-talk] Tag proposal/approval system is too heavyweight

[I'm afraid this might be a bit of a complaint without a solution, as I 
don't have the necessary wiki skills to fix this. But I hope someone 
else does.]

The admin involved in proposing and approving tags, in terms of the wiki 
changes required, is far too heavyweight. (Note: I'm _not_ complaining 
about the voting system, only the admin required.) In order to mark two 
new values as approved, I had to:

- Remove each one from Proposed Features
- Add them back to Approved Features
- Edit the relevant Map_Features sub-template to add a new line for each
- Create a new page for each tag, explaining what it does (which 
duplicates data on the individual Proposal page)

Each of these editing operations is tricky because you have to fill in 
various fields in various templates which are far from obvious as to 
their function.

Here's the way it would work in an ideal world:

- Cut the relevant table line out of Proposed_Features and add it to 
- Er...
- That's it.

This would require:
- Proposed_Features and Map_Features to have compatible templates.
- Writing proposals in a style as if they were accepted, which is fine. 
(Unaccepted proposals would be automagically marked with "this proposal 
is not yet official.)
- Creating all tag explanation pages in the same namespace, rather than 
Proposed_features/Foo and Map_Features/Foo.

Does anyone else see what I'm driving at?


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