[OSM-dev] Ponderings about an improved tagging scheme

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Thu Feb 19 22:35:11 GMT 2009


Steve Hill wrote:
> I've been thinking about ways to improve the way objects are tagged in OSM 
> - for a long time I've seen some problems with the way we currently tag 
> things, and I finally got around to writing down some of my thoughts on 
> the subject.

I *had* been wondering; we had the usual recurring left-right tagging 
discussion but the bi-monthly Absolutely New And Improved Tagging Scheme 
was overdue for a while. Thanks for jumping in and helping us out ;-)

Your concept is utterly unworkable of course with the current software 
landscape, but if we leave that aside for a moment, then you do have an 
interesting point, in fact one that was raised by Jochen and myself in 
our April 2007 data model paper[1], back when we were still young and 
believed we could change the world.

Quoting from that paper:

"Instead of having a geometric object with some properties, we instead 
think of objects with some properties (like “this is a museum” and “this 
has the name Natural History Museum”) and the added property of “this 
object is positioned at such and such a location”. ... So the geometry 
is not the object itself, as it is now, but it is just one property of 
some kind of abstract object."

I believe this is indeed the way many pros are doing it - there is an 
object and the geometry is one of many properties of the object. It is a 
concept to keep in mind for the more distant future; I don't think we 
should aim to do it with the current implementation of relations though.


[1] http://www.remote.org/frederik/tmp/towards-a-new-data-model-for-osm.pdf

Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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