[OSM-dev] Ponderings about an improved tagging scheme

marcus.wolschon at googlemail.com marcus.wolschon at googlemail.com
Fri Feb 20 09:39:18 GMT 2009

On Fri, 20 Feb 2009 09:24:55 +0000, G H S <tiosancho at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Well, I'm not sure that the kind of objects found on a map can't be
> categorized by a sufficiently flexible system.

* objects belonging to multiple "types"?
* different ways of categorizing the same information?

>  Given the name
> OpenStreetMap, I'd think there's a finite collection of object types that
> make sense here.

Given the imagination of people it was proven beyond any doubt
that the collection is infinite.

> Plus, the current system seems to be aiming for more organization than
> a free-form collection of tags.  Otherwise, wouldn't we just have an
> attribute called "tags", followed by a delimited series of values?

Strange, I was under the impression that our system was quite chaotic
and worked under the 2 rules:
1. "just do it or be ignored"
2. "don't break what others have build or they will get very angry"

> If we have [attribute]=[value],


> I'd expect to see a defined collection of attributes somewhere.

Dream on. If we had a defined collection, we would not have
tag-keys being user-defined strings.

>  As it stands, we seem to have [value]=[some other
> value].  What constrains the left term, as opposed to the right term?

nothing, thanks for noticing.

> How about an orderly collection of attributes (which would cover most of
> what's going on now with things like "highway=" or "natural=") WITH the
> option of a free-form "tags" attribute for object types and attributes
> fall through the cracks?

What about you start working on such an order so that it encompasses
people have already done or are currently doing and we see each other again
say... 15 years?

> Given that a major goal of this project is to create a repository of data
> that are machine-readable and -filterable, wouldn't consistency in
> help quite a bit?

Yes and we achieve consistency by consense.
People do like other people have already done.
Everything else has failed due to being ignored by an army of mappers.


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