[HOT] Japan - Request for mission details

Andy Robinson (blackadder-lists) ajrlists at gmail.com
Mon Mar 14 12:19:18 GMT 2011

Peter Wendorff [mailto:wendorff at uni-paderborn.de] wrote
>Sent: 14 March 2011 11:16 AM
>To: hot at openstreetmap.org
>Subject: Re: [HOT] Japan - Request for mission details
>Nevertheless the questions Matthias asked are right.
>There is this HOT Data Model - but that model is not really good for
>Perhaps it's useful for organizations using the data, but I miss a landing
page in
>the wiki for "tags often used in crisis mapping".
>The "standard" tags are (I hope) the usual ones, but the tags in question
>repeatingly the same:
>- how to tag a collapsed building?
>- how to tag a collapsed bridge?
>- how to tag a temporary bridge build by helping organizations?
>- how to tag a place where drinking water is availlable?
>- how to tag a place where "lost+found people" are listed?
>- (how) is it possible to state pre- and post crisis sources?
>And last but not least: where and why does the tagging differ from standard
>tagging in OSM?
>As far as I can see yet, HOT targets mainly at the "backend", organization
>aerial photographs and data sources - and trying to support organizations
>using the data. I miss the mapper as a target, yet.

Having had plenty of experience in creating tags in OSM I'll give my view.

Richard Fairhurst wrote http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Duck_tagging as a
way of communicating a very simple point. If a tag is logical then the human
brain can read it and make sense of it. If the tag needs a translation to
make sense of it then it's not doing its job properly. If things are tagged
logically and in simple form then it's easy for mappers, especially new
mappers, to understand them and use them. The KISS approach works best (Keep
it Simple, Stupid).

The list in Peter's post above actually says what the tags might logically
be. E.g.  Building=collapsed, bridge=collapsed, bridge=temporary,
amenity=drinking_water, emergency=missing_persons, earthquake=yes......  you
get the idea.

Of course this approach doesn't necessarily help humanitarian organisations
with the efforts on the ground, they use descriptions and codes that are on
the whole alien to OSM. Mapping from OSM tags to other data exchange formats
is needed and important but it doesn't need to be done by mappers, and nor
do I think it should be. Leave abstraction to those that can best manage the
data, by all means discuss tags here but keep it to the conventional tagging
format within OSM and don't try to solve the wider issues.


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