[Osmf-talk] Directed Editing Policy

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Tue Nov 21 20:15:03 UTC 2017

On Tuesday 21 November 2017, Tobias Knerr wrote:
> In many ways, our data model is still "crowdsourced", i.e. based on
> how tags are actually used in the database. Due to the ability to
> coordinate a large number of edits, directed editing has the power to
> profoundly shift, dilute, or establish such de facto tagging
> standards. And unfortunately, some organizations have in the past
> used directed editing to roll out tags that they had invented or
> repurposed themselves, without properly taking feedback from the
> community into account.

I think this is an important point - it kind of boils down to the 
question if directed mapping has the same freedom to use "any tags you 
like" as individual mappers have.

> It is my opinion that, ideally, directed editing should seek to limit
> itself to tagging practices that are already established in the
> community. If that's not possible for some reason, those differences
> to existing tagging practices need to be part of the director's
> communications with the community.

Note the draft in B2 already requires directed mappers to abide by the 
good practice rules (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Good_practice) 
which includes the requirement to "Document your custom-tags".  That 
means while directed mapping is allowed to use any tags including newly 
invented ones they have to document them.

IMO it would be problematic to deny any mapper the freedom to create new 
tags because that would on the other hand encourage incorrect use of 
existing tags.  Because we have the free form tagging in OSM our tags 
are not designed to cover all possibilities so there is always the 
possibility there is something for which no established tag exists 
(there are other geodata models based on the idea that there is an 
exhaustive list of attributes and everything is to get the attribute 
that fits best - this is not the case for OSM).

Christoph Hormann

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