[Tagging] A first step towards bringing the wiki and tool support closer together

Jonathan Bennett openstreetmap at jonno.cix.co.uk
Wed Dec 9 20:42:08 GMT 2009

Erik Johansson wrote:
> Yes but people say "don't tag for the renderer" which a horrible meme, 
> I say "always tag for the renderer". If there is not visual 
> feedbackyou are doing it wrong (except in keepright).
Only using a tag because it appears in a renderer style sheet (or 
conversely not using one just because it doesn't) is a pretty good 
definition of "tagging for the renderer". Now, if that tag isn't an 
accurate description of the feature you're mapping, then you're doing it 
wrong, even if it does produce an effect on the map.

Note that not all tags *have* a visual representation, so relying on 
having visual feedback to know whether you've done something right can 
be misleading. Equally, not all applications of OSM data involve 
rendering a map (geocoding, routing) so choosing a tag purely based on 
its visual effect can result in errors in those applications.

By all means check the rendered map after you've done some mapping to 
see if you've made a mistake somewhere, but please, please don't change 
the tag you use for a feature purely to make it render in a particular 
way (or at all) on a particular renderer. If the renderer doesn't 
support your tag, help the person running that renderer to add support 
for it.


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