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

Jonathan Bennett openstreetmap at jonno.cix.co.uk
Wed Dec 9 20:58:47 GMT 2009

Steve Bennett wrote:
> Cool. In that case, what purpose do the "proposals" serve exactly? It 
> seems you don't need to wait for a proposal to pass in order to use 
> it, document it, implement it in renderers...:)
There's some disagreement over that exact point. There are some mappers 
(myself included) who completely ignore the proposal procedure, because 
they believe that it's a needless layer of bureaucracy that just hinders 
the project. While there's nothing wrong with getting other mappers' 
input on a new tag (such as sending out an RFC), having to get 
"approval" just gets in the way of mapping.

The "voting" procedure was never an official policy, and when it was 
first discussed (in something like 2006) it was only for tags to appear 
on the Map Features page as a "core tag". It wasn't seen as an official 
acceptance or rejection of a tag in its entirety. At some point someone 
took it on themselves (probably with the best of intentions) to apply it 
to a tag's mere existence, which was never intended.

Working this way, as we have done since the project was started, hasn't 
resulted in the absolute chaos some people claim that a lack of 
"approval" procedure would inevitably produce. The reality is that most 
people are sensible enough to go looking for existing tags that fit 
their purpose before creating a new one, and there are plenty of tools 
like TagWatch and OSMdoc that help with this.
>  (Incidentally I have also updated 
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/User:Stevage/mapnik to map back 
> against Osmarender.)
Consistency between our two example renders would be a good thing, so 
thanks for putting some work into this. I think there may be some tags 
missing -- I can't see highway=turning_circle in your list, which I know 
the Mapnik render supports.


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