[Tagging] The current problem with tagging

John Smith deltafoxtrot256 at gmail.com
Sun Oct 18 08:26:18 BST 2009


I've been mulling this over in the last few days, but it appears to me
the biggest issue at present is one of documentation, specifically
putting things into context and more importantly making them easily
found.

So far nothing seem to fulfill the above criteria, the wiki allows
people to easily document things, but you can't easily find them and
I'm talking about everyone here, especially those that are only likely
to use the map features page.

On the flip side, things like tagwatch make is sort of easy to find
tags in use but it doesn't give you context needed to work out not
only what is being used, but what other tags are they used in
conjuction with.

I don't think it's helpful to tell people to just use tags or document
tags you are using, because you can't correlate this information with
what everyone else is doing, and that is where some attention needs to
be focused if the data going in is going to be useful at all coming
out again.

I don't have a solution to this problem, at least not a full solution,
but I have come up with the following that might push things closer to
a solution:

We need something a little more capable than a wiki, or we need some
kind of front end to collate the information in the wiki into a
useable index.

The data from the index needs to cross reference with the OSM DB data,
so that we can not only know what other people are doing, especially
those within our own regions, but to then make it easy for people to
document what those tags are being used for.

>From there if an API could be created for editors we could do things
like mousing over a tag in JOSM/potlatch then throws up a page of text
describing the tag.

Any tags the are entered that aren't in the database could generate a
prompt asking people to document it on the spot, alternatively we
could have a suggestion engine by searching both tag names and in the
descriptions and seeing if something similar already exists and they
could choose to use that instead.

Since we are dealing with geospatial information we could even weight
things based on the number of times a tag is used within say
100-1000km.

That's all I've come up with so far.




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