[Tagging] The current problem with tagging

Tobias Knerr osm at tobias-knerr.de
Mon Oct 19 11:48:27 BST 2009

John Smith wrote:
> As an example I added the 'highway' tag, and 'motorway' value and
> copied the descriptions from the wiki.
> The list of things that would need to be done to make this actually
> useful include:
> [...]

* Avoid inconsistencies with existing documentation (that is: wiki)

Imo that's one of the most important features. And it's best done by
simply using the wiki for storing that information and extracting the
relevant parts in a machine-readable way.

Also, the wiki already offers these:

> * edit/update tags and values
> * extend the wiki formatting function to include more than just bold (''')
> * add example images, or reference URLs so these could optionally be
> displayed by editors/web site
> * the ability to add context to tags by linking tags that a commonly
> used in conjunction with each other, eg lanes=* should be linked to
> highway=*

as well as

* watchlists and notification
* documented API for content access, existing bot/automation tools
* history, edits, edit comments
* user accounts, permission management
* ...

Imo, you should try to figure out what information is missing from the
wiki and add it there (probably using templates) instead of creating a
completely independent documentation database.

Whether you try to continue that Semantic MediaWiki approach that has
been suggested some time ago
or create your own app for browsing/searching (probably using the API
(http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/api.php) together with some parsing to
extract templates) is up to you, but I'd strongly recommend to use the
wiki as your backend for most of the information.

Tobias Knerr

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