[Tagging] paved=yes/no

Steve Bennett stevagewp at gmail.com
Sat Jul 17 13:20:56 BST 2010

On Sat, Jul 17, 2010 at 8:42 PM, Alan Mintz
<Alan_Mintz+OSM at earthlink.net> wrote:
> The current planet tagwatch has 19243 different keys, and shop, leisure, and
> amenity have over 1000 values each. Many of these are mis-spellings,
> capitalization errors, import-source-specific tags, etc., <rant>but it also
> seems like a lot of people aren't bothering to search for existing tags for
> what they want to map - they just make something up, often without even
> consulting a dictionary - as if nobody else in the world had ever tagged a
> fast-food joint or shoe store. </rant>
> This is not a great comparison, but it's all I have access to at the moment.
> If I use the US tagwatch from 20091206, and look only at keys starting with
> lower-case letters and that do not contain colons, there are just 1650 such
> keys. By comparison, the 20100707 planet tagwatch has 7223 such keys. If
> someone has the last US tagwatch, we could do a better comparison, but there
> does seem to be a growing problem here.

Yes, there is a massive data clean-up and reharmonisation effort ahead
of us, whenever that effort happens to gain critical mass. The current
approach of "use whatever tags you want, and make a vague informal
effort to use the same tags as other people" was a wonderful way to
get the project started, but has led to the predictable mess visible
at present. The problem is exacerbated by the lack of any central
authority. Renderers both rely on other sources to define what the
tags mean...and define them themselves. What Mapnik does with a given
tag is, unfortunately, a significant part of the definition of what
that tag does. Although the wiki is theoretically that central
authority, it acts like just one more voice in the crowd.

This isn't a problem I have any idea how to resolve just now. My
comments above were quite simple: having inconsistent paved=yes/no,
and surface=xxx is not a problem, because the central authority
(whatever it is) can simply define one as taking precedence over the
other in the event of any inconsistency.


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