[Tagging] landuse:illegal and illegal:yes/no

Peter Gervai grinapo at gmail.com
Fri Apr 1 09:56:50 BST 2011

On Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 13:56, Serge Wroclawski <emacsen at gmail.com> wrote:

> Peter> First, it's not simple and measurable, at least I really wonder how
> Peter> many of us measured an incline which isn't signed (I have tried, takes
> Peter> time and a bit of math, and I don't even play it for most of the
> Peter> cases).
> How many of us know what a street is other than by official signs?

Consider the alternative names for objects, and I'd say many of us. Of
course that's just one example of the data we know but it isn't on the
signposts (like, for example some lower level administrative
divisions, etc).

> Peter> Second, both, but especially smoothness (and all subjective tags,
> Peter> since I personally find smoothness very useful and informative)
> Peter> depends on the judgement of the mapper.
> Your argument about smoothness is why people prefer to know the road
> material than the subjective "smoothness".

_Some_ people, maybe. Some other people (along with my humble self)
usually don't, since "surface material=ground" doesn't help when it's
impassable on the field. There are plenty of "unpaved" roads which are
way better than "paved" ones (with completely broken surface). While
it's highly subjective it's very informative for the travelers'
decisions, and I hardly care about the material but very much about
the usability of the road. Material may be important for others with
different purposes, I acknowledge.

> Peter> For example if I see a concrete pipe which clearly 100 years
> Peter> old I wouldn't, but when I see one hiding under bushes and clearly
> Peter>built this spring I'd say it's hardly "legal",
> This case is perfect, since it illustrates that you're basically
> deciding something you feel is suspicious is illegal. You have no idea
> if that pipe is there legally or not.

No, I absolutely do have an idea about it. (Remember: I'm local, I
have the knowledge what things are supposed to look like.) What you
wanted to write is that I do not have the knowledge, or the proof,
which is right, but it's not my point, really. And consider my kind
request about the wording.

> Serge> "illegal use" is not as easily measurable in the same way.It's similar
> Serge> to proposals to classify places as "dangerous".
> My point was that "dangerous" was rejected as a tag. It's just too
> problematic to use.

This is a useful comment, I will try to look up its discussion.

> Serge> That's very subjective- it's why we have courts!
> Peter> OSM will never go there and force the people to remove the pipe.
> Peter> That's for the courts. But we can tell other walkersby about it.
> No one's arguing that there may not be value in the data you want to
> collect, only that OSM may not be the place for it, just as there's a
> lot of useful information that's not appropriate for Wikipedia.

Acknowledged. Indeed that's one of the main questions, apart from the wording.

> This is a fair criticism. The problems with this tag are that it's:
> 1. Far more subjective than other accepted tags

I cannot answer that right now, need some research in current tag
usage. May be right that there are no more subjective ones, or may be

> 2. Carries a lot of weight. It's a serious thing to accuse
> someone/something of being illegal.

I disagree, please help to find a different word then. "fake" is not
the same, and "not_what_it_looks_like" is for aprils' fool only. But
basically that's what I'm talking about. Need a good word!

> 3. Libelous, in that this is an accusation.

See #2.

> 4. Outside the scope of the project, unlike any other tag we have.

I disagree on that one. We map the world and we include information
which is useful to have on a map environment as well as we're free to
map. If the object is there, we have to map somehow. Now I agree that
my easiest example is the illegal dumps, they're there, physical, how
to map it.

> 5. This tag seems to beg for an edit war.

I accept that's a field I have successfully avoided so far. Never been
in an edit war, nor did I observe one. May be correct, I cannot say.

> 6. Apt to change very frequently.

Well, not more often than opening hours, operators of business or
else. That's my experience, local one obviousuly.

> 7. Activism/advocate. OSM is not advocating positions. That's why even
> in the case of political borders, there's sensitivity in how it's
> handled.

I disagree on the advocation side, and I agree with activism, but then
I'm not sure this is forbidden, or even advised against. Do we have a
policy against, say, pro-envoronmental objects?

Let me add another for you:
8. people mentioned elsewhere that this concept is
renderer-unfriendly, and I should go for amenity=illegal_waste_dump,
et cetera.

And I tend to agree, but not really sure yet.

> I think this data belongs in another dataset- not OSM.

I acknowledge our disagreement on that.

And I second that indeed there must be cultural differences. We have
reported illegal objects (waste dump, fence, pool / stream, ...) which
are still there for years now, some waits for the courts to say
something (this goes on and on throughout political changes), and some
just got lost in the bureaucracy.


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