[Tagging] Tag:bicycle accident=true

M∡rtin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Tue Aug 23 00:45:31 BST 2011

2011/8/23 Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl>:
> My point is that all these tags
> which are *now* established and widely in use, probably got that way without
> discussion and documentation *in advance* but were simply taken into use by
> the early contributors and documented afterwards.

+1, I also guess that in the early days more tags were in use then
actually documented in the wiki.

But this doesn't seem to work any more with armadas of tags in use and
a much bigger community at work. A growing problem is IMHO people
adding alternative tagging methods to the wiki on the relevant pages
where there is already an established tag. Newbies can't recognize
this and the data starts to spread (different tagging for identical
features). You can find this for instance in source:maxspeed vs.
maxspeed:source and the values of these. Also path with some
combinations of access vs. footway/bridleway/cycleway is a famous
example (maybe the first), or the yes/true/1 value which in some cases
mean the same. We can live with a few of those, but the more we get
the worse it gets to interpret the data.

> Evidence that the tag is not in widespread use is not beneficial to your proposal.
> Hence new tags are quietly introduced without discussion until there is such
> a critical mass of uses that a vote becomes winnable.

well, you need a majority of yes votes and at least 15 votes (very few
votations get more participation then 20-40 votes). Voting is not
about determining the "compulsory method of inserting data", it is
rather a process where you propose a tagging scheme and others can
help you making it better (or tell you that there is already another
wording for the same thing in use). At the time of voting a proposal
should usually already be arrived at a point where most of the bunch
of voting mappers say: yes. I can't imagine that it is a problem for a
newly proposed tag when it is not already in use.

> The question at hand, is whether the "inventor" of a brand-new tag should be
> encouraged to document his "invention" at an early stage, or whether he
> should be discouraged from doing so. My impression is that the OP favours
> discouragement (as others will start to follow the example, which may not be
> a good idea) whereas I favour early documentation and discussion BEFORE the
> usage gets so entrenched that it becomes accepted de facto.

+1. I also favour early documentation (in the wiki, because that's
where most of the people are searching) and discussion, but we should
also keep in mind that the wiki is not the only place where new tags
are invented. Quite a lot of early discussion is actually taking place
on the (local) mailing lists (and forum and maybe IRC), and some of
this is not put on the wiki at an early stage. These are the cases
where an already in wider use tag will finally also be documented in
the wiki (without proposal/voting).

>  I vote for leaving the guy alone, so long as he is not causing any damage.

I'd ask him to change his proposal into a formal proposal and ask
others for comments. This is clearly not an established feature
because it is not in use.


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