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

Serge Wroclawski emacsen at gmail.com
Wed Mar 30 01:59:42 BST 2011

On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 10:46 AM, Peter Gervai <grinapo at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 15:21, Bill Ricker <bill.n1vux at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Under the usual rule-of-thumb, to map what's visible on the ground
>> (signed or built),
> Like smoothness=, incline=, etc?

Those are simple, measurable things.

"illegal use" is not as easily measurable in the same way.It's similar
to proposals to classify places as "dangerous".

>> "Illegal use", in those words or similar. (Or tagged so by a suitably
>> free Govt GIS file.)
> Incidentally sometimes that's the case, as it turned out.

I think there are so many reasons why this tag is a bad idea it's
almost not worth bringing any individual reasons.

>> Anything else, an OSM member is making a value judgment and OSM is
>> publishing it as a fact, which has legal consequences in most
>> countries. OSM has a legal entity in UK which is democracy most
>> favorable to libel tourists, where Truth is NOT a defense. (The new
>> coalition gov't is looking at reform but don't bet you assets on it.)
> But then you can be sued on virtually anything, like stating there is
> a road when the owner thinks otherwise, or state its smoothness as
> "horrible" which is clearly offensive, etc. Obviously it's quite
> acceptable if you request the addendum for this tag not to be used in
> the UK. :-)

Let's not resort to hyberbole.

If you saw something illegal, presumably you'd report it to the proper

For example, if I see waste water dumping, is this now illegal=yes?
What if someone else doesn't think it's illegal? Now it has to go to
court. And that's where it belongs.

You can say "There is a pipe here with water coming out"- but illegal?
That's very subjective- it's why we have courts!

> But then again you are worried about the word and not its use, so
> since you seem to be a genuine englishman, please utilise your native
> vocabulary to suggest an alternative _word_ to use which conveys the
> same meaning without suggesting that this status is defined by law
> instead of common sense or otherwise. I'm no native English speaker so
> you may be better suited to pick the proper word. (Prohibited and
> debated was two suggestion which I didn't really like.)

It's not the word that's the problem, it's the concept that's trying
to be conveyed.

- Serge

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