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

Serge Wroclawski emacsen at gmail.com
Wed Mar 30 12:56:48 BST 2011

Pieren> In general, I'm also against tagging what is not physical and
Pieren> immediatly "verifiable" attributes. But hey, the idea of indicating the
Pieren> legal status is not worst than many other tags already widely used.

I disagree.

Pieren> And it is verifiable,
Pieren> not easy but it is (not less, for instance, than the power
lines voltage).

The power line voltage is gleaned from signs, which is how we get many
of our features. I only know what street I'm on based on the sign that
tells me so.

If there was an official sign that said "Illegal dumping, 300m", I'd
be more inclined to listen to this proposal.

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?

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".

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.

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

Peter> Indeed similar.

My point was that "dangerous" was rejected as a tag. It's just too
problematic to use.

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.

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

Peter> Such "blocking" comments are not really very cooperative. If you cite
Peter> those so many reasons they might be accepted or rejected, but
Peter> nobody can help you with those theoretical "so many reasons"

This is a fair criticism. The problems with this tag are that it's:

1. Far more subjective than other accepted tags
2. Carries a lot of weight. It's a serious thing to accuse
someone/something of being illegal.
3. Libelous, in that this is an accusation.
4. Outside the scope of the project, unlike any other tag we have.
5. This tag seems to beg for an edit war.
6. Apt to change very frequently.
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

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

- Serge

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