[Tagging] Data redundancy with "ref" tag on ways vs relations

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Wed Aug 1 18:01:21 BST 2012


On 08/01/2012 04:01 PM, Simone Saviolo wrote:
> What would consumers' assumptions be, reasonably?

I think that we are talking too much about consumers here.

OpenStreetMap mappers are *already* providing a tremendous value to many 
"consumers" around the world, no matter how limited and chaotic their 
data model might be.

It is possible that consumers would like to have data in a different 
format but I believe that it is not asking too much if we expect them to 
invest a little work themselves, to bring the data into the shape they want.

There are many situations where the demands of consumers are out of line 
with what comes easy to mappers. And honestly, I think it is rather 
brazen to come along and demand that mappers do something differently 
just because it would make life even easier for one specific use case or 
one specific consumer.

> That any ways with the
> same value in a given tag would have to be considered a single thing? I
> have examples of separate streets with the same name in the same city,
> not separate, non-connected parts of the same street, mind you. A
> relation here would describe the reality without fail, and much more
> elegantly.

You are free to *create* such a relation if you think it is useful.

The only thing we don't want is that you start telling everyone else 
that *they* should be creating relations for that.

(Xificurk quote)
>         When I see this thread (and others like this) and all the resistance
>         (with little arguments) that any proposed change causes at
>         global OSM level,

The hubris lies in proposing anything at the "global OSM level". There 
are *very* few things that are truly global - the fact that we have 
nodes and ways, or that a tag can only be so long, or that you mustn't 
copy stuff from copyrighted maps or invent fantasy data.

> According to your reasoning, Germans should tell us how to map because
> they make tools and consumers. Is this correct?

Tools must serve mappers. Everything in OSM must be geared towards 
making contribution easy for mappers. Anything else is secondary; 
consumers are totally unimportant. Not because we don't want OSM to be 
usable - but because there is such a tremendous value in OSM that any 
difficulties in usability *will* be overcome by those who want to use 
OSM - we don't even have to waste time thinking about that.

As for Germans, I don't know what you are talking about. There are three 
major OSM editors and Germans don't form the majority of contributors to 
any of them. JOSM's inventor and current maintainer are from Germany but 
as far as I can see, the active JOSM developer group is fairly 
international, or at least pan-European. Major quality checking tools 
are from the UK (ITO), Germany (OSM Inspector), Austria (Keepright), 
France (Osmose) and others. As for rendering software, none of the major 
renderers (Mapnik/TileMill, Maperitive, kothic) have had significant 
German input, and neither have the widely-used map styles.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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