[Tagging] Standard for external links to location based services

Alexander alex at fissl.com
Thu Oct 11 19:52:13 BST 2012


Hi there!

I am trying to establish a standard for external links to various 
platforms (including but not only facbook, qype, foursquare etc.) while 
facebook and qype are widely known, there are thousands of smaller or 
regional services which provide...

* ...the ability to write and read reviews about a place
* ...the ability to 'check in' at a certain place
* ...the ability to publish events pointing at a certain place
* ...further information (like contact data, opening hours etc.) about 
a place

Also lots of location operators don't even have their own website. It 
becomes more and more common only to have a 'place' at facebook. So 
using the website=* tag would be incorrect.

Linking to third party services can come in handy...

* ...for users to check-in/review/whatever
* ...for service providers to get more visits
* ...for developers for whatever they come up next
* ...for mappers to verify existing tags about the place

I observed multiple patterns how people tried to add these information 
as tags to osm. Here are some examples:

url:[service_name]
   url:facebook
   url:myspace
social_network:[service_name]
   social_network:facebook
   social_network:twitter
   social_network:youtube
   social_network:myspace
   social_network:flickr
link:[service_name]
   link:facebook
   link:qype
   link:twitter
web:[service_name]
   web:facebook
   web:twitter
[service_name]
   foursquare
   facebook
   google+
   myspace
website:[service_name]
   website:qype
ref:[service_name]
   ref:qype

The most popular service appear to be (sorted by frequency):

1. Facebook
2. Foursquare
3. qype
4. myspace

I wouldn't like to limit the tagging to these dominating platforms. New 
players should be threaten equally. Maybe this could encourage future 
services to use (and contribute to) the OSM.

And as we have no idea what the upcoming services will be called I 
recommend to prefix them with something like:

url:[service_name]
web:[service_name]
link:[service_name]
website:[service_name]

I don't recommend social_network:[service_name] because not all of 
these services are actually social networks.

Using a prefix gives us the following advantages:

1. In case of namespace collisions
    For example lets imagine in 10 years another location based service
    gets popular which is called "amenity.com". How to name the key for
    links in this case as amenity=* is already occupied by are more
    important meaning.
2. Editors and developers will know what the prefixed tag stands for
    even if they don't know the particular service. Imagine you find
    something like asdf=*. how can you know that there is a service
    out there called asdf.eu?

I tried this on this node which is a bar with a link-prefix: 
http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/node/905883257

Well what do you think?

Cheers,
Alexander






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