[Tagging] Ferry lines, ways or relations?

Dave Sutter sutter at intransix.com
Fri Sep 7 17:14:08 BST 2012

I am fairly new to OSM so I apologize for my inexperience with it.
Some information like ferry schedules seems like it would be more
easily managed in a different database. To take a step back, the
obvious example of external databases tied to a map is businesses. It
would be nice to have a database of businesses. The business is placed
on the map using its postal address and possibly additional
information. This allows for a much richer set of data for the
business. I don't believe there is such a database tied to OSM?

This idea can be extend to more general addresses using the ref tag.
If the ferry routes have a ref tag the external data can cite the ref.
That database can hold ferry and other transit schedules. Managing
this seems like it would be much easier than managing through the map.
Of course, this also requires an external database.

I would like to see the ref tag formalism expanded a bit to allow for
this sort of generalized addresses, so that an external database could
uniquely reference an object using the ref and related tags. Maybe by
adding some tags for context for the specific ref?

Generalized addressing applies also to things like stores in a
shopping mall, gates at an airport, aisle/shelf/bin in a retail store,
etc. These are all things that would be nice to reference from an
external database.

Having said this, I am not saying I am against also tagging
information on a map. I don't think there is a well defined dividing
line between what should be on the map and what should be placed
outside the map.


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