[Tagging] preproposal : internet webcam

Peter Wendorff wendorff at uni-paderborn.de
Sun Dec 1 21:33:37 UTC 2013

Am 01.12.2013 21:04, schrieb Egil Hjelmeland:
> On 01. des. 2013 18:11, Peter Wendorff wrote:
>> Am 01.12.2013 16:05, schrieb Egil Hjelmeland:
>>> On 01. des. 2013 15:28, Peter Wendorff wrote:
>>>> Hi,
>>>> I'm not happy with contact:webcam, as the contact namespace IMHO serves
>>>> a different purpose.
>>>> contact:webcam could define whom to contact for questions regarding the
>>>> webcam, or whom to contact BY webcam (as contact:phone is for how to
>>>> contact e.g. a shop by phone).
>>>> 1) I would change the order, as it's part of the webcam information,
>>>> not
>>>> part of the contact information, which would lead to webcam:*
>>>> 2) I would use url instead of contact, if it should refer to where the
>>>> webcams output can be seen, whcih would lead to webcam:url=*
>>>> regards
>>>> Peter
>>> Check https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:contact
>> Yes, it's defined there, but that doesn't make it a good solution.
>> It's used 180 times worldwide according to taginfo.
>> A check through first 50 values listed in taginfo [1] reveals:
>> 1) all of them are website urls
>> 2) most of the URLs are dead or wrong
>> 3) the valid ones are mixed: some refer to the image, some to a website
>> containing the image, some probably even to a fixed image (not updated),
>> but I couldn't check that properly.
>> 4) 80 values are from the same domain and refer to cameras of the same
>> operator or organization:
>> http://www1.eot.state.ma.us/cam_updated_images/*.jpg
>> To conclude this I would say:
>> The tag is not yet used much (especially due to (4)).
>> It is not used in a unified way (see (3))
>> Therefore it's not useable in the current form.
>> And as it doesn't fit semantically (it's not a URL to contact someone,
>> but to see something), I don't see a big issue in "fixing" that by
>> moving the tag to another key and to define it better.
>> regards
>> Peter
>> [1] http://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/keys/contact%3Awebcam#values
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> Do you have any reference to back up your claim that contact:*= is
> intended only to provide contact info for reaching  humans?
" The contact tag is the prefix for several contact:* keys to describe
contacts. " [1]

[1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:contact:webcam

This isn't perfectly what you referred to, but let me try to explain my
interpretation of this and why it excludes for example the discussed

For this example, contact:webcam is ambiguous: it may be the webcam
operating team inside the operating company or whatever, or it may be
the imagery of the webcam.

But if it's the latter (which I personally don't agree), then we could
extend contact by other stuff, too:

A shop with a product catalogue availlable online in a machine readable
form could get contact:productlist=....xml

An installation that can be remote-controlled could get

I think, contact should be restricted to ways of getting in contact to
someone, and IMHO seeing images of a webcam is not getting in contact to
the webcam or "someone" else.


> As I have stated before, I do not care too much about what the key is,
> as long as it is documented.
> As for now, I think contact:webcam is best because of previous work:
>  - it is already in https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:contact
>  - it is proposed in
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Extended_tags_for_Key:Surveillance
>  - it is actually used, although no much
> Inconsistent usage, dead links for contact=webcam is IMHO not a valid
> argument against its use. It is just a consequence of poor
> documentation, so we do not get the full power of crowd sourcing.
> Regards
> Egil
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