[Tagging] Topographic place names

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Thu Dec 12 10:53:18 UTC 2013

2013/12/12 Steve Bennett <stevagewp at gmail.com>

> (a "mountain range" is really an abstraction over a number of individual
> mountains, and it's up to some sort of geologists' consensus where it
> begins and ends).

+1, and it won't be a clearly defined border where some meters more or less
matter or are clearly definable (in contrast e.g. to the position of the
center of a road, which is quite precisely definable).

>> IMHO it would be nice to have an alternative dataset in lower zoomlevels
>> for geographic regions and extended/blurry features, something like a set
>> of shapefiles with translations into all languages we can provide,
>> something similar to what natural earth data provides, but distributed and
>> modified/translated by us, not just English and for higher zoom levels
>> (i.e. more detailed) than what NE has. Still we could start with their
>> geographic regions dataset and refine it, as "All versions of *Natural
>> Earth* raster + vector map data found on this website are in the public
>> domain."
> Are you saying that this kind of data is a poor fit for OSM itself?

yes, for the reasons described above: no clear boundaries / fuzzy borders.
A solution could also be a new datatype in OSM for fuzzy objects, (e.g. a
collection of objects and the consumer would create a hull area around
them, possibly also roles for objects that are to exclude), but at least
currently this kind of stuff does not fit into how osm works.

>> if you don't know what it is (i.e. "generic feature") place=locality
>> seems perfectly fitting, otherwise be more precise and tag or subtag it as
>> what it is (e.g. a cluster of rocks).
> My issue with place=locality is that the place=* are basically for human
> habitation

I wish it was like that ;-) (i.e. it was used only for settlements and
parts of them).
There is a majority of values that are intended for settlements, but there
are also others like place=locality (explicitly uninhabited), place=islet,
island, archipelago (uncertain if inhabited) and there are those that are
basically used to put a label for a big administrative entity on the map
(like county, region, state, municipality, borough, country, etc.).

IMHO the island-stuff would fit better in "natural", and the labels for
admin entities do not need "place" either (e.g. could be nodes with the
role "label" on an object tagged with boundary=administrative admin_level=*
name=*). Still place=locality would remain for more or less unspecific
labels for uninhabited place.

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