[Tagging] Issues relating to URIs and tagging

Andy Mabbett andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Tue Apr 1 15:29:59 UTC 2014

Hello everyone,

This is my first post to the list, which I've just joined, but I've
been a mapper for a few years and some of you might remember me as
compere at last year's State of the Map.

Yesterday, I met with the W3Cs'  "data on the web best practice"
working group. At their request, I gave a talk on the use of URIs
(particularly linked data URIs) and related tags,  in OSM.

I described, and we then discussed, how we tag entities in OSM, using
UIDs but not necessarily URLs, and issues facing data users who need
to resolve those UIDs back to URLs; for example:

    openplaques_plaque = 1536



To that end, I've just modified [[Template:KeyDescription]] by adding
two parameters:


for "website" and "url_pattern"; see:


of an example of how they're intended to be used (the label display
needs tweaking). The model used there fails with Wikipedia links,
expressed as "en:Example", because the equivalent URL is
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Example>. Any suggestions for dealing
with that?

They were very impressed with the inclusion of Wikidata IDs


The sooner we move that from "Talk:Proposed_features/" to "Key:", the better.

Other issues which are unhelpful to data re-users include keys with
missing documentation; redundant keys ("Key:openplaques_plaque" vs
"Key:openplaques_id"); ambiguous keys ("ref=1234" - ref in whose
database?) and the perennial problem of the lack of stable URIs for
entities in OSM. I have yet to solve that one...

Andy Mabbett

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