[Tagging] For your comment: New template: Unit summary

Lukas Sommer sommerluk at gmail.com
Fri Apr 3 08:01:26 UTC 2015

The default unit is _not_ always “meters”. There are tags where the
default unit is “meters” (e. g. width) and there are others where the
default unit is “kilometers” (e. g. distance).

“Centimeters” isn’t in the current list of accepted units at

> A wide variety of formats are acceptable:

The list that is following this statement doesn’t contain “km”. It
seems to be only a list of some non-mandatory examples. So the
statement sound like it’s up to the mapper to choose whatever unit he
likes (and software has to find its way to deal with this situation).
And that’s a very bad idea. We need a _defined_ list of accepted
units. The worst thing we can do is promote that everybody uses
whatever unit (and abbriviation) he wants. Map_Features/Units has such
a list, and I see no reason to invalidate this.

I think this template should or be deleted or be changed to reflect
exactly what Map_Features/Units says. (But probably even a direct link
to Map_Features/Units would be easier and clearer – so I don’t see any
need for this template.)

2015-04-03 6:49 GMT, Martin Vonwald <imagic.osm at gmail.com>:
> This contradicts in many cases our current page
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Map_Features/Units
> * The use of "meters" is discouraged
> * "cm" should not be used generally, maybe only on some specific tags
> * There should always be a space in front of the unit
> * Neither "feet" nor "inches" should be used, use <feet>'<inch>" instead
> * It is not discouraged to not include the default unit
> regards,
> Martin
> 2015-04-03 7:21 GMT+02:00 Bryce Nesbitt <bryce2 at obviously.com>:
>> To try and make unit description consistent here is a proposed template.
>> This would apply to tags like ele, est_width, circumference, height,
>> width, maxwidth, minwidth, distance.  A separate table could be made for
>> speed & weight.
>> Use as follows:
>> {{Unit_Tagging_Length|tag_name|furlongs}}
>> The template is defined at:
>> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Template:Unit_Tagging_Length
>> Other unit pages include:
>> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Category:Units
>> ------------------
>> This particular summary promotes the notion of "human centred tagging",
>> with parsers left to make conversion to computer readable units.  It also
>> promotes explicit numbers (e.g. 20 m) over implicit ones ( e.g. 20 ).
>> Given the variety of unit styles already in the database, this seems to
>> be
>> the most pragmatic approach.
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Lukas Sommer

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