[Tagging] Basic philosophy of OSM tagging

David Bannon dbannon at internode.on.net
Wed Jan 14 06:03:02 UTC 2015

On Wed, 2015-01-14 at 11:28 +1100, Warin wrote:
> What is the basic philosophy of OSM tagging at the top level?
> Are 'we' tagging for
> What things are? eg highways OR What things are used for? eg amenity

I think its a very good question Warin. Perhaps, at the hart of much
angst amongst OSM'ers. To complicate, should we tag for what things are
used for OR what they are officially intended for ?

Many bush roads in Australia are good examples, perhaps initially cut by
oil and gas explorers, adopted by recreational 4WD'ers, become tourist
roads. In many cases, never maintained, not gazetted as official roads.

I know a road, put in to maintain a railway line, that does not appear
on any official map but is an excellent way to access an iconic
destination, Chambers Pillar. Last time I used it there were no signs to
deny access but tourists are kept unaware of it. Should I map it next
time I'm there ?


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