[Tagging] [OSM-talk] OSM is a right mess (was: Craigslist OpenStreetMap Rendering Issue)

pmailkeey . pmailkeey at googlemail.com
Wed Jun 3 01:13:47 UTC 2015

On 3 June 2015 at 01:37, Tom MacWright <tom at macwright.org> wrote:

> Hi Mike,
> Please propose an alternative.

I see an awful lot of good in OSM and I think it's a great project. I've
had it agreed with another about it being such a mess - but the fact it's
such a worthwhile project it's worth battling on with it - even if, sadly,
others have succumbed to the nightmares around every corner. An alternative
would be wrong, it is this that needs fixing and it needs a lot of 'tricky'
effort to see the good from the not so good. It's like one team at both
ends of a thick 'tug of war' rope, not really sure which way to pull for
the best whilst each has in their hand only a mere strand to that rope. I
think everything is overwhelmed yet the whole thing is clearly in its
infancy - with diseases, viruses and god-knows what being thrown at it at
all times from all angles.

The freedom to make up any tags is brilliant while likely being one of the
biggest problems - that not simply throws simple problems but really
complex multi-dimensional ones with 'language' issues for one thing, the
fact OSM is secretly 2 maps (at least!!) in one where in the main the two
are compatible and other places where clearly they're not. Computers
frequently come up with an answer. OSM rarely does; likely many answers or
none at all. Digital, analogue, fuzzy logic all put into a blender and
whizzed for a few seconds - and each time this is tried a different result
is found. Consistently inconsistent.

I think in the end it will work - but the effort required to get there will
be far greater than the sum of its parts.

Take one aspect - quality - there's the whole gamut from true to false -
anyone can't assume anything about OSM data - and if different people
around the world wrote a report on it, none of the resulting reports would
agree !

I can't produce some magic answer without some agreement :)

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