[Tagging] importance=* tag (for transportation etc)

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemed.net
Sat Mar 19 12:40:01 UTC 2016

Andy Mabbett wrote:
> It's nowhere near as ridiculous as trying to render them according 
> to some arbitrary and subjective "importance" (Importance to 
> whom? The people who live near them? Tourists? Mountaineers? 
> Ornithologists? Aviators? Geologists? Climatologists? Oil 
> prospectors?).


Here's an example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sg%C3%B9rr_Dearg

This is the notorious "Inaccessible Pinnacle". If you're a mountaineer,
specifically a Munro bagger, it's a highly significant peak: it's the
hardest Munro (Scottish peak over 3000ft) to get. If you're a tourist
looking for pretty mountains, though, it's probably not significant; it's
just, well, a bit of rock. Wider cultural significance? I couldn't tell you.
Somewhere between the two: certainly less than Ben Nevis, but how do you
decide the "importance" of the hardest peak to climb in Scotland which just
happens to be an anonymous lump of rock?

Importance means value judgements. One of the reasons OSM is so successful
is that our data doesn't make value judgements. This allows people to make
their own maps with their own value judgements. This is why OSM has become,
from nowhere, the world's pre-eminent geodata source for walking and cycling
- because every other dataset is car-biased. Let's not close off future uses
of OSM by imposing centralised value judgements on its data.

John Willis wrote:
> Trying to decide what mountains are worth labeling at different zooms 
> via some GIS data is ridiculous. 

It's only ridiculous, to be blunt, if you're no good at GIS. I show
identically-tagged pubs at different zoom levels on cycle.travel based on my
own criteria, not some importance scale that someone else has decreed. It
takes me about three lines of PostGIS and two lines of CartoCSS. It isn't
hard at all.


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