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

Andy Townsend ajt1047 at gmail.com
Sat Mar 19 13:31:55 UTC 2016

On 19/03/2016 07:41, johnw wrote:
> OSM is for gathering data - lots of lots of locally based knowledge of 
> things. Mountains are no different.

Great!  Let's gather lots of data about each place...

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

No, as Andy and Richard have already pointed out it's the _exact 
opposite_ of that.  Richard's already mentioned how he gives pubs 
different prominence depending on where they're located; many of the 
"specialist maps created with OSM data" use some other data (relevant to 
that map) to decide what to render and when (e.g. historical tags, 
railway tags, whatever).

> So we render them all equally - which is equally as ridiculous.

Who's this "we"?  There are lots of maps made with OSM data; there are 5 
different ones on osm.org.  A related issue that I've been thinking for 
a while now how to make natural=peak render sensibly when there are lots 
of them together, like here for example:


Even by the "does it look impressive from the road" measure, some of 
those "natural=peak" I suspect are really very prominent, some of them 
are not, and some probably aren't really peaks at all (we've had a bit 
of an issue in GB with a keen but somewhat misguided mapper adding 
spot-heights from historic maps as "peaks", some of which have since 
become quarries).

What isn't going to work is deciding that some of them are, by some 
measure, "important".  We got to that problem (via a different route) 
with individual trees and lots of problems ensued.  According to 
http://taginfo.openstreetmap.org.uk/search?q=natural%3Dpeak there are 
over 14k natural=peak in GB; it's very likely that be any global 
"importance" measure _none_ of those in that map view are.  Even some 
local measure isn't going to work as I'm certainly not going to review 
14k bits of data and with no local knowledge try and come up with some 
"importance" value.

What we need to do instead is come up with a way of using other 
verifiable data, perhaps from OSM, perhaps from other sources, that 
allows maps to decide whether it is, in their eyes "important".



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