[Tagging] Can OSM become a geospacial database?

Yves yvecai at mailbox.org
Wed Dec 5 20:04:59 UTC 2018

Eugene, unlike other geodatabase, OSM does not try really hard to standardize it's elements into worldwide applicable categories. The simple reason is that we have no chief, no standard. 
Yes, there are tags that can differ in meaning locally, although it's not particularly desired, it happens.
OSM is human made, more particularly crowdsourced with its lot of exceptions and idiomatic.
We tend everyday to normalize the tagging on this list, but certainly never will make it completely 'square'. That's maybe the price to pay for the richness of OSM.

Anyway this absolutely does not mean that you should rely on the name tag to guess the nature of a particular element. If in doubt, the way to go is to ask the (local) community.
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