[Tagging] Can OSM become a geospacial database?

Michael Patrick geodesy99 at gmail.com
Sun Dec 9 00:36:54 UTC 2018

> From: Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com>
> thank you for the references to the specific standards. I’m going to look
> more into it. Problem is if these are hundreds of pages most people will
> not look the tags up ;-)

You're welcome, and I totally agree with your observation, especially
considering the international basis of OSM. And thanks for even taking a
passing interest in the topic. It is a "red-headed stepchild
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/red-headed_stepchild>" sort of issue, and
because it cuts across just about every community and portion of the OSM
technology stack, and any effort to apply the known solutions would
automatically generate a lot of animosity immediately, even if long-term it
made life easier and more inclusive of local variation -  that is what
happens outside of OSM, it's not specific to OSM.

I wouldn't expect individuals to look through hundreds of pages, any
eventual solution would require a technology stack to assist the user, like
a child using a botany key to find a species name in Latin in a couple of
steps. And I respectfully submit that situation already exists, like with
the user-defined 'amenity' tag (  9261items, 441 'pages'
<https://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/keys/amenity#values>). Addressing the
situation rubs up against too many OSM culture themes, similar to large
scale import or automatic edits. It is most likely easier to address
outside of OSM, along with some sort of ODBL 'firewall' insulation ( like
the NPS <http://www.mtaylorlong.com/work/park-tiles> ). The NGA most likely
does this sort of thing
with tools like Hootenanny <https://github.com/ngageoint/hootenanny>

> Do they not have grade eight roofers in the US?

True, to great extent, but the absence of an 8 in this case is not because
of that. Actually there is a skills shortage crisis for all the trades in
the U.S. ... the bulk of tradesmen in the country are retiring or near
retirement in the next decade.

Somewhat off-topic for OSM, but it is a sort of 'tagging' schema.

The example text was pulled from the somewhat arcane U.S. Federal Wage
Scales, where specific pay grades are then extracted to fit local
conditions, especially trade union classifications - i.e. another area or
skill might use 2,3,5,8,9.

Depending on the trade an apprenticeship program will range widely from 1
year to 6 years. Depending on the industry, the journeymen phase, it
becomes even wider, for example the nuclear industry trades include "Basic
Atomic & Nuclear Physics", "Heat Transfer & Fluid Flow"- in the U.K., I
recall, you get a BEng in Nuclear Engineering out of some of the trade
apprenticeships.  The Federal Grades are linear, and particular grades are
selected that match specialization and trade for a given area, and that
isn't always numerically 'linear'.

Michael Patrick
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