[Tagging] The endless debate about "landcover" as a top-level tag

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Wed Jun 6 14:57:57 UTC 2018

2018-06-06 16:39 GMT+02:00 Christoph Hormann <osm at imagico.de>:

> On Wednesday 06 June 2018, Martin Koppenhoefer wrote:
> >
> > there is unanimous (?) consensus that landuse is about the usage of
> > land (“For describing the primary use of areas of land.”)
> I don't think so.
> There probably is a strong majority among OSM mappers that (rightfully)
> think key semantics are irrelevant for the actual meaning of tags.
> What a tag in OSM means depends on what it is actually used for, not
> what someone says the key used requires it to mean.

I think there is a misconception here. Of course tag interpretation will
always have to follow actual usage of the tags. We are discussing how to
introduce new tags. The proposal process is also there as a short cut to
start together with the same tag, rather than undergoing the time expensive
tedious process of waiting for the "crowd intelligence" to produce them.

Yes, we could forget all semantic meaning of the keys, but with "a system"
in the tags, it is much easier for mappers to insert new tags for things
and the probability of developing parallel tagging is reduced (both,
different tags with similar or same meaning, which is unfortunate but not
terrible, and - indeed terrible - the same tag used to express different

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