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

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Thu Jun 7 10:32:32 UTC 2018

On Thursday 07 June 2018, Selfish Seahorse wrote:
> > There are tons of established tags in OSM where the key makes no
> > sense at all.  Don't get me started on 'waterway' for example.  But
> > that is how OSM works.  Get over it, accept that people have made
> > bad choices of keys when choosing tags and concentrate on
> > encouraging and helping people to choose suitable keys when newly
> > creating tags (in a productive way of course, not just by rejecting
> > any idea as bad).
> And what's wrong with getting rid of these bad choices?

Nothing except it would mean the end of free form tagging and it would 
require creating some framework of tagging authorities in OSM who 
decide on what is good and bad or in short:  The end of OSM as an 
egalitarian global community.

Once more my suggestion to Martin and others who repeat the same matra 
we have heard for years over and over again:  Accept that there are 
thousands of mappers who do not care about key hygiene like you do or 
have the sense of order you have.  That is a simple fact of life in a 
diverse global community like OSM.

For me this always sounds a bit like someone who wants to 'fix the 
English language' by eliminating irregular verbs and other exceptions 
so you can say "I goed to the pub yesterday and haved a beer".  Yes, in 
principle you can do that and you can argue this might make it easier 
for people to learn the language but it just would not be English any 

Your brave new world with an intelligent design of orthogonal keys 
would - apart from being an illusion (Kurt Gödel is greeting) - just 
not be OSM any more.

Christoph Hormann

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