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

EthnicFood IsGreat ethnicfoodisgreat at gmail.com
Thu Jun 7 23:29:04 UTC 2018

> Message: 6
> Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2018 12:32:32 +0200
> From: Christoph Hormann <osm at imagico.de>
> To: "Tag discussion, strategy and related tools"
> 	<tagging at openstreetmap.org>
> Subject: Re: [Tagging] The endless debate about "landcover" as a
> 	top-level	tag
> 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
> more.
> 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
> http://www.imagico.de/
> ------------------------------

I wouldn't mind if all the existing tags were replaced tomorrow with a brand new set of "intelligently-designed" keys.  And I wouldn't mind if these keys were enforced from now on.  And I wouldn't mind that I would have to relearn all the tagging I now know.  Yes, it would be a "brave new world," and not the OSM we know now.  Someone some time ago on one of the OSM mailing lists summed up the current situation by stating, "It seems OSM is incapable of moving forward."  Unless we ever have more structure, I agree.


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