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

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Fri Jun 8 06:29:25 UTC 2018


it is a gut reaction by people when forced with difficult issues to call
for strong leadership to solve them once and for all. OSM is no exception.

On 08.06.2018 01:29, EthnicFood IsGreat wrote:
> I wouldn't mind if all the existing tags were replaced tomorrow with a
> brand new set of "intelligently-designed" keys. 

Designed by... a visionary leader? A board of experts? A random draw?
And if something turns out to be designed wrongly, how will it be

> And I wouldn't mind if
> these keys were enforced from now on.

Not having an enforced set of keys and values was definitely a big part
of OSM's success (there *were* competing projects which got stuck trying
to define the one true set of keys and values that would work for

Some people say that while this may be true, the time has now come to
get rid of the old ways that got us where we are, and change tack to
something more conservative. This is a valid argument but I am not
convinced; a lot of innovation is still going on with tags, and strict
enforcement would run the risk of killing that.

> 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." 

OpenStreetMap is becoming a larger group of more diverse people with
more diverse interests, and since we don't - and don't aim to - have a
dictator at the top, things need to be done by consensus. These people
who take to the internet complaining about how OSM is incapable of
moving forward usually are people who are unwilling, or unable, to
convince the "great unwashed" their idea of "forward" is a good thing.
So they lament the lack of leadership and complain about "gatekeeping",
but it's really just them being unable to do the work required to
establish consensus in a large project.

Because that takes much more than a couple of blog posts (cf. the
license change).


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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