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

Warin 61sundowner at gmail.com
Fri Jun 8 07:01:57 UTC 2018

On 08/06/18 16:29, Frederik Ramm wrote:

> Hi,
> 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?

A 'benevolent dictator'.

Let us know if you find one.

> And if something turns out to be designed wrongly, how will it be
> challenged?
>> And I wouldn't mind if
>> these keys were enforced from now on.

How would do the enforcing?
At the moment you can use any tags you  like.
I hope that does not change.

> 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
> everything).
> 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).

It takes a lot of work.

And that would not change with some top level person dictating things.

One of the mainĀ  problems is inertia.

Some tags have so much 'use' (I prefer the term 'misuse' in some cases.. well all the ones I'd change if I were dictator)
that convincing most that they need to change gets very hard.

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