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

Peter Elderson pelderson at gmail.com
Fri Jun 8 08:33:59 UTC 2018

 > Some tags have so much 'use' (I prefer the term 'misuse' in some
cases.. that
convincing most that they need to change gets very hard.

True, but if the change is a change of direction not requiring massive
changes, 100% backwards compatible, the change is already in progress
despite not being rendered, and the only thing in the way is in fact the
lack of rendering while at the tagging side people would prefer the
direction change if it was... I think it's more like a veto than like a
lack of consensus about the idea.

Such a situation could be solved by a strong leader. But that's not how OSM
is built.
Other ways are conditional commitment and experiment.

In this case, if there was a commitment from the renderer side, say to plan
the rendering of landcover=trees and landcover=grass if the use of the key
rises above [N] by [deadline], I think that would give taggers the choice
they now don't have.

Some of them will still say "it's not rendered" now so I will use the old
Others will tag both, so it will be rendered anyway, and redundant tags can
be removed later, no hurry.
Others will tag for the new situation, knowing that the blanks on the map
will fill in once the time has come.

BTW, Current usage of landcover=* according to taginfo is over 49000, and
still rising despite not being rendered or offered as a preset by tagging

2018-06-08 9:01 GMT+02:00 Warin <61sundowner at gmail.com>:

> 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 main  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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Vr gr Peter Elderson
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