[Tagging] iD presets

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Thu Jun 21 10:16:41 UTC 2018

On Thursday 21 June 2018, Bryan Housel wrote:
> As I see it, the users of iD and the community are deciding which
> presets get included.  I might recommend a change in what the display
> name should be, or what icon it should have, but I almost never tell
> someone that they can’t add a preset or field (some examples coming
> up next).

Then why do you object to Frederik's idea of separating the tagging 
presets from editor development and give up control over the decisions? 
No specifc suggestion has been made so far how such a project would be 
managed (and as i have already said i have concerns about one single 
preset collection with no alternatives under any kind of central 
control) but still this remains an important question here for me.

I am glad you work on improving possibilities for choice of presets and 
this could over time be used to allow alternatives - like converting 
the JOSM presets (which already includes a lot of specialized add on 
preset collections) or managing diverse independent preset collections.  
This is IMO the best way to go ahead here.

> I actually think being more involved in tagging discussions here is
> probably the solution to educating mappers about how to design tags
> in a way that is easier for software (and users) to work with.

I think this comment (as well as your list of criteria for preset 
decisions) greatly illustrates where we differ on a very fundamental 
level.  IMO the whole point of OSM is having a mapper centric approach 
to tagging, mappers decide which tags to use based on what is most 
convenient for them.  I am all for educating mappers how to better 
achieve this because many new mappers struggle with that obviously.  
But the aim should not be to cater developers of software (or 
indicrectly the users of the software as you put it).  Pursuing this 
aim on a large scale would be poison for OSM.

To give you a specific example - not something with particularly high 
impact but still one of my favorite in this regard.  Mapping an 
aeroway=runway with a two note way and a width tag is quite clearly the 
quickest, most compact, most convenient and at the same time perfectly 
precise method to map it.  But for editor developers like you this is 
complicated because you have to visualize the runway width and support 
interactive manipulation of it.  For you it is way more convenient if 
mappers agree to map runways with polygons.  Ok, this particular case 
is not strictly a pure tagging problem but i hope it illustrates the 
difference between a mapper centric approach to tagging and a developer 
or data user centric approach and why i think it is highly important to 
stick to the former.

Christoph Hormann

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