[Tagging] Using multipolygons to map bays in Alaska

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com
Sat Nov 17 18:16:32 UTC 2018

On Sat, Nov 17, 2018 at 10:23 AM Paul Allen <pla16021 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Nov 17, 2018 at 11:29 AM Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org>
> wrote:
>> I do agree that while we should not "map for the renderer"
> I would modify that a little.  We shouldn't LIE for the renderer.  Given
> two, equally valid (documented,
> accepted, supported) tagging schemes we are at liberty to choose which to
> use, and our choice may
> be influenced by the rendition of one or more renderers.  But that's a
> side-issue.


The purpose most mappers have, when deciding to include an object, is that
the object should be rendered somewhere. I don't say here, 'rendered in
OSM-Carto', I say 'rendered somewhere'. I'm entirely willing to do my own
custom rendering for objects of special interest.

But, when I've asked questions of the form, "how can I most effectively tag
objects of type A from objects of type B, because I wish to render them
differently on my own maps?" (Example: the access=permit kerfuffle), I've
repeatedly been met with an argument that I'm tagging for the renderer.  It
is not 'tagging for the renderer' to make the observation that no
conceivable renderer can make a decision based on data that are not on the

The discussion of indefinite objects falls in the same category in my mind.
We shouldn't have to discard what is known or defined about an object
because some other part of the object is unknown or indefinite. We can't
map what is known if we've thrown it away. I don't want to throw away St.
Lawrence County because nobody has ever surveyed a line through the swamps
of the St. Regis basin, and I likewise don't want to throw away Jamaica Bay
(or for that matter, the Gulf or Bothnia) because we don't have a 100%
agreed-on field-verifiable bright line across their mouths. I recognize
that the Gulf of Bothnia may fall afoul of technological limitations, and
I've conceded that point, but in cases where we won't cause widespread
breakage, it surely makes sense to do what can be done with the imperfect
information at our disposal!
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