[Tagging] Feature Proposal - Voting - boundary=aboriginal_lands

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Thu Nov 29 10:38:34 UTC 2018

sent from a phone

> On 28. Nov 2018, at 02:54, Doug Hembry <doughembry at hotmail.com> wrote:
> I'm also wondering (an even broader question) at the justification for 
> making a decision like this (the approval of boundary=aboriginal_lands) 
> on the basis of 20 or so votes (so far, hopefully more to come)  mostly 
> from involved and passionate supporters of the proposal out of the 
> hundreds of thousands in the OSM community.

The number of people voting is usually in this range, while it would be better to have a wider participation in the tag development process, it simply isn’t the case. Most people apparently (and many declaredly) just want to map based on established tags and not dedicate time to advance the scheme. I still am confident that the process is somehow working, if a vote looks like  it could become skewed (due to general low participation numbers it doesn’t look very hard to distort a result), I guess more people could be mobilized to get a broader picture. Also questions that touch a broad field usually get more participation than “specialist” areas.

> Where are the OSM'ers who 
> originally created the boundary=protected_area proposal and got it 
> approved. Have they voted?

you can see it by looking at the usernames. Well, if you can find the proposal (maybe there wasn’t any, that was normal in 2009). Looking at the history, the process seems dominated by one user, this is apparently the first page about the tag: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Special:MobileDiff/363402

By the time, I thought it would be a good scheme because it distinguished the hierarchy (level: national, regional etc.) and the protection scope (natural, cultural, etc.), and had also a structured tag (pr.title) for the actual class name —- and numeric values were still quite common in tagging anyway (sac scale, tracktype, admin_level), although those numbers are actually easier to understand because they express a hierarchy, unlike the protect classes which are just codes.

Compared to the 2 tags that already were established in 2009,
leisure=nature_reserve and boundary=national_park,
it seemed more versatile and universally applicable.

I still believe it is desirable to have a scheme which offers ways to precisely define the kind of protected area, just that numbered classes for the scope were a bad idea. Especially because it is the essence of the thing to know what is protected, not just a detail. A good scheme should allow for both: adding rough information and refine it with details. At least for a basic representation you should not have to resort to lookup tables or presets.
I am also not sure any more whether we should put all kinds of protected areas in the same bucket, maybe there could already be a first class distinction between natural protection, resource protection and social protection.

e.g. “water_protection_area” rather than a handful of protected tags with obscure protection classes. 
On the other hand, I would not create first level classes to distinguish between a national park and a regional park.

Generally for a scheme to gain ground it is helpful to be structured in a way that makes it possible for standard osm2pgsql style based DBs to make sense of the tagging, although this aspect is becoming less important with more people using hstore or similar structures (unlimited keys).

Cheers, Martin 

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