[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - (consulate)

Allan Mustard allan at mustard.net
Tue Oct 30 17:46:58 UTC 2018

Not really dropping.  More like reorganizing.  As someone who has spent
hours puzzling over Maperitive's rendering rules, deciding how to build
them so that particular categories of POIs will be rendered in specific
ways, I am quite sensitive to the need for consistency and a finite
number of possible permutations while also accommodating the need to
cover every eventuality.  Hierarchies are designed for exactly that
purpose.  After much back and forth at this point I am proposing a
hierarchy that I believe meets all needs without being overly complex,
and which will accommodate the novice mapper (diplomatic=embassy,
period) and the advanced mapper (diplomatic=embassy,
embassy=interests_section, etc.).  And by the way, it is radically
different from my original proposal.

diplomatic=* would become a top-level, primary tag.  It would have three
categories: embassy, consulate, other.  If the consensus is that "other"
sucks as an option I'm certainly open to other suggestions, but we need
something for diplomatic missions headed by neither an ambassador/charge
d'affaires (i.e., subject to the VCDR) nor a consul (i.e., subject to
the VCCR).

Then the real fun begins.  As I have read through the various comments
and suggestions, it has occurred to me that the following hierarchy of
tags would potentially fill the bill:

The three values/categories (embassy, consulate, other) would have
specific subcategories.  If you wanted to do a key search in overpass
turbo, it would still be possible. The subcategories would be

* embassy=[embassy/yes, nunciature, high_commission, interests_section,
mission, delegation, branch_embassy]

* consulate=[consulate/yes, consulate_general, consular_agency,
consular_office, honorary_consul]

* other=[liaison_office, representative_office, subnational]

(if I have missed any, please don't condemn me, just diplomatically
mention it, as it's late at night here). These subcategories would allow
overpass turbo searches as well as proper rendering by applications. 
They would also constitute a finite universe that covers all
contingencies (possibilities are indeed finite), making rendering and
searching much easier.

Now the super fun:  as I plowed through the comments, I realized we need
some functional categories, too, what in OSM are sometimes called
subtypes.  I am inspired by the way we specify types of motor fuel
available at a gas station:

* diplomatic:type=[trade_office, assistance_office, cultural_center,
user_defined]  If these are located away from the main chancery (which
happens a lot), they need to be mapped separately; if however such
offices are inside the main chancery (which also happens a lot) they
would not be mapped separately. 

We have also discussed having a tag like this, or something similar:

* diplomatic:services:[non-immigrant visas, immigrant visas, citizen

As to some of Johnparis' specific questions/objections:

    *I find this sentence in one of your emails to be particularly
    problematic on this subject:*
    */A trade mission (aka "trade commissioner", "commercial office",
    "trade representative") can be part of any of the three categories;
    it is not accredited separately/**.**
    **If someone needs to be an expert on international law to determine
    the tag, there's a problem with the tagging scheme.*

You don't need to be an expert.  You just need to be able to read.  If a
trade office is attached to an embassy, it is tagged as
diplomatic=embassy.  If it is attached to a consulate, it is tagged as
diplomatic=consulate.  If it is part of a liaison office or similar
"other" category, it is tagged diplomatic=other.  You don't have to be a
lawyer or international relations expert; you just have to read the sign
on the door or peruse the establishment's website to figure it out.

    *delegation -- not mentioned**
    **UN -- not mentioned -- probably should be same as permanent_mission**
    **trade_delegation -- not mentioned**
    **visa -- not mentioned (I believe these are for private companies
    that handle visas on behalf of consulates -- where to categorize?)*

*dele**gation* is typically considered a type of embassy (U.S.
Delegation to the United Nations, for example).  It is headed by an
ambassador.  Refer back to the rule of thumb that if it has an
ambassador, it is an embassy.

*UN* is not a separate type of diplomatic establishment.  It is an
international organization.  UN headquarters should be tagged office=*
but its diplomatic missions abroad should be tagged as
diplomatic=other.  They are not headed by ambassadors (please see my
previous comments on this subject).  Same holds for OSCE, OECD, and so on.

*trade_delegation* is another name for
trade_office=trade_representative=commercial_office, and we should seek
some modicum of standardization to avoid overproliferation of tags. If I
were an American chauvinist, I would insist on commercial_office, since
that is what the U.S. Department of Commerce calls its offices in
embassies and consulates abroad, but I'm not, and so will not.  If I
were an agricultural chauvinist, I would insist on a special category
for agricultural trade office, but will not.

*visa* is something stamped in your passport and is not a type of
diplomatic mission. This is a shining example of why we need to bring
some order to the chaos that is tagging of diplomatic missions.  Private
companies do not issue visas; they process visa applications but the
visas are issued by consular officers in the consulate.  If a private
company is performing that function, the tag should IMHO be
office=company, and the description used to advise that it handles visa
applications.  It is not a diplomatic establishment; it is a
contractor.  At least in the case of U.S. consulates, the consulate
website will tell you that such-and-such private company processes visa
applications and to go there to fill out your forms and get your
fingerprints taken.  It is not correct to tag such a private firm as a

    *I would advocate for office=diplomatic as the main tag rather than
    trying to create a new main tag.*

I advocated for that early on and was shouted down (please see
Who else out there wants to revisit the question of office=diplomatic
versus moving diplomatic=* to a top-level tag?  Please speak up! 

Best regards to all, and back to my non-papers.  Keep those cards and
letters coming in!


On 10/30/2018 2:57 PM, Johnparis wrote:
> The problem I see is that, as I understand it, Allan is proposing to
> drop some existing diplomatic=* values, such as
> diplomatic=permanent_mission. And the proposed substitute is to rely
> on the name=* tag.
> Martin pointed out a problem where something not an embassy has a name
> like an embassy. But also the proposal to "just search on the name"
> will fail if, for example, the tagging is something like this:
> office=diplomatic
> diplomatic=other
> name=مهمة تجارية من ليبيا
> If you're looking for trade missions, I doubt very much that you'll
> find that one. On the other hand, you will find it if the tag
> diplomatic=mission is used (I'm not proposing that as a value, but see
> below).
> On a similar note, I don't think the subtags proposed under "other"
> will ever gain widespread use. "Other" means "end of the road" to most
> people. Basically, anything you're thinking of under "other" that
> warrants its own category should be elevated one level, and
> "diplomatic=other" should be dropped. The trick is deciding on what
> categories are significant enough to merit a separate tagging value.
> Currently you're at "embassy, consulate," but I'd challenge you to go
> further.
> I find this sentence in one of your emails to be particularly
> problematic on this subject:
> /A trade mission (aka "trade commissioner", "commercial office",
> "trade representative") can be part of any of the three categories; it
> is not accredited separately/.
> If someone needs to be an expert on international law to determine the
> tag, there's a problem with the tagging scheme.
> Looking at taginfo (thanks for the correct link, Martin), I see that
> there are very, very few subtags currently in use for diplomatic=*
> embassy
> consulate
> consulate_general -- folded into consulate under current proposal --
> this makes sense to me
> honorary_consulate -- folded into consulate -- is that right? My
> experience with honorary consuls is that they are more like private
> citizens promoting trade
> high_commission -- folded into embassy -- sensible
> permanent_mission -- not mentioned -- should be folded into embassy?
> delegation -- not mentioned
> UN -- not mentioned -- probably should be same as permanent_mission
> trade_delegation -- not mentioned
> visa -- not mentioned (I believe these are for private companies that
> handle visas on behalf of consulates -- where to categorize?)
> non_diplomatic -- becomes "other" -- I think this should be dropped
> entirely
> You also had a partial list of proposed tags for "other" ...
> liaison_office
> representative_office
> subnational
> trade_office
> cultural_center
> assistance_office
> These are all candidates for values of diplomatic=* (I doubt most need
> their own category, and thus should be dropped). In particular the
> "subnational" tag is already implied by the existence of a hyphen in
> the "sending_country" (US-VA for Virginia, for instance).
> Finally, on the question of whether to make the main tag "office" or
> "diplomatic" -- this reminds me of the discussion several years back
> for the Internet's top-level domains (.com, .edu, .uk, etc...), which
> are now free-for-all. As Martin pointed out, certain existing programs
> (like the openstreetmap.org <http://openstreetmap.org> map) assume a
> small subset of top-level tags, and adding to that small subset is not
> easy. So I would advocate for office=diplomatic as the main tag rather
> than trying to create a new main tag.
> John
> On Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 10:09 AM Warin <61sundowner at gmail.com
> <mailto:61sundowner at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     On 29/10/18 21:23, Martin Koppenhoefer wrote:
>>     sent from a phone
>>     On 29. Oct 2018, at 11:18, Martin Koppenhoefer
>>     <dieterdreist at gmail.com <mailto:dieterdreist at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>     At the moment mappers can simply tag by using the name
>>     here’s an example for a misleading name tag:
>>     https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/332554285
>     Just to make it clear.
>     I am only using things already tagged amenity=embassy, but missing
>     a diplomatic tag and then using the associated name value to
>     determine what diplomatic value to add.
>     Not simply every name tag in the data base... that could lead to
>     some interesting results. 
>     There are some things miss-tagged as amenity=embassy .. one is a
>     school (I have re-tagged that), I think 3 others are brothels...
>     fixmes in place now.
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