[Tagging] New page "Approval status" for "de facto", "in use", "approved" etc

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Sun Jul 28 09:12:48 UTC 2019

On Saturday 27 July 2019, Joseph Eisenberg wrote:
> Please take a minute to review the new page
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Approval_status
> [...]

A bit of a general remark here - the OSM wiki has for quite some time 
been torn between being an attempt to document the established mapping 
practice (i.e. what tags actually mean based on how they are used) and 
being a way to tell mappers what tags are supposed to mean in the 
opinion of those editing the wiki.

The way you present this status concept is in support of the latter - in 
particular your use of the term "recommended" on status values that do 
not represent a formal proposal status (that 
is 'draft', 'proposed', 'voting', 'approved' and 'rejected') ultimately 
means recommended by those who have dominance over editing the wiki.

You should keep in mind that this whole concept of meta-classification 
of tags into a set of classes - as attractive as it might be to allow a 
simplistic understanding of tagging in OSM and management of the 
complexity of tagging by a small group of people on the wiki - is going 
to inevitably fail because it tries to trivialize the complexity of the 
geography (which we try to document in tagging) and the social 
dimension of very different people looking at this geography from 
different sides.  The only way to properly document the status of a tag 
is IMO through a verbalized description - which is the essence of what 
tag documentation on the wiki traditionally was centered around.

Also keep in mind that most of concept this idea of tag 'status' is 
based on massively discriminating against languages other than English.  
For the proposal process this is obvious but this also applies to many 
of the other ideas of status.  In contrast to the verbalized 
documentation of tags - which can exist in any language or set of 
languages independent of each others the idea of a tag status is that 
of a single status defined by authority over the global OSM community.

Christoph Hormann

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