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

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Sun Jul 28 12:24:47 UTC 2019

I think Christoph brings up a very good point.

If I understand correctly, he wasn't accusing the new page of saying
"this is the right way to use statuses", since it just describes and
explains how the current "status" feature is currently used.

But rather, he was saying that by just describing the current way that
the wiki is used, it perpetuates the current system that is
systemically tilted toward English-speaking, privileged Westerners
such as ourselves.

While in theory anyone can edit the wiki or join the Tagging group,
there are in practice only a few hundred people who do either, out of
the many thousands of mappers and many millions of users, and those of
use who contribute here and on the wiki are mainly Europeans (plus
their old colonialists from America, Australia etc) who read and write
English fluently.

I live in Papua, Indonesia, but I'm well aware that my background and
preconceptions and values are very different those of most Papuans and
other Indonesians.

Christoph, do you have any ideas about how we could be more inclusive
and make it easier for mappers from other countries to create and
document new tags?

I hoped that by better defining the "de facto" status and defining a
clear way that a tag can be promoted to this value (which currently is
honored with a green highlighting, just like "approved"), there could
be an objective and fair way for "in use" tags to be added to Map
Features without going through the Proposal process.

This would allow, say, and Indonesian mapper to start using
"amenity=motorcycle_taxi" for Ojek stands
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorcycle_taxi) or even "amenity=ojek"
- and if the gained enough popularity and met the criteria it could be
given status=defacto and added to Map Features without having a

I'd say this should happen even when the tag isn't really in British
English, if it's been organically accepted by mappers - for example,
we use amenity=bureau_de_change instead of amenity=currency_exchange
or =money_changer

But I also see a benefit to not allowing just any tag to be added to
Map Features without discussion, especially if they are not commonly
used, don't have a clear definition, aren't verifiable by ordinary
mappers, etc.


On 7/28/19, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com> wrote:
> sent from a phone
>> On 28. Jul 2019, at 11:12, Christoph Hormann <osm at imagico.de> wrote:
>> ultimately
>> means recommended by those who have dominance over editing the wiki
> who are they? Everybody can modify the wiki (and indeed from my experience
> the wiki is more the sum of many individual, punctual and sometimes even
> disconnected edits and additions, than it is the result of an orchestrated
> effort by a small group of self-elected dominators). When there are disputes
> about edits they are usually brought to discussion on the mailing lists and
> “forums”, and if you decide not to participate in any of this, you will have
> to live with what the others do (not speaking about you, Christoph,
> personally). Joseph didn’t introduce the tag status concept, he is only
> trying to improve the documentation and find the common understanding of
> what these “statuses” mean and how they are assigned, which should make it
> easier for newcomers to engage in the discussions about topics they care
> for.
>> 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.
> I believe it is desirable to have a single status and meaning for a tag. The
> project scope is global and there is no need to re-use the same tag for a
> different meaning or insist on deprecation of a tag that is significantly
> used in some other areas and works for those who use it. Just use a
> different or additional tag for your specific meaning. Ultimately it isn’t a
> huge issue if occasionally different tags are used for the same or very
> similar feature class or property, but it is an issue if the same tag is
> defined differently in different languages. This does not exclude that the
> same tag may have a specific meaning just for an explicitly defined area
> (e.g. uk crossing shortcuts), or that it could not shift with the time.
> Cheers Martin
> _______________________________________________
> Tagging mailing list
> Tagging at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/tagging

More information about the Tagging mailing list