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

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Sun Jul 28 15:46:49 UTC 2019

I don't think it would be easy to automate.

My impression is that the "de facto" status tags and keys area usually:

1) In use for a long time.

Most are been around since 2008 or sooner, but at least for several
years if newer. This requires checking http://taghistory.raifer.tech
or old database extracts, or having personal knowledge of the

2) Are used for a large percentage of all the real world features of
that type, or have high and growing usage.

This requires knowing that 5 oceans, 7 continents, or 220 countries is
100 percent, but 500 tree stumps is not very much. I don't think
computers are so good at this.

3) Are not debatable or in conflict with a synonymous tag

This requires knowing what other tags mean the same thing or nearly
the same thing, and checking the Talk page and old forum or Tagging
mailing list archives and old draft proposals to see if any serious
problems came up.

4) Have a clear definition and reasonably complete wiki documentation

This is pretty easy for a human to check, but not so easy for a computer.

(And the prerequisite is that there wasn't an approved proposal in the
past, which also requires searching the archives; otherwise it should
be "approve" )

I think these 4 criteria are fairly objective, but not something that
can be determined by a simple algorithm.

If they are not met, the tag is probably "in use" if it's being
currently added by mappers this year.

Tags that meet all 4 criteria are probably as good as the average "Approved" tag

- Joseph

On 7/28/19, Christoph Hormann <osm at imagico.de> wrote:
> On Sunday 28 July 2019, Joseph Eisenberg wrote:
>> 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 think emphasizing and reaffirming the fact that the wiki is to
> document the de facto use and meaning of tags and openly documenting
> and explaining contradictions, ambiguities and regional differences in
> tagging rather than hiding them to present a subjectively desired
> reality of tagging would be a good approach.
> If the wiki documents the de facto use and meaning of tags that would
> automatically give different language versions of the documentation
> equal standing because all of them aim to document the same thing.  If
> however the wiki aims to document the supposed meaning of tags there
> will inevitably be a struggle for opinion leadership on what this
> supposed meaning is to be and this struggle will inevitably be
> dominated by the English language.
> What i specifically think is not a good idea is intermixing the formal
> status of a proposal in the proposal process
> ('draft', 'proposed', 'voting', 'approved' and 'rejected') with either
> objective and verifiable classifications of the actual use of tags and
> subjective recommendations if a certain tag should or should not be
> used.
>> 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.
> I don't think there is a reasonable verifiable way to define a
> sub-classification among tags that are widely accepted to be used with
> a certain meaning but that have never successfully gone through a
> proposal process.  If there was a way to do this it would probably be
> possible to automatically determine this and show such status in
> taginfo (although if that involves the historic development that might
> be technically challenging).
> --
> Christoph Hormann
> http://www.imagico.de/
> _______________________________________________
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> Tagging at openstreetmap.org
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