[Tagging] Tagging the presence or absence of signs for surveillance cameras

Victor/tuxayo victor at tuxayo.net
Wed Feb 19 03:29:57 UTC 2020

Hi, :)

This is kind of a proposal/first discussion to introduce the following 
tag and values for surveillance cameras :
"camera:signed=yes" => when the camera has a sign that warns about it's 
"camera:signed=no" => when the camera does not hold any information sign 
about itself.

== Some context ==

In countries like France (and it seems that now the whole EU due to 
GDRP), cameras filming the public space must notify the public of their 
existence via a regulatory sign. Thus, the presence or absence of the 
sign would be an important information to map.
Clearly, the idea is to map whether the sign is present or absent. And 
not to map the fact that the camera complies or not with the laws of the 
country. Like private places receiving public visitors, workplaces, etc.

The current context of this need is a campaign[1] in France against the 
current trend for the use of automated CCTV in the public space 
(suspicious behavior detection, facial recognition, etc).
The relevant part of this campaign is to take legal action in some 
cities against these cameras whose presence is not being notified to 
people and that are not even always signed (thus illegal with regards to 
the GDRP). These legal actions would ask for more information, 
transparency and access to camera locations and other information as 
open data.

== Why are we proposing the tag camera:signed=* ? ==

Coincidentally there was a recent discussion[2] about these signs in the 
french mailing list (talk-fr) which lead to adding the following section 
in the page

 > In countries where the public must be notified of surveillance 
cameras, the following tags could be used on the node:
 >     tourism=information
 >     information=board
 >     board_type=surveillance

The followup of the of discussion show's that Ā«tourism=informationĀ» 
shouldn't be used, only the two other lines.
This does not look as a good complete solution (in addition of being a 
bit too verbose). Indeed it does not allow to map for a missing sign.
Something working like https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:noname is 
needed in our case.

To solve the issue of the missing sign, an extensive search of taginfo 
and parts of the wiki showed that the closest used tag was : 
It's even documented:
 > This key is used to annotate the fact that there is no on-the-ground 
sign indicating this feature's name.

So unsigned=* would need to be extended to include the usage with cameras.

But the problem with this solution is that when the sign is present we 
would have unsigned=no which is quite confusing and error-prone (double 

So what about the tag :
This sounds clear.
But it's confusing as unsigned=* already exists and one could get mixed 
up between the two (unsigned and signed).
And also, signed is a very general word so standardizing it's usage is 
more difficult because other usages (than cameras) have to be thought about.

So to keep things simple, stupid (KISS)[3], let's use a prefix:

Moreover, this solution is consistent with the existing tag camera:type=*

So we hope to have covered the right points to have a good basis for 
comments and discussions.

The talk-fr list will be notified that the topic is continuing here.

[1] https://technopolice.fr/
[3] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Any_tags_you_like#Style_Guide.3F


Victor/tuxayo and eda_n

More information about the Tagging mailing list