[Tagging] Page about mismatching key names (historic=wayside_shrine used for modern ones etc)

Evan Derickson derickson.e at gmail.com
Fri Jan 24 17:33:10 UTC 2020

Rather than "Mismatching key names", what about "Counterintuitive key

On Fri, Jan 24, 2020 at 9:20 AM Volker Schmidt <voschix at gmail.com> wrote:

> OK,
> my wording was intentionally provoking. But this basic conceptual issue is
> at the base of many unnecessary tagging modifications.
> I refrained from adding the OSM version of the duck principle.
> One of the items in the proposed page illustrates well why I think people
> need to get the message that we only use words as codes, not as meaning.
> We had for a long time waterway=canal and for the outline we used
> water=riverbank (and we still mostly do use that combination). Perfectly
> working, we did not care if we were mapping the bank of a river or the bank
> of a canal. At some point someone came up with the idea that canal is not a
> river hence a riverbank is not a canalbank and introduced water=canal for
> the concept of  the canalbank.
> (I am a bit exaggerating here the reason for the change was different -
> see the thread "[Tagging] Canal banks")
> My basic message is tags are made of key and value and everything is
> codewords. We have build a whole structure into the codewords with several
> levels of colons in order to make extracting things form the database
> easier, but this is not part of the core structure of the database.
> There is no mismatch between natural=water and water=canal if you
> understand that all keys and values are codewords. Human readability is a
> convenience, but is not reflected in the data structure at all.
> On Fri, 24 Jan 2020 at 15:31, Jarek PiĆ³rkowski <jarek at piorkowski.ca>
> wrote:
>> On Fri, 24 Jan 2020 at 09:12, Volker Schmidt <voschix at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Il ven 24 gen 2020, 11:51 Mateusz Konieczny via Tagging <
>> tagging at openstreetmap.org> ha scritto:
>> >> One of topics often appearing is mismatch between meaning of key
>> >> and key text.
>> >> ...
>> >> It is created at
>> >> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Mismatching_key_names
>> >> but page name is horrible. Ideas for a better one is welcome.
>> >>
>> >> Also, I only started it - help in expanding and improving it
>> >> is highly welcomed.
>> >
>> > These are no mismatches.
>> > Keys and values are in principle arbitrary sequences of alphanumeric
>> characters. By convention we try to make them mnemonic by using strings
>> that somehow help us remember the meaning of the string. By convention we
>> use British English words for keys and values, plus numbers, mainly for
>> values.
>> >
>> > This explanation needs to be placed prominently on the new page, to
>> avoid any doubt.
>> Please no. That wiki page is a much better explanation than this "it's
>> only symbols".
>> Keys and values are ways for us as human editors to communicate with
>> each other. Those are commonly called "words" - well, at least in
>> Canadian English, I don't know about British English.
>> It is definitely worth explaining why some words as OSM editors use
>> them are different from words as the rest of the world (or a subset of
>> the world) might use them.
>> --Jarek
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Evan Derickson
derickson.e at gmail.com
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