[Tagging] Updating definition and description of place=square

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 23 19:06:09 UTC 2020

On Mon, 23 Mar 2020 at 18:36, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com>

> Am Mo., 23. März 2020 um 01:39 Uhr schrieb Joseph Eisenberg <
> joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com>:
>> > A blanket rule that anything with "Square" in the name must be mapped as
>> place=square is as defective as one saying that anything with
>> "Maes" in the name must be mapped as a field.
>> Right, and it only works for languages that have a shared cultural
>> heritage (European languages).
> maybe. It works here. Perfectly.

Says you.  You may well be right.  But all I can know with certainty is that
your personal definition of place=square works perfectly for you.  Others
less happy with your definition.

place is inherently about toponyms. That's what it is for.

Labels on the map are toponyms.  The place key is a way to get a
toponym rendered as a label.  But the value describes what that thing is
(and, incidentally, may affect font and type size of the label, as well as
zooms at which it is rendered).  If place=* were ONLY about toponyms
then we would have just place=yes + name=*.

If we need a tag for an open air area where people can gather, let's invent
> another word for it. Square is not the tag for it.

in your opinion, based upon your definition, which perfectly matches how you
choose to use it.  I might even agree with you that, in hindsight, that was
not the best value to use for an open-air, unvegetated area where people can
gather.  But it has been documented, interpreted and used (by people other
than yourself) to mean the public place you do not want it to mean.

It would be nice to be able to learn from all our past mistakes and fork OSM
(and its data) but using better choices for tag names and values.  But when
Fred Brooks wrote "Plan to throw the first one away; you will anyhow." we
didn't have open-sourced continuous development.  There are no major
and minor versions of OSM, there is just a continuously-evolving OSM
where only minor changes can occur at any one time.

> Maybe you do not have to use the tag at all, if there is no concept for it
> ("streetname" for objects that are not directed, linear streets but squares
> = undirected, public open space in a street context)?

Maybe you don't have to use it at all for your purposes.  Maybe you should
be the one who cannot tag things of interest to him.  Normally I wouldn't
even think of suggesting something like that as an option, but somebody
else suggested it first.  Actually, I think that "You can't tag something
because I don't see a need for it" is not a very good idea, but apparently
some people think otherwise.

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