[Tagging] Proposed Feature - Voting - Electricity

Lukas Richert lrichert at posteo.de
Fri Jan 22 00:35:51 UTC 2021

Ah, I think removing the specifications to electricity:access may have 
made this a bit more ambiguous than it was in the previous rendition 
(but then it was overworked so...) To make it clearer (hopefully!): 
electricity should be tagged on significant public buildings or 
amenities where the information is beneficial to the community. So, the 
knowledge of if a hospital has a generator would generally be helpful 
but that a supermarket has electricity in the US can be assumed to be 
given. If the electricity is available to the public then access=* or 
electricity:access=* should be used to clarify. (I just noticed that 
this tag is missing in one example, I'll add it when voting finishes). 
Default is access=private so that any travellers are not unduly 
surprised in case of mistagging. So for the cafe page I would add a note 
that electricity=yes + electricity:access=customers + socket:*=# would 
be the tagging method if there are publicly available charging spots.

I think adding the word significant to the definition would bring it on 
par with the natural=tree definition. Many other tags that can similarly 
be over-tagged don't have disclaimers however. I can further define what 
significant means, but I fear this means that it then becomes too long 
again and people don't actually bother reading the page. I'm open to 

I think a general discussion as to the breadth of tagging would be good 
for OSM - I'm not so sure that the electricity proposal is the right 
place for that though. In OSM I can find the color temperature, ref, 
direction, mounting method and a host of other information about the 
street lamp outside my window as well as the building material that my 
house is made of. Certainly too much information for me but perhaps 
useful to some. Perhaps having some sorts of layers could be useful? It 
seems most major tags are already categorized but perhaps it would be 
useful to start thinking about the level of detail each tag provides so 
that some can be filtered out. That is, you can view only buildings and 
then with a further layer download the detail-tags of the primary 
objects and the not-so-important-for-navigation amenities. I think some 
map providers such as OSMAnd already do this to some extent?

Mapping in OSM seems to be headed in two directions - those that want a 
extremely accurate map with every detail possible and those that want a 
barebones navigation map. Personally, I think the strength of OSM is the 
level of detail available in the database, but when e.g. travelling one 
only needs outlines and some basic amenities typically. Perhaps then the 
worry of excessive over-tagging would be lessened. Are there any other 
problems with too much detail other than excessive file size that I'm 

On 20/01/2021 23:57, Stefan Tauner wrote:
> On Wed, 20 Jan 2021 23:45:46 +0100 (CET)
> Mateusz Konieczny via Tagging <tagging at openstreetmap.org> wrote:
>> https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=19/48.20506/16.37955
> Yes, this was a big import done from OGD in Vienna with about 300k
> trees about 8 years ago IIRC and there are quite some problems with them
> (e.g., regarding keeping them up to date).
> However, I am not so sure if this is a good example for an argument
> against "overtagging" though. Most of these trees are tagged with quite
> many details (species, height, circumference of the trunk,
> diameter_crown, a start_date) and thus are regularly used to showcase
> proof of concepts like 3d mapping based on OSM data where these tags
> are used, cf.
> https://demo.f4map.com/#lat=48.2040328&lon=16.3774375&zoom=19
> This very clearly shows how such data can be beneficial although
> looking redundantly and not fitting initially.
> (I was not involved in the import and would not support a similar
> operation in the future but not because of the questions at hand but
> maintainability).

On 21/01/2021 10:37, Mateusz Konieczny via Tagging wrote:
> Jonathan Haas now phrased much better what I was trying to express and 
> noticed a bit wider
> issue:
> "I feel it is not well defined what electricity=yes actually means. 
> Does it mean the building
> has electricity, or the electricity is available to a visitor/guest? 
> Or putting it another way,
> what is the implied value of electricity:access=* if it isn't present? 
> If it just means that the
> building has electricity, tagging electricity=yes is useless in most 
> developed countries, as
> that should be implied. If it means the electricity is available to 
> guests
> (like in the café/campsite example), that means the tagging doesn't 
> make sense for
> third-world-hospitals."
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/electricity#Voting 
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/electricity#Voting>
> Jan 20, 2021, 22:02 by lrichert at posteo.de:
>     Hi Mateusz,
>     the proposal doesn't encourage pointless spam. I have already said
>     that I agree with you and will add that language into the final
>     wiki page, although I personally think that it is a given that one
>     shouldn't tag things when there is a clear default. Abstain from
>     the vote if you must - I asked often enough if there were any
>     other small fixes that need doing, but I strongly object to the
>     word *encouraging* in your text. Encouraging would be if I
>     explicitly asked people to tag this on every public amenity, which
>     I don't.
>     Unfortunately I can't change the wording during the vote but this
>     is a truly minor change that can be done afterward. You seem to be
>     trying to find any reason to vote against it - it's quite tiring -
>     instead of focussing on the substance of the proposal.
>     Regards, Lukas
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