[Talk-GB] Mass edits of landuse /natural tags

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Thu Apr 25 18:33:11 UTC 2013


On 25.04.2013 19:07, John Baker wrote:
> The wiki is a consensus of opinion over the years about how to tag
> things.

It isn't. There have been more than enough cases where after *years* it 
was found that somewhere hidden away in a wiki page there was a 
statement that was absolutely not reflecting any kind of consensus. 
There are, regularly, votes in which Wiki users decide to "deprecate" 
some tag used by thousands, and replace it with something else - all 
that with 20 people participating and voting.

We aim to make the Wiki a good documentation of our work in OSM, but 
where Wiki and practice diverge, practice rules. That's why before you 
take some wiki page and interpret it as code to modify the database, you 
are expected to discuss - to make sure that (a) the wiki page is right, 
(b) your reading of the wiki page is right, (c) the algorithm you are 
planning to apply has no unfortunate side effects, and so on.

> To be honest I am less likely to engage in discussion about future edits
> as all they will seem to end in is: always message the original editor,
> always do a manual survey and you don't know what you are doing - all of
> which I strongly disagree with.

As long as you're making manual edits you can get away with a lot; 
people will assume that if you make a specific change then you have 
valid reasons for that (e.g. some kind of additional source rather than 
just an algorithm). Any sort of mechanical mass-edit requires discussion 
so if you don't feel like discussing then you must not make the edit.

There's scope for widely accepted automatic or mechanical edits. Some 
guy in Germany removes, I believe, trailing spaces from names - but only 
in Germany because he hasn't discussed this idea outside. It is also 
very unlikely that you find someone who objects to e.g. automaticall 
yreplacing the mis-typed "highway=residentail" with 
"highway=residential". But even such simple things should, if applied in 
a wider scope, be discussed beforehand - out of politeless if nothing 
else, but also to avoid a potential flaw in your reasoning to go undetected.

Someone once replaced all name=McDonalds with name=McDonald's, arguing 
that that was the correct name of the fast food chain but accidentally 
renaming a couple of totall different things that were really called 
McDonalds. A short discussion beforehand could helped to avoid that mistake.

Re. your latest point "you don't know what you're doing" - my impression 
is that your attitude is "I know better anyway", an attitude that is 
problematic enough in mappers but becomes inacceptable as soon as people 
make large-scale edits.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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