[Talk-GB] Voting mechanical edit: UK shop names

Matthijs Melissen info at matthijsmelissen.nl
Sat Nov 1 01:39:41 UTC 2014

Hi Frederik,

Thank you for your comments.

On 1 Nov 2014 00:49, "Frederik Ramm" <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
> However, is this not leading us down a path where we'll have to repeat
> such edits time and time again, to fix all the misspellings that have
> been introduced in the mean time?

I don't think it will be necessary to repeat this edit. First, such a
wide-scale edit hasn't been done before, so the current edit basically
corrects 10 years of misspellings. Second, if there is a standard
agreed on by the community, we can document it and will be much easier
for people to decide how to call a shop. Third, there is now much more
software support for standardizing names then there used to be in the
past, like for example name-suggestion-index
(https://github.com/osmlab/name-suggestion-index) which is used by iD
and Vespucci. So I think there won't be that much misspellings
introduced in the future anymore as we have now.

> And to make another mass change if
> chain A is bought out by chain B and the name changes? And make another
> mass change if the PR guys of "Best-One" decide that they'd from now on
> prefer to be called "BestOne"? And... where does it stop?

I think in general, there are two absolute requirements for mechanical
edits. They must not introduce any incorrect data (i.e., they cannot
use heuristic methods), and they must have wide community support. I
think the two examples you mention would likely satisfy both
requirements. We must not carry out mechanical changes that do not
satisfy these requirements.

> Will such a mass edit not make data consumers believe that the shop will
> always be B&Q and never B & Q or anything else, and create an
> expectation setting that before too long requires of us to make sure our
> editors only add the correct spelling (whatever the corporate PR wants
> it to be at the moment)?

If we want machine-readable data, we will need standard names. We can
decide that we don't care about standard names, but in that case,
interpreting the data will be much harder. Of course, we cannot expect
from individual users that they remember the spelling conventions of
all shop names, but for that, software such as name-suggestion-index
will help. Of course, there might still be a small number of incorrect
shops being introduced, but as the number will likely be low and this
proposal defines standardized shop names, they will be much easier to
correct by local mappers.

In any case, it is up to the (UK) community to decide. I feel that
standardizing shop names will increase the usefulness of the data, and
I believe that a mechanical edit is the most effective way to bring
about this change. But we will see what the community thinks.

-- Matthijs

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