[Talk-GB] too many universities in Cambridge

Andy Allan gravitystorm at gmail.com
Fri May 22 13:36:28 UTC 2015

On 22 May 2015 at 11:54, David Earl <david at frankieandshadow.com> wrote:

> 2. What is a University anyway?

I'll not explore the concept of a university too far, since very
little about groups of people is relevant to OSM!

However, if you were to say "What is the physical aspect of a
university" then I would say it's a collection of one or more places -
usually parcels of ground, often with buildings. In OpenStreetMap we
tend to represent collections of entities with a relation, unless the
tagging of each part is substantially the same (i.e. no need for a
relation when you split a road and add bridge tags.

I note that the amenity=university tag is used mostly (exclusively?)
on buildings, and I think that this is incorrect. I would expect a way
tagged amenity=university to indicate that everything within that way
- buildings, gardens, carparks etc - was part of the university. So we
can probably retag things to cut down the numbers by using perimeters
around particular areas.

> 4. Constantly changing tags creates a moving target that is extremely hard
> to maintain for data consumers, and is a major off-putting factor in using
> OSM, especially if you can't manage the process because things just change
> under your feet.

Yep, I certainly agree with you there. But when things are tagged
'incorrectly' (fsvo incorrect, of course), then we need to change the

> My view is that tags are merely
> tokens and too much is read into the words.

Yep, I've gone on at length about this with people wishing to change
the order of the characters within a particular tag - it's

>  bear in mind this has a
> direct financial cost to me as a freelancer supporting the University map,
> and that the University has been a big benefactor for OSM, even though they
> get the rest of the map back in return, so you really don't want to give
> them a slap in the face for doing so.

Be careful. To say that we need to support your old tagging scheme
indefinitely would seem to be a slap in the face for all our
volunteers, now and in the future.


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