[OSM-talk] Label Ontology Version 1.0

Tom Carden tom at tom-carden.co.uk
Fri Mar 3 08:37:56 GMT 2006

On 3/3/06, Etienne Cherdlu <openstreetmap-L at gj0.net> wrote:
> Folks
> There's some guidance on the wiki about using labels but nothing very
> formalised.  There seems to be some consistency in usage for common labels
> (name, class) and a lot of ideas and suggestions for additional tags.

I think that labelling should be determined by the clients (map
rendering code).  If you want people to use a particular tag, then
demonstrate the benefit of that tag.  (As you have with your road
colouring experiments).  Having a huge list of suggested tags is of no
benefit to this project right now.

Also, tags/labels do NOT need to be human readable, so long as they
are well specified.  Editors can hide the complexity from users and
present tools like 'draw motorway' or more generally 'promote/demote
line' or 'change class' rather than a text box to type the class. 
This makes it more likely that useful data will be entered, although
there is probably a good argument for allowing free text input too.

> Are we at the stage yet where we should be trying to get a version 1.0
> ontology for labels?  If we could reach consensus on a very small set of
> labels and values then tools could start to rely on the meaning of these tag
> values and begin to present a richer experience to OSM users.

We should use an existing ontology if there is one available. How do
other digital map vendors do it, and is there ontology open/free? 
IIRC I think someone donated one to Steve recently, but I'm not sure
if there were any caveats about its use. Steve?

> What do people think. Is it too early to try to do this?

Yes, almost certainly for 90% of the properties that people will come
up with.  Let's stick with the basics and get those right first.


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