[OSM-talk] Map Features / International

Ulf Lamping ulf.lamping at web.de
Tue Jul 31 15:26:10 BST 2007

> On 31/07/07, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> >     I think that our map features page is too English (or maybe too
> > German, depends on who edited it last...). Either we need to
> > encourage more national tagging, or we must start removing cultural
> > dependencies from Map Features (at the risk of making it less usable).
> >
> > For example, there's the "shop" section, with an entry:
> >
> > "shop=bakery: selling bread, cakes..."
> >
> This originally said butchers, bakers, candlestick makers... or
> something along those lines. This was a much better description than
> what's currently there (or at least it would have been if it wasn't
> for the fact that noone outside of the
> english-language-nursery-rhyme-exposed group got the reference).

So what's your point here? You've mentioned already, that using a nursery rhyme is not very reference like for anyone not form the UK and Frederik started this thread to be more international?!?

> The shop tag went overnight from being, "just write down the kind of
> shop it is", to being "shop tags that have been approved are butcher,
> baker, chandler". Which is so silly, it's silly.

Well, it wasn't: "just write down the kind of shop it is", you only interpret it that way. It was only a joke a lot of people outside the uk just didn't understood. I was asking the talk list exactly what that meant as I had no idea and got something like "I think they mean ...".

BTW: Do you want to render all shop items the same way with the same icon? If not, then the renderer has to have some ideas what a tag might mean in reality. Simply saying use the shop tag and do what you like will make it virtually impossible for renderers to find the "right icon". So I don't see a better way than to find the common shop tags through the proposal way.

> A lot of the cultural problems would go away if map features was less
> prescriptive.

Really? A lot of cultural problem we currently have is because people from the uk arguing against tags that they don't understand, as they have no meaning in the uk. A very recent example is the debate about parking areas for hikers.

Beside the fact that a lot of people will have a very hard time to get the point, if it is less prescriptive. I can tell you, as a none native english speaker that I had a *very hard time* to read the map features page the first time.

> Not all obviously, but it would be a start, and the
> stags stuff might make the rest slightly easier if it suggests some
> kind of structure for this kind of thing.
> So yes, it needs to be a *lot* clearer on that page that what's shown
> is a suggestion only.

The very first sentence on that page says exactly that and almost every topic has a "User Defined" tag. How much clearer would you like it to have? With red color and blinking? ;-)

You, as a native english speaker might find the map features page pretty obvious. As I had a look at the german and other translations, there were a lot of english remains, very certainly because the translator had no idea what the sentence/tag/description actually meant. So it seems, that a lot of international people won't get the meaning *at all* without some more description.

I'm not against finding a way to express international differences, but having a good english reference should be the base for building a difference set from it. Otherwise we'll end up in a lot of "local tags" that exactly mean the same thing, making the renderer / editor / routing job much harder than it is already today ...

Let's only have international tag differences, where there *are* real differences ...

Regards, ULFL

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