[OSM-talk] Map Features / International

Mike Collinson mike at ayeltd.biz
Tue Jul 31 15:54:45 BST 2007

At 11:50 AM 31/07/2007, Dave Stubbs wrote:
>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).
>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.
>A lot of the cultural problems would go away if map features was less
>prescriptive. 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.

Prescription has crept in inadvertently when trying to give concrete examples, I think?

I suggest the solution at this point in time is to change the Map Features shop entry to say something like:

"The value can be what ever you like to describe the kind of shops in your country - though it would be good to cooperate with mappers in your country to create an informal list of common types for ease of map rendering.  As a starting point, here are some examples from the UK:  [shop=bakery etc.]"

Unless anyone objects or can suggest clearer wording for non-native English speakers, I'll make that change.

It is easy for me to create work for someone else (80n?) but from what I've seen of the rendering programs, it looks easy to set up rules that render bakery, patisserie and  
boulangerie with the same icon on a one-size-fits-all map.

The next stage would be to have a shop page link from the Map Features with informal lists for more than one country.

This would be a good test case for the general issue of trying to be international and national at the same time.  

My personal view so far is that there need to be a small set of general qualitative tags (highway, railway, waterway ...) that are highly prescriptive despite not precisely fitting any national/administrative/legal/quantitative model and specialist tags where national variation of values should be encouraged to better fit local needs.


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