[OSM-talk] Edit war on the wiki "map features"

Douglas Furlong douglas.furlong at gmail.com
Mon Dec 1 10:09:36 GMT 2008

2008/12/1 Richard Fairhurst <richard at systemed.net>

> Per-15 wrote:
> > If you don't like smoothness invent a better scheme!
> > Smoothness is better than nothing.
> That's debatable (as well as, er, very_horrible).
> Personally I believe the easiest and most flexible thing is just to extend
> the access tags:
> bicycle=no|yes|difficult|unsuitable
> so you'd get
> highway=bridleway
> foot=yes (permitted, no problem)
> bicycle:racer=unsuitable (permitted but not practical)
> bicycle:hybrid=difficult (permitted but challenging)
> bicycle:mtb=yes (permitted, no problem)
> It follows the time-honoured OSM principle of "tag as much as you know/can
> be bothered to do; crowdsourcing will make the data richer over time".

This feels like a far more suitable solution, than smoothness (and Ice rink
is smooth, but I doubt a racing bike would have much fun on it!).

Having an additional rating per mode of transport seems to make
substantially more sense.

I believe some one else (Matt White) has recently posted a comment, wanting
to know about a 4WD tag, to suggest that only 4WD vehicles would be
suitable. The above approach could easily (and more importantly) and clearly
indicate this.


For me one of the biggest problems with "smoothness" (other than it being a
terrible name), is that it is a generic tag, and we keep on seeing issues
being raised where "generic tags" are not suitable for specialist
hobbies/areas. We shouldn't be looking to add to this issue.

But I really can't be faffed with explaining this to a bunch of droids on
> the wiki who may never have seen a bridleway in their lives but won't let
> that stop them voting.

Further to Lester's comment.

I'm some what amazed that we have not yet split out the tags to the
different groups to allow for specialist tagging, and those that
passionately care about those tags, can monitor that page/list.

We would still want to standardise on a tagging format/method to keep things

I would have thought we'd have sections along the lines of (and this is just
off the top of my head)

Motorised Vehicles
Rail ways


etc etc, caution would need to be taken to not duplicate tags/purposes, and
I am sure we'd still have healthy discussions (arguments) when those
instances rear their ugly head.

But I do not think 1 single page, covering every possible tag makes sense,
if we are looking to be able to tag the entire planet, that page will
quickly become unsuitable.
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