[OSM-talk] NoName

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Sun Sep 14 23:42:20 BST 2008


David Earl wrote:
> There are only really three solutions, I think:
> 1. do nothing and don't worry about it
> 2. have a separate tag (as with noname=true)
> 3. have a special value for the name tag (name=none or some such)

Not having a name is not a property of an object, it is the absence of a 

The absence of a name property from an object is not generally 
significant (how many of our objects have a name - probably less than 
5%). Those that don't have a name simply don't have a name and it works 
well for editors and renderers alike; nobody has ever even thought of 
issuing all of them with a special tag documenting the absence of a name.

The absence of a name becomes only significant in the context of a 
certain check we run on our data, which operates on the assumption that 
roads of a certain kind usually bear a name.

It is thus not the object that we should address with a tag, but the 
check. The object should have a tag saying "in the context of test 
so-and-so, this object has to receive special treatment".

This is something that has often been asked for by users of the JOSM 
validator plugin, which every now and then highlights a possible problem 
that upon closer inspection is perfectly all right; people would like to 
tag the object(s) in question with the OSM equivalent of a "sic!" - 
"yes, dear validator, this road *is* really like that, don't worry".

You need exactly the same for your "missing name" situation - a tag that 
tells the "name present on residential roads?" test that it should not 
worry about this road.

The new tag could take a list of values that specify the tests that 
should be ignored for this object, e.g.


where the names of tests could be documented on a wiki page (and not all 
tests would be run by the same software of course).

Obviously this would then have to be supported by the validator plugin, 
and whenever the validator detects something suspicious the user should 
have the option of clicking "ignore this situation in the future".

Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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