[OSM-talk] Overlay showing wikipedia links

Tobias Knerr osm at tobias-knerr.de
Thu Oct 1 16:57:08 BST 2009

Pieren wrote:
> I never understood people who wants to have wikipedia urls in OSM
> data. It is not OSM role to point to wikipedia articles but wikipedia
> to point to OSM geodata. And this has to be done through lat/lon
> coordinates.

lat/lon coordinates aren't an ideal solution for this. Imagine some live
rendering (using JavaScript, Flash or whatever). The programmer wants to
add the following features:
- different color for buildings with Wikipedia article
- mouseover highlighting of buildings
- clicking on highlighted building opens Wikipedia article
Can the programmer do that with lat/lon? No. Because lat/lon doesn't
offer a connection between an article and a certain OSM primitive.
Similarly, in a map with icons for POIs, you will need to add additional
icons for Wikipedia links, so you will end up with two icons for the
same POI. And so on.

So what can we do to store that connection? We can

- link to a Wikipedia article from OSM
-> does work, but of course this causes a "notability" problem if links
to other sites are added, too

- link to an OSM id from Wikipedia
-> ids are probably too fragile

- invent some new way of adressing OSM objects;
for example: lat/lon + tag(s) that will be looked up in some region area
around the lat/lon ("The pub with name=Foo near that location")
-> could be a rather robust solution, but doesn't exist right now

Therefore, I can understand very well why people are adding wikipedia=*
tags. It might cause problems later, but the other solutions have
apparent flaws right now.

Tobias Knerr

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