[OSM-talk] Instead of voting

Richard Bullock rb357 at cantab.net
Sun Oct 11 11:01:05 BST 2009

> 2) Use existing keys if you can.  When you use a key, check to see if
> there's an existing value that matches what you are mapping.  To go
> looking, put your key into the following URL where it says "shop":
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:shop
> 3) Use existing tags if you can.  When you use a tag (key=value),
> check to see if an existing tag is already documented.  Don't use it
> in a different way if it's already documented.  To go looking, change
> this URL where it says "shop=car":
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:shop=car
> 5) If you disagree with the definition of the key or value, then
> create a new key or value with a different name, use it in your
> editing, document it in the wiki, AND (this is important) edit the
> page for the tag you disagree with so that it mentions your tag as an
> alternative so that people understand that there is disagreement.
> Link to tagwatch / osmdoc / tagstat so that people can find out which
> is more often used in practice.

I'm not sure 2 + 3 sit well with 5 here;

Use existing tags, unless you don't like them, in which case create your own 
way to tag things. I think we should be encouraging use of the well 
established tags for the current purpose. (Which we already do in many 
cases - very few people in my country use the main highway=* tags for 
anything different). We could end up with many alternatives on the wiki for 
particularly well used tags - that will be very confusing for newbies (and 
others alike)

I would probably have something saying;

"Tags or keys already in well established use should not be changed unless 
there are very compelling reasons. Aesthetic reasons are generally unlikely 
to be considered compelling for this purpose. The proposal to change 
existing well-established tags should be discussed on the tagging mailing 
list. The level of consensus needed to be reached for changing these tags 
should be much higher than for proposing new tags.

New tags can be used without voting, however it may be worth discussing 
possibilites with others on the tagging mailing list first." 

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