[OSM-talk] Fwd: Nav4All navigation shut down by Navteq

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Mon Feb 1 22:13:37 GMT 2010


> It is very easy to sit back and say we'll let the community fix the 
> tagging over time. It is even conceivable that some players who build a 
> business around OSM (and I'm not mentioning names here) may secretly 
> want the tagging mayhem to continue because they already have software 
> to work around the issues and they view that as a competitive advantage.

It is conceivable but would be very short-sighted of them. I can't speak 
for others of course but if I had something that neatly streamlined OSM 
data and removed the "issues" then I would try to make the community 
(and first and foremost the renderers) use it - because that would be 
the only way to make sure it works across the breadth of OSM and stays 
in sync with what's en vogue. And as for competitive advantage - that'd 
be gone with the new license anyway.

> It's another thing to be involved and choose a side.

It is my honest belief that if all those fixed-rule-enthusiasts had 
their way, OSM would become uninteresting, mappers reduced to drones 
filling out forms that other people have provided for them. It might 
become more commercially viable (with businesses fighting over what 
presets get put into the most widely-used editors so that drones will 
create more valuable data), but if I had to choose I'd rather be part of 
an interesting project than one that's commercially viable.

> Something very simple is the ability to add tags for which no 
> documentation exist (on the wiki).  Someone who does that either made a
> spelling mistake, is too lazy to write documentation, or, even worse, 
> did not bother to look at what other people did. And writing software to 
> prohibit this is quite easy.

Very good, you've come far already:

1. You have named the problem: "Tagging mayhem!"
2. You have found the culprit: Lazy mappers.
3. You know they are bad people, because they are either not diligent 
enough, or lazy, or careless.
4. You suggest technical means for getting rid of them: "Prohibit!"

Nothing personal but this is because I react badly to all these rules 
discussions. Mappers are reduced to lazy idiots, and software has to be 
written to make them useful. I don't like the thinking behind this. We 
are a project to which people contribute out of their free will in their 
spare time. We are not a meat grinder.

Having said that, if lack of documentation is your main concern, I could 
well envisage a pop-up in JOSM that goes: "You have just entered a tag 
that is not documented on the Wiki. Please provide one line of 
documentation for this new tag in the language of your choice, or click 
here if you do not want to be asked about this tag again".


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

More information about the talk mailing list