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

Gervase Markham gerv-gmane at gerv.net
Tue Feb 2 11:15:28 GMT 2010

On 01/02/10 21:48, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> You'll only move the fight to somewhere else. People will discuss 
> endlessly about what should be on the tool tip of the cycleway button. 
> "Use this only if there is a blue sign with a bicycle on it" - "But my 
> country has no blue signs with bicycles".

But don't you realise that's an enormous improvement? People can have
that argument all day, and the author of the tool can switch it back and
forth three times before breakfast, but it doesn't affect _consumers_ of
the data, because they have a consistent tagging scheme for their
computers to read.

However, if the way something is tagged is the thing under dispute, and
there are two ways you know about and three you don't, any map you try
and create is going to suck.

If we had one agreed way to tag each thing, and lots of arguments about
how to represent that in editors, it would be a gargantuan step forward
in the usability of OSM data.

> (In my OSM talks I like to show a communist-era poster about a five-year 
> command economy plan. Command economy sounds like a good idea on paper 
> but it turns out that the amount of planning required to get it to work 
> is more than mankind can muster. The same, I think, is true for a 
> world-wide OSM Ontology.)

The problem with a command economy is not that there's a single way of
doing things, is that it's imposed without consultation. Agreeing on one
way of doing things is not intrinsically bad. Road signs in the UK are
all laid out the same way. There is no (or very, very little) freedom
for creative expression on the part of the person making the sign. This
is _good_ for drivers.


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