[OSM-talk] New tool in Potlatch 2 for areas that share a way

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Tue Feb 1 13:04:11 GMT 2011


On 02/01/11 03:37, Steve Bennett wrote:
> Furthermore, you might be reduced to categorising individual elements
> of the factory. Would the administrative wing really be
> landuse=industrial? Surely it should be landuse=commercial. etc etc.

Before long you'll be tagging the restrooms as 
landuse=wastewater_facility or something.

> I don't think there's any single answer that can give the right
> information to every consumer. Sometimes OSM has to make actual
> choices between different uses of the data.

Well the goal certainly is being totally consumer agnostic - "We map 
what's on the ground, and you decide how you want to use that."

It is true that we sometimes do make choices that make things easier for 
a common use and may cause problems for a less common use (for example: 
we usually map streets as lines even though, on the ground, they are 
areas). But this is not a final decision, but rather a compromise for 
the time being - with tools and software as they are, mapping all roads 
as areas would be too difficult for most people at this time. This does 
not mean it will remain so forever; indeed I am pretty sure that sooner 
or later we *will* have the actual surface area for all roads in our 

In my eyes, the goal is always to come as close to reality as possible, 
but this is tempered by the current state of tool quality, database and 
data model performance, community aptitude etc.; so what you see in OSM 
right now is the current compromise between what is feasible and what is 
desired. This compromise is not a decision or a choice that has been 
made; it is floating.


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