[OSM-talk] Survey on the OSM Wiki

Serge Wroclawski emacsen at gmail.com
Tue Jun 25 18:23:12 UTC 2013

On Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 1:57 PM, Mulone Moligiangi <mulone at rome.com> wrote:

> I'm working on the tagging process, trying to understand how it works on the
> wiki and how people reach consensus on difficult issues. The OSM community
> will see the results in academic articles.

How it works *on the wiki*, or how it works on the data?

There's a correlation between these two datasets, but you cannot say
that because something is documented on the wiki that it has reached
any sort of consensus.

I think it's 3% of OSM users are responsible for 80-something percent
of all OSM data (the exact number was presented at SF)

That means there  thirty-six thousand contributors who are making the
vast majority of the map.

The problem for someone studying the process it that the tagging list
(and the wiki) are more proscriptive than descriptive. In other words,
many people who are on the list, and active, are people who want to
tell others how they should map, rather than actually going out and

In these cases, the tagging in the DB and the tagging in the wiki are
not the same.

So to understand how "consensus" is formed (using your terminology),
you'd have to look at far more than the wiki. You'd have to look at
what's done in practice, and then you'd need to examine the data
products (rendered data, routing data) as well as what the editors
decide to include or not to include as a preset.

I'd argue that consensus is formed not from the wiki as much as from
from the editors, and the renderers, and taginfo.

In fact, you may find that the wiki doesn't relate to common practice
in many cases.

- Serge

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