[OSM-talk] What's the point of the Wiki 'k=v' icon?

Maarten Deen mdeen at xs4all.nl
Thu Aug 27 10:13:35 UTC 2015

On 2015-08-27 11:21, Dave F. wrote:
> On 26/08/2015 21:54, Andrew Hain wrote:
>> Dave F. <davefox <at> madasafish.com> writes:
>>> Hi
>>> Bearing in mind the wiki is used more often by new OSM
>> contributors &
>>> therefore should be a clear & concise as possible, I'm curious why
>> this
>>> icon is so
>>> prevalent:
>> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/images/thumb/5/5f/Osm_element_tag.sv
>> g/200px-Osm_element_tag.svg.png
>>> There's no description of what it means or relates to. It refers
>> purely
>>> to 'behind the scenes' business. New users are interested in that.
>> Even
>>> if it were described, it would still be irrelevant as *all* tags
>> are
>>> based on a key=value format.
>> The graphic is used when there isn’t a specific image to put in a
>> tag value infobox, with a k= graphic for key descriptions. A “No
>> image yet” graphic used to be used. The message is buried within the
>> {{description}} template. Although there are some pages that could
>> have pictures but don’t it doesn’t always make sense to have one.
> If there's not a specific image, can't it just be ignored & start with
> 'description' or whatever?
> The k=v icons are irrelevant to people who edit the map.

It is a placeholder image that probably the person making the first page 
about a key/value combination made and got taken over in the template 
and though that mechanism got so prominent in all tag pages. Don't look 
for more behind it.

BTW: why are there two k=v images in the wiki? Some reconstructing leads 
to the wiki page of this image at 
but there is also http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/File:Mf_tag.svg

The Mf_tag.svg image is used in pages where the key-value system is 
explained, so the image is not unnecessary as such.
But since Osm_element_tag.svg is more abundantly used, I propose to 
change all occurences of Mf_tag.svg to Osm_element_tag.svg.


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