[OSM-talk] 3D somehow not compatible with our map and editing concepts / capabilities?

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Fri Jun 17 16:50:29 UTC 2016

With this mail I would like to open a general discussion, whether it makes
sense to add detailed 3D data into the current OSM db.

Living in a historic city with lots of tourists (many of them mappers
apparently), and lots of famous monuments, I am observing for years now,
that more and more detailed 3D objects get mapped.

While at first this seemed to be an interesting (and maybe logical)
development of some advanced mappers, to further push the limits of
mapping, more and more doubts have grown in the meantime whether this kind
of data is sustainable. Particularly because the raised complexity leads to
many errors, where people recreate already existing objects or add
localized name tags (or other tags) to (building:)parts that are mainly
there for geometric representation in 3d, but are not the objects that
actually represent the feature (i.e. those that have most of the tags).
Subsequently other mappers find these objects (with some tags) and add
more, and after a while it can become plain chaos, until someone with a lot
of time dedicates herself to clean the mess up.

And honestly, I can understand this happening, these objects are really
complex and after something has been "3D-fied" it becomes at least time
consuming, if not completely confusing to make any simple edit (like adding
a new tag), because you have to search the "main object" and understand
where to put the tag.

I believe there is something conceptually wrong with adding those
3D-monsters into the common db and require from everybody to understand
them, without proper support or hierarchy on an API- or editor-level.

(a side-issue is that many monuments like columns, obelisks and similar are
modelled as "building:parts", where there clearly is nothing that is a
building, but rather a massive stone)

Some examples (load them in your editor to understand what I am talking

https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=19/41.89591/12.48466 (the Trajan's
column, a simple column consisting in osm of 9 concentric objects! Find the
right one, if all of them get their name rendered at the same spot in the
https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=19/41.89854/12.47695 (the Pantheon,
countless times there pop up duplicates as nodes)

What are your experiences?

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