[OSM-talk] iD invents nosquare=yes for buildings which should not be squared

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Thu May 9 21:53:25 UTC 2019

Am 09.05.2019 um 23:14 schrieb Mikel Maron:
> > What do you think? Should the next version of iD be deployed on
> www.openstreetmap.org?
> Absolutely. My understanding is this feature will greatly improve data
> quality in OSM. I think it's fair to validate squareness of existing
> buildings. Appreciate the great work of the iD team. 
The question was not about validating square or not square buildings, it
is about storing a hint for iDs validation mechanism permanently in OSMs
data. There is some precedent for doing so, as was mentioned in the
github issue, still it is a bit controversial and discussion when adding
such a feature should be expected.

[Rant on the massively overrated concern for buildings in the first
place and the background why people think that such a validation is
necessary omitted]

> Also commend your attention to tagging issues Michael. There's
> certainly a broader issue with how tags are managed in OSM. In short
> it's a mess all around and is in need of a rethink. I don't think this
> minor issue is a "hill to die on" however.

I believe the issue is more about the unwillingness to take community
feedback seriously at all when it doesn't coincide with the opinions
already held by the developers. Which brings us back full circle to the
discussion of the privileged position of the default editor on
openstreetmap.org and the related transparency (aka who is holding the
purse strings) and the non-existent community control or even just
control by the OSMF.


> -Mikel
> * Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron
> On Thursday, May 9, 2019, 4:18:20 PM EDT, Michael Reichert
> <osm-ml at michreichert.de> wrote:
> Hi,
> this could be seen as a tagging discussion but I think that it is a
> discussion on governance and power. That's why this email goes to the
> Talk mailing list.
> Quincy Morgan, one of the maintainers of iD, invented a new tag called
> nosquare=yes today which should be added to buildings which are not
> square and should not be flagged by iD's validator. I (and later Paul
> Norman) pointed out issues with the tag. I asked Quincy to discuss the
> addition with the wider community beforehand.
> https://github.com/openstreetmap/iD/issues/6332
> Here are the issues I pointed out in the bugtracker. At the beginning he
> planned to use square=no which he later changed to nosquare=yes but this
> change does not make things better:
> > Although noname=yes is common, it is not that common that it can
> serve as an argument in favour of introducing unsquare=yes. In
> difference to noexit=yes, unsquare=yes and noname=yes only serve as a
> workaround for quality assurance tools. noexit=yes also conveys
> information for map users: There road ends here.
> >
> > Some people prefer to tag as complete as possible and add oneway=no,
> cycleway=no, lit=no etc. to any way. However, such a practice is not
> base on a broad consensus and if you dig deep enough in the history of
> user blocks in OSM, you might find blocks set due to an excessive use
> of negative binary tags.
> >
> > I think that iD does not need this tag and should only validate
> buildings if they have been added or modified in the current session.
> If doing so, they will be reported once which does not bother that much.
> >
> > Adding such a tag is not a simple change as it might seem to be and
> I ask you to discuss it with the broader community on the Tagging
> mailing list.
> What do you think? Should the next version of iD be deployed on
> www.openstreetmap.org?
> Best regards
> Michael
> -- 
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