[OSM-talk] mapping outside Europe

Mario Frasca mario at anche.no
Tue Jan 7 15:53:40 UTC 2020

On 07/01/2020 05:38, Martin Constantino–Bodin wrote:
> I really don’t think that we want to unconsciously impose such culture 
> in our community.

Hi Martin, and thank you for considering the issue constructively.

apart from the issue "international objects receive a tag 'name' with an 
English value", there are other ways in which you see how we're letting 
USA-UK patronize the rest.

the latest example in my experience would be the 'sac_scale' tagging.  
it comes from the SAC-CAS classification, of the Schweizer 
Alpen-Club/Club Alpino Svizzero/Club Alpin Suisse/Club Alpin Svizzer, 
yet OSM held the discussion in English, and it not only chose 
`sac_scale` for the tag name, it also decided not to use the Swiss codes 
T1..T6 (language independent), but the English version of the human 
readable explanation for the codes: T1 
(hiking/escursione/randonnée/Wandern) .. T6 (difficult alpine 
hiking/escursione alpina difficile/randonnée alpine 
difficile/schwieriges Alpinwandern).

a more important issue (I would call it "mapping outside Europe", hence 
the subject) is for me each and every (photo)graphic explanation of the 
tagging values.  take `highway` 
(https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:highway).  text are fine, 
really, but the associated pictures seem all taken in Europe, or North 
America, they have more chances to confuse the mapper based in Africa or 
South America, than helping them.

in Panama many roads are classified as 'camino de verano', they look 
like highway:track, but are really highway:unclassified with an extra 
indication for the months where they are expected to be passable.  maybe 
can be solved in the wiki by changing the link to the picture into a 
link to several pictures, but I'm afraid that we need to address this in 
the standard renderer as well: users also expect some of the information 
to be reflected in the rendering, explaining why so many mappers still 
use highway:track despite one repeating "don't map for the renderer".

in Morocco (and I guess elsewhere too) we have small towns with 
undeveloped areas, crossed by paths with residential function, or large 
cities with extremely narrow alleys, again with residential function.  
these have been solved by different mappers in different ways, leading 
to very inconsistent mapping, in particular where there isn't a local, 
assertive, mappers' community.  (Morocco and Panama are two such cases, 
Colombia is much better in this aspect.)

best to all,


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