[OSM-talk] Review of name and boundary tagging - revised and amended guidelines to address and resolve disputes

Bert -Araali- Van Opstal bert.araali.afritastic at gmail.com
Wed Jul 14 11:25:37 UTC 2021

Thank you Daniel.

An additional issue is that "common sense" is by itself also a highly 
interpretable philosophical term. Common sense varies a lot across 
cultural, religious, political views. The different perceptions are the 
source of many arguments and discussions, especially in international 
context like for names and boundaries and the different interpretations 
given to many of the "good practices". If we are willing to improve our 
guidelines, it's a term we should avoid.

The primary use of "English language" is a perfect example of it. The 
choice of English as primary language is what I see as "common sense", 
although the term is typically English and many languages have no 
specific translation, yet, the majority of people know what is meant. It 
doesn't make sense to start a crusade against it, it is not an 
expression of localised preference or dominance, it was a "reasonable 
choice" for both technical and practical reasons. Rather focus on 
internationalisation to improve and increase inclusion and diversity in 
our community.

@Christoph and all,
I will try my best in the draft(s), to come with a proposal that is 
understandable and less open to variance in interpretation. I share your 
view, and I fear, that this will lead to some form of bureaucracy, yet 
unavoidable. Bureaucracy and more refined guidelines are not always 
restrictive to freedoms.  In the contrary, they can improve inclusion 
and diversity, so I will do my best to limit their use to those situations.

When I started this sub-thread, I specifically wanted to dislodge it 
from the ongoing Persian / Arabian Gulf issue. Start a complete new 
thread. I even expressed it in the email content and by using a new title.
I hope you all believe that the failure to do so was absolutely not 
intentional. I made a big mistake, what I tried to avoid actually 
happened in the process and I have big shame about it.
Blame me for it. I will do my utmost, lessons learned, to be more 
cautious and accurate.


Bert Araali

On 14/07/2021 12:46, Daniel Koć wrote:
> W dniu 13.07.2021 o 18:50, Christoph Hormann pisze:
>> All we have in common universally and that we can universally rely on 
>> is the common
>> database and the principles under which we add and edit information in
>> that database.  And the most fundamental of these principles is - "by
>> virtue of common sense" and not through an English language attempt at
>> explaining it on the wiki - the principle of verifiability.
> So why we have all the guidelines and documentation, if all we should 
> ever need is a common sense? Mapping would be very simple then.
> All the guidelines are limited and OSM is not an exception. We have it 
> both documented and it is also a common sense:
> /There might be cases where these guidelines don't apply, or even 
> contradict each other. /
>> It seems to me you are contradicting yourself in what you write - you
>> call for limiting and relativizing the principle of verifiability just
>> to a few paragraphs later call for stricter and clearer rules and their
>> enforcement.  That does not fit together.
> I think the problem you perceive comes from mixing "principles" 
> (ideas) with actual "guidelines" (documentation).
> In general (principle) I think we agree that we want to check things 
> and not make things up. But the problem is that the written guideline 
> is insufficient for some objects, especially big ones, so until it's 
> extended/fixed/sanitized, it's of limited use in this case, because 
> "OSM data should, *as far as is reasonably possible*, be verifiable" - 
> and it's not reasonably possible to the full extent in this case.
> Common sense explains why this guideline is limited and strongly 
> biased towards small objects - because we started as a local project 
> with bicycles in the city and we just happened to grow since then 
> without rethinking how that applies to global objects.
> -- 
> "Holy mother forking shirt balls!" [E. Shellstrop]
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