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

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Wed Jul 14 14:47:51 UTC 2021

It is fairly strenuous if every explanation of thought and reasoning i 
present here - necessarily in English language because that is the only 
language we share - is countered by an attempt at rule lawyering of the 
English language terms used trying to relativize every statement made 
and thereby scuttling any serious exchange of arguments.

The verifiability principle has become the primary inner rule of mapping 
in OpenStreetMap not as a codified rule imposed top-down by some form 
of authority but bottom-up through the collective reasoning and 
rational thought of the OSM community.  That is what is meant with "by 
virtue of common sense".

You can of course argue that at the time that originally happened the 
collective reasoning of the OSM community was vastly dominated by Brits 
and continental Europeans and that in other parts of the world a very 
different form of collective reasoning and rational thought prevails.  
But i see no evidence for that.  On the contrary - the irony is that 
practically all of the attacks against this principle come from wealthy 
hedonist Europeans and North Americans (or people from elsewhere 
assimilated into European and North American cultures) who feel 
inconvenienced by the verifiability principle in pursuit of their 
subjective goals in the project.

In my experience local mappers from other regions and cultural 
backgrounds typically embrace the principle of verifiability very 
naturally and intuitively and often without any guidance from a 
document in their language imposing it as a normative principle.

In other words:  It did not only come to be the main guiding principle 
in mapping in OSM by virtue of common sense, it also continues to be 
renewed and re-confirmed every day by mappers as such through the 
collective cross-cultural common sense of the global mapping 
community - expressed not primarily in words but in their actions as 

Christoph Hormann

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