In my last post, I presented just an idea. The responses showed, there are quite a view ongoing activities already. We all share the idea of tagging guided by a tag database structured to a agreed schema. Some projects seem to compete but that's evolution in OSM. Some could interact with a little glue in between.
The name TagCentral first reminded me to a tag-centralizing Mafia. We do not want central decisions how to tag. But we need, like the central OSM database, a central tag database, maintaining code and a central server to run it.
At the moment we have two sources of tag data: First the tags, used in the OSM data as Taginfo and tagwatch present in analyses. Second the OSM-wiki with all its tag-pages. Both are crowdsourced (no Tag-Mafia :), both may be used to condense a tag database. Taginfo helps to prioritize and may show missing definitions in the wiki. Relations between tags, statistical retrieven, should be present in the wiki to.
Of course, no one wants to write an analyzer of human written wiki text. There is already a wiki-template "KeyDescription". It looks like this Template includes all the data necessary to generate a tag-schema. If not, it may be extended.Let's se the tag highway=trunk. The template includes value=trunk. "Trunk" is also the English word for that kind of road. But there is no option to append the used words in other languages. What about name=trunk and AT:name=Schnellstrasse? This way we would get the localization almost for free. If each localized wiki page has its own word definition in the template, all the templates can be merged to one tag schema with all local used words, and all local descriptions of course.
Right, what next after the template is extended and used accordingly? We need the code and a server to run the parser/scanner of the tag wiki pages. This Is the TagCentral mentioned above or simply an extenuation of the Taginfo if you like. It looks like the iD project is already doing good parts of this. After all the tag schemata are generated or updated, there should be a lot of checking and crosschecking with the tagdata statistics. There will be a list of bad templates. We could have things like The 10 most used tags without a wiki page, and so on.
The next step will need a lot of willingness of teamwork: the format of the schema. All the main editor teams should agree with it. (And to use it.) The use of JSON seems already agreed. Potlatch and iD share some developer. JOSM uses XML at the moment. My solution to that: There could be a converter to generate XML from a JOSM tag database. Or the tag database could be some common real database and generate the JSON files and the XML files and the files any other editor would like to use.
How much different projects are developing a tag schema?
- David.earl did his speech but no code, is it?
- iD in teamwork with taginfo seems the project creating and using a schema. And they are in contact to JOSM.
- I read the russian page of Ilya Zverev by google translate. It seems to be quite the same. Does anyone have contact to him?
- AndrewBuck is using OWL to define the schema. Thats quite scientific. Could it help to define the schema somehow more systematic?
The data, retrieved by now may help to offer menus in several styles, text oriented, selections by graphic symbols, etc. (see my last post) But it may be a problem to create the complex dialogs, some tags will need. There could be an extra editor. But I would prefer an extended or new created template to the wiki. Last time I mentioned a public schema editor but dropped it now. Instead there should be a web service to show the scheme, including the menus and dialogs, an editor would offer, if it uses the schema and the tag database. A changelog and some human eyes may good before the editors take over the new version.
Who and what?
- First here has to be a talk about how fare we agree to go the way, described above. I will motivate you.
- Next is the fixing of the schema. This block isn't the right place for that. The forum and a wiki page will do better. TagCenter or TaginfoPlus may be a good name.
- There is code to write. I don't have that much time to help. There will be help by others, I am sure. AndrewBuck, Ilya Zverev?
- There is code to run on a server. As the function is near to or part of the Taginfo, I think, it could run on the same server. Because Jochen Topf is German like me, we may have a chat in the next time. (The same with the JSOM team)