OpenStreetMap

Fixing common & possible Tagging Mistakes

Posted by AndiG88 on 3 August 2014 in English (English)

I have been trying to document all the common tags for keys like amenity, shop, craft etc. in the Wiki using TagInfo. In the process I found several low usage tags that might have other matching well established tags. I put a small section with a Taginfo box and Overpass API link on those pages allowing mappers to find these tags in their area to fix them with local knowledge as some Tags might indeed be valid. Now I also added a category to them to make it easier to find all such tags in one's area!

Example how it looks on the page: Alt text

Would be great if everybody could take a look in his/her region and maybe clean up some outdated tags!

Comment from d1g on 3 August 2014 at 18:29

Good work! But these cases cover only simple one tag mistakes. Sometimes they are more complicated (more than one tag or object).

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Comment from Stereo on 3 August 2014 at 18:47

Is there a QA tool that integrates these? I know Osmose does something similar, but it works mostly in French-speaking countries.

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Comment from Amaroussi on 4 August 2014 at 03:51

I've acted on a few erroneous tags but shop=pharmacy is so widespread in Germany that updating them all might take longer to encourage the local editors to just use amenity=pharmacy.

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Comment from Amaroussi on 4 August 2014 at 11:08

UPDATE: unfortunately some users are objecting to the clean-up of some tags: will_p messaged me about shop=photo_studio meaning something different, i.e.:

  • shop="photo_studio" - a shop with a studio where people go to have their photographs taken. These shops do not usually sell other products or print photos except those taken in the shop.
  • shop="photo" - a general purpose tag for a shop that prints photos or sells photo or camera related materials/equipment.
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Comment from AndiG88 on 4 August 2014 at 13:30

but shop=pharmacy is so widespread in Germany

I looked a bit closer and it's mostly the fault of the WheelMap app. I'm discussing a mass edit with the German community as 95% of the tags have both tags - shop&amenity=pharmacy so I don't see a problem removing the shop tag in those instances.

unfortunately some users are objecting to the clean-up of some tags

I don't think that's a objection to the cleanup itself. It's rather pointing out that a tag could have had different meanings. I had already realized that when putting it there, which is why it said: Also check Similar tags

There you can find craft=phtographer, which at least in my opinion (and also used that way) is:

shop="photo_studio" - a shop with a studio where people go to have their photographs taken. These shops do not usually sell other products or print photos except those taken in the shop.

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Comment from will_p on 4 August 2014 at 14:22

I disagree with combining craft=photographer and shop=photo_studio. Both can be used together where appropriate, but they are not always the same. craft=photographer implies the studio of a photographer, but it does not say which types of photography are offered. Some photographers specialise in particular things: weddings, glamour photography, photographing merchandise to appear in catalogues, etc. This tag does not suggest anybody can walk in off the street and have their photograph taken, while shop=photo_studio implies exactly that.

Please be careful about encouraging mass edits. Many mappers (myself included) have spent a lot of time mapping these things and really do care about these subtle distinctions. I have no objection to merging things that really are the same, but this must be done with care, and this almost always means by local mappers. It is very easy to remove worthwhile distinctions between tags without realising you are doing so and that can be demotivating to the people who added them

I agree people sometimes use shop=photo_studio where shop=photo would be correct. I don't disagree with changing them, but it must be verified on the ground or with local knowledge.

Where I live in Nottingham (England) we have a website showing services and amenities mapped locally. There is a separate layer for photo studio shops: http://osm-nottingham.org.uk/?z=12&lon=-1.19768&lat=52.95009&bgl=OSM,1,17&l=services&lh=Auctionhouses;Launderettes;Drycleaners;Printingcopyshops;Taxioffices;Drivingschools This will be no way to create such a layer if these tags are carelessly merged together.

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Comment from AndiG88 on 5 August 2014 at 12:22

tl;dr - If you map subtle distinctions document them in the Wiki

Thinking about it a bit more I agree, although that's pretty much how the craft tag on its own has been used.

Many mappers (myself included) have spent a lot of time mapping these things and really do care about these subtle distinctions.

Then why do you not spend 10 min in the Wiki to document this tag and point out when it applies and where it is different? I just found Proposed features/Photo studio, which has a different definition than yours:

shop where you can get photos of yourself or (!!!) hire a photographer.

vs.

This tag does not suggest anybody can walk in off the street and have their photograph taken, while shop=photo_studio implies exactly that.


this almost always means by local mappers.

That's the whole idea of this just like with other QA tools (JOSM/keepright/Osmose), but is not possible to limit how people use them.

It is very easy to remove worthwhile distinctions between tags without realising you are doing so and that can be demotivating to the people who added them

There is a separate layer for photo studio shops

Again. Document it in the Wiki. Put a link to your website on shop=photo_studio.

Because as many valid tags as there are out there, there are also a lot of tags that were used in the past when there was no defacto Tag, that people came up with, because they didn't find the right key or where editors used a wrong tag. I my goal is document those valid tags and try to improve others when there is already an establiashed one. Unfortunately I don't have a crystal ball that tells what a mapper thought at the time.

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Comment from Amaroussi on 5 August 2014 at 21:03

After talking with will_p I can see that not every editor can see to what the demands of every locale are. At this point I am confident that this idea encouraged mass editing, whether intentional or not: as I speak someone might have come up with a new tag for a good reason.

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Comment from Tordanik on 6 August 2014 at 05:16

Popular validation tools such as the JOSM validator or Keepright are grouped by location (i.e. presented on maps), which allows me to look for errors in my local area and check them one by one.

Compared to this, I feel the solution of adding a lot of Taginfo/Overpass links across the wiki isn't really useful because I would have to open each link individually, just to learn whether there is any instance in my area (with only about 100 instances globally, probably not). These entries in the wiki can only effectively be used for mass edits, which we don't want.

So I would prefer if you didn't add your findings as (likely never-ending) tasks to the wiki, but instead contacted the people behind existing quality assurance tools.

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Comment from jgpacker on 9 August 2014 at 13:53

I'm afraid what Tordanik said is true. Adding such links on the wiki invites users to make mass edits.

In fact, there is an user that already did a little of this. See [1] and [2]. I happen to know this user. He is known in the brazilian community because of some of his poor decisions.

He changed amenity=sport_centre to amenity=sports_centre and leisure=grass to landuse=grass. The former seems trivial, however the latter may be worth discussing.

  1. http://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/24520020
  2. http://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/24520020
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