OpenStreetMap

Fed up with abbreviations in tags

Posted by Pieren on 14 August 2013 in English (English)

English is not your native language ? but you like to contribute to OSM ? And you don't know what means 'asl', 'it' or 'ngo' ? Your dictionnary doesn't help you ? Who cares ! Return to Google Map Maker, moron !

That's what I feel when I find OSM objects carrying such tags... And btw, all of such tags are always documented "as de facto" and never through a consensus process... Please think about the 75% of the world not using english as mother tongue.

Comment from SK53 on 14 August 2013 at 16:53

You can add atm to your list (probably more frequently used than any of the above).

It's fine to peeve, but it works two ways, there are plenty of tags which are completely opaque or confusing to native english speakers too.

IIRC cycleway=asl (advanced stop line) was discussed, but probably on the osm-gb IRC channel and around 67% of current uses are in Great Britain.

Some uses of abbreviations are inevitable, such as ref:INSEE (not obvious if you're not French) or ref:vatin, particularly when these are not supported by editors. Needing to type in cycleway=advanced_stop_line is a good way to discourage their mapping. Your examples happen to all be documented on the wiki, which is a tad surprising. Adding editor support for such keys can hide the naughtiness of illicit use of abbreviations in the value.

Personally I find traffic_sign one of the more opaque keys.

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Comment from Pink Duck on 14 August 2013 at 16:54

asl = Advanced Stop Line office=IT, addr:country=IT, typo for lit? Who knows. The clue is likely in the key name. ngo = Non-Government Organisation

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Comment from maxolasersquad on 14 August 2013 at 17:20

Some tags are non obvious to some English speakers too. Like leisure=pitch. As an American I have never ever heard of pitch used as a noun to describe a playing field. I've asked a number of my friends and family and they didn't know what it is either. That's why we have the wiki. Also, it is extremely detrimental to the community to refer to contributors to OSM as morons. I'd rather those with an attitude bugger of to Google Map Maker than those who are making low-quality edits.

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Comment from Pieren on 14 August 2013 at 17:37

Read carefully my post. I'm not saying that contributors are morons but people creating tags with abbreviations calling me a moron if I don't understand their abbreviations or acronyms immediatly...

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Comment from Richard on 15 August 2013 at 08:36

"it" is the neuter third-person singular pronoun in English. Steve Coast explains "asl" in this photo. "ngo" is a less common form of "ngggggggggggggggggggggh", which is an expression of frustration at the latest buffoonery inflicted in the wonderful world of OSM. HTH. (Hope this helps.)

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Comment from Pieren on 15 August 2013 at 12:30

geowankers, LOL @Pink Duike : of course, I knew the meaning of all these abbreviations before my post. It is just frustrating that I had to look somewhere else before I understood 'asl' or 'ngo'. Probably like many, many other contributors. Tags should be self-explanatory when possible.

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Comment from Govanus on 10 October 2013 at 19:22

Although the i button in id is now working to solve the problem as a novice working on potlatch I found trying to find info on advance tags quite long-winded (its improving and experience helps it make more sense too) and didn't learn what a relation was for months till someone commented on a diary entry! ─íhaveing taken a while to explore that part rather than just editing..

it would have been nice to have in the editor a direct feed to place that takes new proposed tags; from the place you are about to add a new one especially if the editor doesn't recognise it. Smart editors could remember your new tags along with approval status and allow the interface to grow to help needs...

as a programmer that prefers machine code programming to either assembly or other higher programming language simply because you can't get syntax errors from bad grammar I prefer documented abbreviations that I can understand the key is getting the documentation made at the point you try expand the schema or before so that they become de-facto after thoughts. In the same vain also felt uncomfortable defining times on parking tags in English when a agreed number sequence would do like Gregorian months in Chinese are.

I think things are likely to improve, rather than worsen; as editor support, for this side of mapmaking, improves too.

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Comment from Govanus on 10 October 2013 at 19:29

re rereading i ment to type;- ..before. So that they don't just become defacto standard, afterthoughts

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