Please create Wiki entries for Tags!

Posted by AndiG88 on 11 July 2014 in English (English)

I have been spending some time in the Wiki recently cleaning up a lot of tags, mostly emergency= and vending=. The one thing I noticed over and over again was that the lack of a initial tag page often causes problems that could have been easily avoided (Translation errors, different understandings how to use a tag or even definitions on different wiki pages). It also allows you to link to similar tags (or be liked to), proposals, wikiepdia pages etc. which helps a lot.

Creating a new page

There are a lot of different ways, the easiest is probably that you just klick on a tag red link. Another option is to open a similar tag and just change the URL or just replace it here and hit enter.

Always use the Template

99.99% of the time you need the first one. Just copy the whole first column from the grey table into the empty wiki page you created. Now you should at least always add key= & value= One of the main benefits of the template is that it includes the language bar. It’s also from where taginfo gets its description.

DO NOT DELETE ANY LINES YOU LEFT EMPTY! It does not have any negative impact. There is nothing more annoying than wanting to improve a page later and you have to go to the template and find the parameter.


Add images, especially in the template. Especially with all the translation errors this can go a long way.

Upload file:

But you can also link to any file from wiki commons ( Best way to find images is with google:

Found nothing? You can always look on Flicker or other websites for images licensed under CC. There is also a Uploader for Wiki Commons which checks the license and creates the attribution for you.

Comment from jgpacker on 11 July 2014 at 20:27


I also think it would be great if people from countries that made imports from government data could document some of these external database tags. At the very least I think this would be helpful to beginners of these countries.

As an example of this, I recently documented the key IBGE:GEOCODIGO, present on Brazil. As can be seen on the wiki page, I simply documented it in portuguese (brazil’s official language), and created an page in english with only the following templates {{KeyDescription}} (giving a bare bones description of the tag) and {{Translate from Portuguese}} (indicating the content of this page can be seen in the portuguese version of this page). I believe this can make the job a lot easier, since people don’t really need to translate the page to english, after all the main readers would be from that country, and others could easily use some site to automatically translate that page.

Comment from AndiG88 on 11 July 2014 at 21:42

Imports really make me rage every time I look at this page:

Just document it. You just put more than 10k objects into the database, now you can at least take a few minutes to create a Wiki page about it. And if you just create some redirects to the import or key page and write a short description in English.

Frequently used keys without wiki page is such a great resource to find important undocumented tags, but all the imports make it really hard to find the tags, which are actually being used by the community.

Comment from NZGraham on 14 July 2014 at 09:09

As a relatively new contributor to OSM I didn’t realise that this was another step in the mapping exercise. I often think that there could be a more specific tag for something - especially for various types of shops/businesses. I’ve just created a page for tag ‘shop=business_machines’ here This was my first attempt at creating/editing a wiki page. I created it by opening a similar tag and changing the URL to ‘shop=business_machines’ (including the underscore) and then opening that URL and entering the details by using the first template which you mentioned. I’m concerned that the underscore doesn’t appear in the ‘title’ part of my new page. How do I correct it please? Any other comments about my page please? I’m keen to learn! Graham

Comment from jgpacker on 14 July 2014 at 11:54

NZGraham, the underscore didn’t appear because there was a stray space character after the equals sign on the title of the page. I fixed it just now, so it should be working (I also made some quick changes on the wiki page).

Usually the values of the shop key don’t need to be documented, though I don’t think it’s bad to document them either.

Comment from Warin61 on 8 March 2015 at 07:59

Your not advising people to use the proposal process ? Would it not be better to do that .. so others can comment and possibly fix the name problem before it becomes a tag? And possibly fix other problems?

As an example .. temperature= is being used .. in some cases they use derivatives of temperature= … I’ve a proposal for temperature= .. and you can see some of the problems it has from the voting.. none of which address my concerns over it… which I’m not going to voice. Note: I take the voting as being on the proposal .. not any suggestions/recommendations that may be on the proposal .. those can be changed. Personally .. I would vote on the values too as a separate proposal .. particularly when there is contention. And I’d have a separate wiki page on the values if needed.

That may be too complicated for some .. but I’d encourage discussion on making a new tag on the tagging group at least.

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