OpenStreetMap logo OpenStreetMap

Improving the OSM map - Why don't we? [2]

Posted by marczoutendijk on 11 March 2015 in English. Last updated on 23 April 2017.

Do we tag what something is not, has not, or what?

Part 2 in a series of comments on the current mapping problems and curiosities that I encounter with OSM.
Look at this Bicycle Repair Station: Can I safely assume that:

  • service:bicycle:truing_stand=yes?
  • service:bicycle:freewheel_removers=yes?
  • service:bicycle:dishing_tool=yes?
  • service:bicycle:headset_cup_remover=yes?
  • service:bicycle:cartridge_bottom_bracket_tool=yes?
  • service:bicycle:simple_headset_press=yes?
  • service:bicycle:metric_taps=yes?

at the University of San Francisco Bicycle Repair Station?
Any decent Bicycle Repair Station without a chain tool should not be allowed to carry that name!
Imagine this:
Or this:

So please, when you tag, think first!

Another one: You need five minutes to find out what stuff cannot be recycled at this particular recycling station.
If we keep tagging in this way, we need 30 times the amount of data storage, compared to what is needed if you tag consistently:

Tag what something is, or what is available or visible

Like this one:


Comment from escada on 11 March 2015 at 19:55

Those bicycle repair stations where recently imported by Brice Nesbitt (if I’m not mistaken). I assume the import didn’t had more details. It’s up to the local mappers to add more detail. This is always the case in OSM. We start with the basics and later iterations will add more detail.

On the other hand, it’s probably save to assume that such a repair station has all the basics to repair your bike. So why bother adding more detail ?

I’ll agree with you on the recycle container, all the no’s don’t give any more value.

Comment from marczoutendijk on 11 March 2015 at 21:15

You missed my point Escada: a chain tool is very basic to a bicycle repair station. If they don’t have that tool, it is not a bicycle repair station!!
(A swimming pool without water, do you call that a swimming pool?)

Comment from mcld on 11 March 2015 at 22:45

Marc, if you think that a chain tool is very basic to a bicycle repair station, then surely it is very useful for someone to tag that there isn’t a chain tool? Since otherwise, people such as yourself would assume that there is one.

In general it’s useful to tag whenever an object has a property that deviates from the “default”. The “default” often depends on assumptions (which should ideally be written down, e.g. in the wiki) or local laws/rules.

Comment from Warin61 on 11 March 2015 at 23:32

The very basic ‘bicycle repair station’ must repair flat tyres.. this occurs far more frequently that chain failures. So ‘pressurized air supply’? (manual pump or powered source?), tyre leavers, spanners (for those with axle nuts) , purchase of patches/glue? For me that is what ‘makes a bicycle repair station’ not the presence of a chain tool.

Brices import was about 17 stations .. not a large number. The manufacture has various options..

Agree with default values being on the wiki. There are regional variation on some default values though. A start could be made on the wiki of ‘bicycle repair station’? I note that the tag ‘bicycle repair station’ is not an ‘approved’ tag thus has had little if any discussion on it?

Regarding amenity=recycling… I’d like to see this combined with waste disposal .. I’m looking for somewhere to get rid of waste in the first instance .. recycled or not. It would be easier if recycling were a sub tag under ‘waste’.

Comment from Warin61 on 11 March 2015 at 23:35

Oh .. and Brices ‘bicycle repair station’ import was in Australia and New Zealand and only in a very few localities.. so small and localized.

Comment from marczoutendijk on 12 March 2015 at 10:48

@Warin61, @mcld,
When I’m travelling on my bicycle (sofar 100000+ km) I use my Garmin GPSmap62 to navigate. When I’m searching for something I need (hotel, restaurant, bicycle shop), the GPSmap shows me where those POIs are, but none of the other tags are visible. So, having no chain-tool is possible, but I cannot see on my Garmin map they don’t have one. Hence it should not be called a bicycle repair shop. Maybe I decide to take a detour to get there (having some problems with my chain) only to find out they can’t help me. In such a case I prefer no information over partial information.

Of course the precise definition of a Bicycle Repair Shop is still open…

(And I always carry a chaintool myself on my trips)

Comment from mcld on 12 March 2015 at 18:21

In this case OSM’s tagging is working very well, and your problem is very clearly explained: your Garmin is not presenting the information in the way that you want. Put the blame in the correct place.

Comment from Warin61 on 13 March 2015 at 05:01

@ mcid .. The Garmin is presenting the information rendered. It is the render that may be at fault, not necessarily the GPS. The render could have as a separate POI ‘chain tool’ for example.

@ marczoutendijk A Tag:amenity=bicycle_repair_station is not a bicycle repair shop, tagged Tag:shop=bicycle .. with sub tags for the repair option. I don’t think the bicycle_repair_station tag was discussed on a talk group .. thus may lack some good ideas? As the bicycle_repair_station is open to the public it may be subject to vandalism .. and I don’t know if they’d carry spare parts.. if I had a problem requiring tools .. I’d probably want parts too .. so I’d be looking for a bicycle shop. Something with people in it .. even if they don’t have what is required they ‘d probably be able to direct me to somewhere better equipped. Diverting to a bicycle_repair_station would not be my first option.

================== Oh .. a correction .. the name is Bryce.. not Brice…

Comment from flohoff on 19 March 2015 at 09:21

In parts wie schould tag stuff that is not as it clearly shows somebody did a survey and its not unknown. With a pure “yes” you cant differentiate “unknown” from “no”.

For example lit=yes - A lit=no is useful. It shows somebody did a survey.

Comment from dieterdreist on 28 May 2015 at 10:36

@Warin61 I believe it has been discussed:

I agree with mlcd, a bicycle_repair_station (as opposed to a shop) is a basic facility, open air and 24/7, which does not necessarily need a chain tool in order to be very useful (for all kinds of other problems that can happen with your bike while on the road). Tagging there is none can also be useful.

Log in to leave a comment