Heritage questions

I have some questions about heritage=* and associated tags.

First, I’ve edited the wiki page for heritage https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:heritage to add United Kingdom, Wales to the table of Heritage Registration Organizations towards the end of the page. I’ve used the “abbreviation” cadw (the name of the organization, pronounced “kadu”) because I did see some discussion suggesting that abbreviations were a bad idea and because others in the table use full names.

I would have added Cadw to the list of organizations near the top of the page, but none of the UK organizations appear there although they appear in the table. Also the list and table are almost, but not quite, alphabetical and I’m wondering if it would be a good idea to alphabetize them properly. So, was the UK left out for a reason and should things be alphabetized?

The thing that really puzzles me is the use of “criteria” for listed building/scheduled monument/shipwreck/conservation area/whatever, which I’d describe as types, with criteria being the reasons why the object was listed. It makes me wonder if I’m interpreting something wrong, but if that’s what’s been used then so be it. However, the way to tag the criteria looks the wrong way around: cadw:criteria=* rather than criteria:cadw=* (or even something like heritage:criteria:cadw=*). So does cadw:criteria conform to current best practise?

It gets even worse, because it seems I could, and should, use cadw:inscription_date for the date it was registered. Not only is inscription_date bad English language for registration_date (which is what it appears to mean) but we already have start_date for artworks which could possibly be borrowed, in the same way that opening_hours apply to more than just shops these days.

And then there appears to be no way of indicating category/grade (e.g., I, II*, II, or A, B, C) other than a partial overlap between criteria and exception.

Any time I see such a big mismatch between what I read and what I expect, I suspect I am looking at it in completely the wrong way. Or is it that mappers have invented criteria and exception on the fly?

Any guidance would be appreciated.

Inscription is the term generally used in English by UNESCO - it is all over their website about the World Heritage List. So in this context it seems like an understandable choice.

I struggle with the order of namespaces/qualifiers so I hesitate to answer. If anyone has a link to a discussion of these issues (not for heritage but in general) maybe that would help. The “namespace” page on the wiki doesn’t really help. For the moment I would read it as “criteria=” being the basic tag and the cadw prefix qualifying/limiting/restricting that tag. Rather as disused:building qualifies the basic building= tag. But as I say, I am very much open to correction or further guidance on that.

I assume these grades indicate a kind of ranking of importance or level of protection. Not all heritage registration schemes have this kind of ranking. For example my understanding of the Spanish “BIC” registry is that inclusion in itself implies the highest grade of protection, so such a tag would be redundant. So maybe it is not documented simply because few mappers worldwide have seen the need.

I agree that “criteria” may not be the ideal choice of word as it seems to be used more to indicate a category or type than as a reason for listing. Again though it may reflect UNESCO influence - looking at the criteria for listing at http://whc.unesco.org/en/criteria, they also seem to blur this line - many of them are in effect saying that the criterion is to be an especially important example of X, where X is a type or category such as landscape, building etc.

I would say it is more that a multinational group of mappers, most of whom are tagging or documenting in a language that is not their first language, are trying to find a balance between the specifics of their local schemes and a form of tagging that is broadly comparable worldwide. In that context I think the page as a whole is reasonably coherent even if there are points of detail that could be improved. It certainly seems reasonable for you to add UK-specific details if they are not currently documented.