How to handle user who disagrees about changes to a feature

Hi, I would like some feed back about an exchange between me and another user.

So I made changes to feature 1058610526. Specifically, I changed the wikipedia tag to subject:wikipedia because the wikipedia linked to an event in history and not the feature itself. User Tomas Straupis made a complaint essentially stating that the change made the data unparseable claiming that " literally NOBODY (no map, no app) is using subject:wikipedia" the exchange goes back and forth with it essentially making me create this post for community feed back on this situation.

I admit I’m not very active on the forums, but I’ve been mapping on osm for roughly 3 year and my intuition tells me I’m correct. If I’m in error, please tell me.

The full exchange took place in changesets 1058610526 and 139893605


sounds like Tagging for the renderer - OpenStreetMap Wiki to me - and is not really a valid argument

if wikipedia tag does not link article about cemetery itself then it is not a correct one and should be removed/replaced. Not entirely sure is subject:wikipedia a best fit.

Disclaimer: I am operating and MapRoulette that list such tagging as problematic. And edited/written OSM wiki pages on this topic.

For this specific case: depending on situation I would either switch to doing something else or discuss it with wider local community to check is this practice of tagging for renderer widely supported or is it just preference of a single mapper.

See say The Talk-lt June 2022 Archive by thread that ended resulting in partial changes to tagging used in Lithuania (bridges within highway=tertiary unpaved roads are no longer tagged as highway=secondary). Though it took some time to discuss it.

You can also try to contact Osmand/Organic Maps developers and ask them to show subject:wikipedia if wikipedia is not tagged (though not sure is it beneficial change…).

I would not recommend edit wars where both sides keep changing to their preferred version.


According to the wiki your edit is correct. You probably shall point them to the wiki page, which describes pretty well what is it about:

used for what a feature is about, not what it is. normally tagged on memorials, plaques, statues, etc.
an example, historic=memorial, commemorating a human should link to the wiki article about said human as the article is about subject of the memorial, not about the memorial itself.

I will add one more observation from one of regional professional GIS conferences. Some OSM’ers have created a complex process to fill and then keep up to date some important aspect of their country data. And right after that a bunch of people from outside of that country appeared and started pointing out to a wiki or this, or that, saying that the way they have acted is incorrect and blablabla. People who did not managed to achieve the same thing in their own country, people who simply do not have experience in doing such things are trying to instruct people who actually achieve goals. (Guess whose opinion is on wiki?)

So it is not only Lithuania, which is doing different cover ups to keep their data quality high and not attract attention from the outside.
And no, I do not think such situation is OK, it is ridiculous that we have to do that. But I do not see how this could be realistically solved.

Therefore local community is the master, not wiki.

Point1: I’m not going to revert back to the version which provides more information for the data users (so no edit war here). I have just pointed out to you that you are practically reducing the amount of information users get. And it is incorrect to blame results of your actions to software developers forcing them to implement all microtag “inventions”.

Point2: If you would have been in OSM for longer than three years, you would have known that wiki is nothing but an opinion. It has never been and will never be authoritative. There was once even a question if OSM should fund wiki server because it makes an incorrect impression that it is somehow “official” rues which it is not.

Point3: Blindly following what is written on the wall is not a good idea if you do not understand the reasons for the rules as well as consequences of your actions. Senior participants are here to help you, but you have to listen (and ask), especially when you’re still inexperienced.

Point4: You can always bring the fight into the proper ring here: :slight_smile:

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