Improve description on how to document tags

According to Any tags you like - OpenStreetMap Wiki any mapper can invent a new tag when needed but Creating a page describing key or value - OpenStreetMap Wiki is not in a good condition. Many TODOs and I am missing a recommendation for a basic structure of new wiki pages. (Instead it is recommended to copy a similar page, which isn’t bad advice but it could be better.)

My impression is that there are discussion on the forums or mailings list that have a result that is never documented. This might be caused by the fact that documenting tags is not perfectly documented.

There are also some other issues:

  1. Who is allowed to change existing wiki pages and how much discussion is needed beforehand? (In the Germany forum there are regularly discussions like “Someone changed a wiki page. Has there been any discussion?” most recent example Radverkehrsanlagen kartieren: designated wird zu yes / users: Germany / OpenStreetMap Forum My impression is that this uncertainty prevents some mappers from documenting their tags and encourages others to change pages without discussion.
    [Btw just after writing this I ran into this problem myself: How to tag markers of forest compartments? - #13 by InfosReseaux only 5 days discussion was maybe to fast.]
  2. There is User:Joto/How to invent tags - OpenStreetMap Wiki but is mostly from 2010. Maybe it should be updated. There is also a more modern alternative How to invent new tags in 2021 | but it is only a personal blog.
  3. Are there any organized efforts to keep different language versions consistent? (Eg. It should be possible to check for missing tags in tables like Key:healthcare:speciality - OpenStreetMap Wiki)
  4. The proposals category Category:Proposals with "Proposed" status - OpenStreetMap Wiki needs to be cleaned up (Eg. Proposed features/Admission - OpenStreetMap Wiki seems to be rejected, Proposed features/link - OpenStreetMap Wiki is abandoned). Who is allowed to do that?

Maybe some points should be discussed in separate topics. For now I’d mostly like to hear if others see these issues as well. (And know that some of these things are a lot of work.)


I added “Who can edit” section in Creating a page describing key or value - OpenStreetMap Wiki

If you know how to improve this missing parts feel free to do this! If you wanted to know what is the answer for some parts and it is just TODO - feel free to ask here or elsewhere (I am primary author of that page and was not entirely sure is it going to be read by anyone, and published it as-is in hope that it will be already useful and maybe others will help in improving it - after all, it is on wiki and help from others is welcome)


Many proposals listed here are actually abandoned: feel free to edit them and move them to [[:Category:Proposals with “Inactive” status]] or [[:Category:Proposals with “Abandoned” status]] categories. It is recommended to check at least history of page whether there is some recent activity.

to category description

Thank You. I will move them if they have had no changes and no productive comments in the discussion (ignoring “Is this still active” questions) in the last 2 years. If necessary they can be moved back.

Note that some proposal authors react badly to “Abandoned” label - I started using “Inactive” as it tends to be less irritating to people.

I also added

It may be useful to add {{T|No vote feature link}} (or {{ambox|text=This feature is now documented at [[Tag:example=value]]}} ) or {{ambox|text=This feature is now tagged as [[Tag:example=value]]}} if moder tagging is different.


I added “Who can edit” section in Creating a page describing key or
value - OpenStreetMap Wiki

I have added a paragraph on the wiki being normative and not empirical.
I am not 100% happy with your sentence “But documenting rarely used tag
on its own page? Fixing false claims? Fixing typos? That is highly
welcome.” - I would agree if you replace “rarely” by “frequently”; but a
“rarely” used tag may well be the invention of one single mapper and I
don’t think that should go into the main body of the wiki (where it
would, absent a proposal process, have to get a “de facto” label).



I would be fine with changing that use qualifier or completely dropping it. In fact I will make this edit right now.

no, that would get “in use”

See Category:Key descriptions with status "in use" - OpenStreetMap Wiki

Are there guidelines for the edit summary of wiki pages? I think there should be something similar to Good changeset comments - OpenStreetMap Wiki
Eg. Linking to forum/mailing list discussions?

Edit: I just found this page Wiki guidelines - OpenStreetMap Wiki. I think I’ve seen this page the first time now. Maybe that should be linked in the left column. Currently you only get to Talk:Wiki and not to Wiki.

1 Like

Most of Help:Edit summary - Wikipedia applies also to OSM Wiki

and also, most of Good changeset comments also applies

and common sense in general