Key access - unwarranted Wiki edit

The documentarian of key access says: Access values describe legal permissions/restrictions

In this edit Key:access: Difference between revisions - OpenStreetMap Wiki the meaning was turned into You cannot physically go through in a table in section Introductory examples.

This edit clearly conflicts the described meaning. I volunteer to change the wording there: *Nobody must get there." Suggestions welcome!

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Probably make it an “not legal for the public”

“must” ist something Germany speakers have issues with - as long as we are not referring to RFC2119 which explains MUST, SHOULD, MAY we should (giggle) avoid them.

Essentially - go for it.



Wiki is generally free for everyone of good faith to edit, and we encourage contributors to amend, fix or tweak the contents (known as “be bold” principle). Only if a disagreement arises, you should discuss the issue on the Wiki talk page, and bring it here for a broader discussion only if a wider attention is needed.

That being said, I find personal “you” in the Description column jarring, as it pertains to everyone. I try to avoid “you” in technical documentation, except perhaps when directly addressing the mapper who reads the text. I would remove the column altogether, and merge it with the last column.


Thanks Duja. I completely missed that the big table is on the bottom somewhere, to be honest.

I try to think about the the “be bold” principle the next time. And i agree with the “you”.

Having seen it, I’m in the process of completely overhauling the Key:access page – it’s so long, disorganized and full of random examples that it’s no wonder you missed the main table.

I plan to move the Values table towards the top, Examples to the bottom, and the long text concerning “Restrictions other than access tags” somewhere else entirely, – most likely (Restrictions - OpenStreetMap Wiki).

Done. While more work could be done, I hope those pages are better readable and accessible now. I didn’t remove anything, except for a short list of trivial example tag values. Please review.


I noticed the same three weeks ago but no one agreed with my suggestion to revert, so I didn’t proceed. Glad this has been done now.

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I see, that @Duja completely removed the table with the personal take of the editor. I am fine with this. I just made legal bold again and added the qualifier pre-eminently instead. We never will know how many times access=no was used (in the mean time) to convey sac_scale|mtb:scale|foot:scale|smoothness=unpassable or hazard=death – only extensive OTG research can tell.

You missed the abstract on the very top too :wink: It has been fairly stable the last 14 years.

No need. I think we can be quite certain that access=no has been applied with this very intention many more times by mappers who have never read the access page, let alone within the last nine months due to this edit.

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Nah, you cannot wipe this away so conveniently, OTG research, that is all that openstreetmap is about! (Conspicuously not using a smiley/emoticon.)

Not saying there shouldn’t be groundtruth, just that we can put things in perspective: this edit probably had a small impact compared to an editor user’s natural tendency to interpret “access” as a layperson would.

Hello, I’m the one who added that table. I want to make a compact table that summarize the long page for beginners, but to be honest I haven’t given that much thought to the table since. Feel free to improve on the table, but I think that the table has enough value that it should not be removed.

But after I reorganized the article, on its place is now the big table with the four most common values (yes, no, permissive, private) at the top. I don’t think we need the summary in that context.