Wiki Status of tags: proposed or in-use (for low-usage ATYL)?

How about splitting that page up then?

Instead of one massive page full of tables (that, at least on my laptop, sometimes takes forever to load :roll_eyes:), split each of the sub-features i.e. aerialway, aeroway, amenity etc, off to their own individual page: “Aerialway Map Features”, which has the current aerialway template table on it, possibly expanded to include features that “won’t fit” on the main Features page?

If you want an automated listing of all the documented aerialway-related feature tags, there’s already a category for that (which the infoboxes call a “group”). A dedicated overview page about aerialways would be wonderful. It would go nicely with the dozens of existing overview pages (“feature descriptions”). If I had my druthers, the conventional tag pages would be aimed at data consumers whereas mappers would consult these overviews for the basics. But I don’t really see how inclusion on one of these pages would act as a seal of approval for a tag.

My thought was more about the comment that that page had grown too big, but that discussion needs a separate thread of it’s own!

But looking at some of the things that are currently listed on the Map Features page, amount of usage doesn’t seem to have prevented some tags being added, or them designated as “in-use”!
Tag:craft=candlemaker - OpenStreetMap Wiki = 7
Tag:craft=cooper - OpenStreetMap Wiki = 13 = 12 = 11 = 5
Tag:sport=cycle_polo - OpenStreetMap Wiki = 6
Tag:sport=dragon_boat - OpenStreetMap Wiki = 8

& created: Break Map Features page up into multiple pages?

I agree that it is not always easy to make a hard line between “de facto” and “in use”. However I also feel that:

  • introducing the new value like “sporadic” (for tags that are used even less than “in use” but are documented) would add additional line that is hard to define (e.g. it won’t be just “is that tag in-use or de-facto?”, but “is that tag sporadic or in-use or de-facto?”)
  • (ab)using “proposed” for tags that were never proposed (but are ATYL) is confusing (to say the least)
  • we should encourage people to document ATYL tags; and documenting that some documented tag is low-use ATYL tag is useful information, so we should put something in that tag status field.

So far I tend to lean towards “mark low-usage ATYL tags” as “in use” (as it is only status that fits, and has no strictly defined boundaries on number of users it must have).

So, which status to assign to low-usage documented ATYL tags (e.g. tens of uses)?

  • “in use” (as “very low usage” is still “in use”)
  • “proposed” (even as the tag was never proposed; but “in use” actually means “in significant use”)
  • some new status (name to be determined), to indicate “in very low use” (as opposed to “in use” which actually means “in significant use”)
  • no status, i.e. leave it undefined (even if it means users won’t know should they use it, and wiki editors won’t know which tags remain to be categorized)
  • something else (please leave comment as to what)
0 voters

We should, but maybe it doesn’t need to be documented in the form of a standard wiki page that can cause confusion regardless of the status indicator in the infobox.

Recently, there was a bit of consternation in Slack about a series of “in use” keys like “Key:destination:carriages” that sprang up overnight without any discussion. The author had good intentions: they wanted to explain a concept that’s difficult to encapsulate in a single keyword, and they had no particular unction to take it all the way through the formal proposal process. But in a situation like this, I would’ve advised them to still create the page as a (permanent) draft proposal in the Proposal: namespace, which they’ve now done. Alternatively, if it’s incomplete or has known issues, a page in their user space would suffice (example).

@nyuriks’ original, unrealized vision for data items was that someone could ATYL in an editor and the editor would prompt them for a one-liner explaining what they mean, and then the editor would stash that one-liner away in a data item. That didn’t pan out for a variety of reasons, but given the difficulty of creating one of these wiki pages in the first place, I think a streamlined workflow like what Yuri envisioned would more effectively address the problem of undocumented fly-by-night tags – assuming we even consider that to be a problem at all.

Who really cares about the status? At best, all it tells you is if some aspect of the tagging has been through the proposal process. What is more important is the taginfo data and how honest the page author has been in indicating if there are more commonly used tags for the same concept.


With regard to “what’s a low number”, I just created after mapping one, nit being able to find a page for them, but finding a German discussion that said that would be the best option.

Currently 69 uses, but I left it at “in use”. Is 69 “good enough” to say yes it is in use? :thinking:


Greater than 0, so yes.


But taginfo data and infobox status is the same; in fact taginfo fetches its data from the infobox of a wiki page. So taginfo will and can only show the status set on the wiki page.

On status:
I see it largely the same way like Mateusz.

  • de facto - if it is wide spreaded, thousands of uses, many users and/or countries
  • in use - if it has at least more than 25 uses (in most cases, of course not for stuff like cold fusion reactors, LHCs, stargates, etc.)
  • proposed - if one likes to use and suggest that tag, not only if there is a proposal process, but if usage is very low (less than 25), or only from one or a hand full of mappers
  • no status - if usage is very low (less than 25) and no one really cares about the tag or suggest its use; maybe we should reinvent status “undefined” to make clear that no status or undefined status is intended with the specific tag.

I think that there might be some confusion here? If I look at taginfo for a tag, one of the tabs is for a wiki page (if one exists), but the others are nothing to do with it.

You got me excited for a moment. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think the proper term for this classification would be unclassified.

As if that word hasn’t caused enough trouble in OSM already :slight_smile:

proposed - if one likes to use and suggest that tag, not only if there is a proposal process, but if usage is very low (less than 25), or only from one or a hand full of mappers

Proposed always was defined as the status according to the proposal process after “draft”, you submitted an rfc and the status became proposed. Any tag page documentation without following the rfc step should not be “proposed”, rather “draft”.

True, I saw it from the wiki perspective and refered to the tag status and other information (description, image, applicability, required tag, etc.) that is only present if the wiki page provides it for taginfo to fetch.
The main information of taginfo, the statistical data on usage, spread, combination, etc. is independent from the wiki.

The actual usage of a tag is an important thing, for sure, when you’re looking for a way to tag a feature. But in cases with low usage you may not get a reliable or satisfying answer and a tag status may help.

Errr, but “draft” has been deprecated lately (among with others, like “rejected” and “abandoned”) in, no? Talk page gives some rationale (the gist being “These are statuses of proposals, not tags. Proposal statuses are different”)

I’d hazard to say many do. Try to propose removing status field from infobox at the wiki, and I’d guess you’d get a lots of flame. Why they care, is another matter altogether, and quite likely multifaceted.

At best, all it tells you is if some aspect of the tagging has been through the proposal process.

I think it conveys more than just that.

  • Yes, being “proposed” through proposal process means that it goes at least some peer review (the infobox would then link to proposal page for more information too). Those in turn can point to known unsolved issues with the tag (regardless if proposal passed or not) and maybe intended solutions or possible alternatives for those. ATYL on the other hand might be more misguided if they went even without that minimal scrutiny.

  • Some statuses like “de facto” convey meaning that that tag is in so wide use, that you should likely use it too (it is also much more telling then just “taginfo count > 100k” or similar alone - some tags have less use due to their occurrences in the world, but are still de facto usage in OSM as everybody uses them for that purpose).

  • So does “in use” signalling that while that tag has been used, it is not widely popular, but requires more careful reading and thinking before applying (but still better to use than inventing another ATYL alternative with the same meaning!)

  • “imported” would signal to take care when looking just at row usage numbers, as it is likely to be quite high, even if being used only by one particular project somewhere, so there might be better alternatives

  • “discardable” and “deprecated” might indicate that (even if the tag may be used many times in current database!), that it should not be used for new/updated objects (and if editing the object, if “discardable”, that it is preferred to be removed completely)

  • “obsolete” would indicate while it no longer exists in the database, that it was some time in the past (useful when tracking back / looking at the planet history database and seeing usage of some tag and disappearance - possibly replaced by other tag?)

  • etc.

What is more important is the taginfo data

Absolutely, the number of uses on taginfo (as well as spatial and temporal distribution and other info there) is very important information, but it is not be-all-end-all.

and how honest the page author has been in indicating if there are more commonly used tags for the same concept.

Well, attempts at unhonest things are in my experience most often detected and edited on the wiki, correcting them with additional data and disclaimers.

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How about something like routing:entrance, which was coined, documented, and almost exclusively tagged by a single mapper, but tagged enough to outnumber many other documented features? I just changed its status from proposed to in use since it had no actual proposal, but I wonder if at least informal discussion or scrutiny somewhere would be necessary before we could accurately call it “in use”. Obviously it’s in use in a literal sense, but it seems like mappers are interpreting that key to mean it has enjoyed some organic uptake.

I agree, it is “in use” – that does not mean it is “useful” (to general population, or to anyone in particular).

Well, I don’t really see why would they infer such meaning? I do agree that “Organic uptake” is quite important, but the best indicator we have towards that requires users to go to taginfo and look at Chronology, Map and “Objects with this key were last edited by 34 different users.” – although I’m not quite what that phrasing actually means… Does it mean that:

  • 34 different users have added or modified that key (in which case it is quite interesting information and should be included in that wiki infobox by default!), or
  • something completely different and of much less use, as exact reading of it would indicate, e.g. “someone added that tag to some object in revision X, and that object is now at revision X+1 or higher”