Talk:Proposed features/historic event

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Doubts about relevance of that tag in OSM

As ever, you are free to tag whatever you whant in OSM with whatever tag you whant, but tagging things related to historic events are OSM off topic to me. Also a community consultation by following Proposed_features would have been nice in order to gather other's thoughts. sletuffe 18:14, 28 April 2011 (BST)

+1 to all points. Tag the memorial stone/map whatever, but not something immaterial with no distinct location. --Nop 15:51, 29 April 2011 (BST)
Then historic=battlefield should be removed also, however since it has been documented since 2009 and possibly in use longer I see this as a baseless argument. -- JohnSmith 05:45, 30 April 2011 (BST)
Yes, it should be removed if it does not correspond to a physical entity. But that's a different matter, one misplaced tag is no reason to make things worse by creating another, even more baseless tag. Furthermore, you just claim it was in long use but you give no statistics. --Nop 08:33, 2 May 2011 (BST)
IMO physical remains are the most important argument. If the tags are understood and used in the meaning of "place where physical remains of a historic event/battle exist", its relevant for OSM. If they just mark arbitrary places where I cannot see anything even by digging 100 feet into the ground, a tagging is useless. One can easily use an extra layer when creating a specialzed map of historic places instead. --Mstriewe 18:45, 5 May 2011 (BST)
That's your opinion and your are free to air it (on the discussion page), however other historic events such as historic=battlefield have existed for quite some time, so other people felt the need to tag them, as for discussion, that occurred on the tagging mailing list. -- JohnSmith 05:37, 29 April 2011 (BST)
Also I might be biased since I am not in favor of that tag, I encourage you to open a discussion here prior to adding a "potientialy controvertial tag" on the wiki's map feature page. Having this tag's describtion page out of map feature is fine for me, because it is what the wiki is meant to (describing used tags), but considering it's low usage, it's no talking/voting process and it's youth. I do not favor, yet, it's map feature inclusion. But would like to have thoughts of other people than you, me and user:Nop sletuffe 15:49, 29 April 2011 (BST)
I missed your comment about the tagging mailing list, I'm unable to find the related discussion, could you kindly point me to the thread please ? sletuffe 15:54, 29 April 2011 (BST)
If you want discussion, use the tagging mailing list, that is what it was created for, wiki pages make for very poor discussions -- JohnSmith 05:45, 30 April 2011 (BST)
If you want to discuss a tag, use the discussion pages in the wiki. At least one has a chance to find them close to the tag documentation. ML talks are volatile and completely disconnected from the actual descriptions. Checking the tagging mailing list, I found only an extremely short discussion, including opposing voices. Talking about it for a single day (!!) with a few people of varying dis/agreement (no documentation, no reference, no proposal, no vote) is no base for adding something this contractionary to a map features! No way! --Nop 08:33, 2 May 2011 (BST)

Indeed contributors are free to tag whatever they want, but the wiki should provide them with guidance. This discussion reads like the beginnings of a debate on what that guidance should be in relation to recording the location of important historic events. Personally I can't see a problem with somebody wanting to record the location of a significant event. The existence of a physical memorial or plaque might used as evidence of the event's importance, but in principle other evidence could also be relevant. Refusing to document an "event" tag won't stop contributors tagging events if they want to -it will just allow more inconsistency in the way this is done. On that basis introducing a specific "event" tag would be a good move: if there were signs that a lot of contributors were trying to record events, but struggling to find a common way of doing this. For example - we might find a lot of "note" tags that said something like "this is where....". I can't see that myself - but maybe I'm missing something. In summary I think it would be a good idea to add some general guidance to the documentation of the "historic" tag that provides contributors with some guidance on the kind of subject that are others recording. I can see no objection in principle to documenting an "event" tag. I would like to see more evidence that there is a need for it. --Peter Reed 10:22, 2 May 2011 (BST)

To document a tag is one thing, to add it to Map Features is another. It is always a good idea to document usage of a tag, even if there are no consensus about its usefulness. We should be strict about what tags are added to the Map Features list, and if special interest mapping call for a different (or more detailed) map features, than why not do like I have done for nautical maps? --Skippern 08:47, 3 May 2011 (BST)
I second this behaviour. I also like the idea of starting a poll about showing or not this tag on the map features page. sletuffe 14:25, 3 May 2011 (BST)


I feel that this discussion is just as much "do historic=battlefield belong in the map features?"" as it is a "do historic=event belong in the map features?". IMO they both should be taken out of Map Features. Documenting how you use a special tag is what the wiki is for, but not all tags belong in Map Features. Also historic=battlefield is just a special sort of historic=event, so maybe historic=event deprecates historic=battlefield? --Skippern 11:25, 2 May 2011 (BST)

I made the same comment on the tagging list, while I may be using it as an example to support historic=event, I think events in general if they are of historical significants should be mappable and it's obvious I'm not alone of this opinion. -- JohnSmith 11:51, 2 May 2011 (BST)
Well a support for historic=event, does that mean there are a support for deprecating historic=battlefield? After all, a historical battle IS an historical event. --Skippern 11:53, 2 May 2011 (BST)
Battlefields are often visible on the ground. They might have memorials, paths, a visitor centre, markings for the battle lines etc. See for example Culloden. So I think it makes sense to map that area as a battlefield. Its not the same as the site of a historic event where there is now nothing visible. --Vclaw 23:11, 2 May 2011 (BST)
If there are memorials, it is good to tag those sites. But if a former battlefield is an umarked, plowed field today, it should not be tagged. --Nop 23:22, 2 May 2011 (BST)
If there area a visitors center, than tourism=attraction is maybe a good tag to use. --Skippern 08:30, 3 May 2011 (BST)
OSM does not have a relevance criteria for user entered content. Alv 11:45, 3 May 2011 (BST)
If you ever have been to a historic battlefield you will know that there often is evidence of the battle. Of course this depends a lot on how much time has passed since the battle took place (and also how long they were fighting). E.g. some of the battlefields of the First World War still contain traces of trenches, bunkers and fortifications, unburied bodies and ammunition in the soil, bombing craters, etc. --Dieterdreist 11:08, 13 May 2011 (BST)
I highly doubt all significant battlefields would be that scarred, for example in tropical jungles during WW2, the jungle has taken back most if not all of the land cleared, that doesn't mean this places aren't still significant to relatives of soldiers killed there -- JohnSmith 12:05, 13 May 2011 (BST)
I visited Culloden Battlefield in March this year and I think tagging a battlefield is as important as tagging other historic features as long as they are still visible today. In contrast, historic events aren't really visible. A map is about things that are on (or near) the ground, consequently, preserved battlefields do belong in maps. --Scai 16:05, 5 May 2011 (BST)

The Historic Battlefields feature is one of the oldest information in all maps around the world. It was present in maps a long time before anybody thought about an OpenStreetMap. Now to think about a removal of this feature is only stupid! Battlefields have the same priority as ruins, monuments and other historical objects; do you want to remove them all? If somebody get boredom, think about the suitability of new features, for example healthcare- & craft-tags and so on.--R-michael 08:34, 6 May 2011 (BST)

Why even obscure tags should be documented if they are likely to be mapped!

Regardless if people think this tag is a good idea or not, the lack of documentation will not dissuade people from tagging such things, all it means is you will have 10 different people coming up with 10 different tags, half possibly in German, and the end result is an even bigger mess. Take for example the historic category, there is plenty of non-documented tags in use, some of them duplicates of others. -- User:JohnSmith 14:21, 5 May 2011

Out of boredom, I (JohnSmith) decided to start a list of non-physical tags in widespread use, this list is far from complete, and I would welcome input from others to expand this list, as there is so many tags not even documented:

* Street Addressing
* Various routes, including bus & ferry routes
* Winter_road/Ice_road
* Battlefields
* Several land uses, eg landuse=residential, this is at best meta information, but certainly has no direct physical object
* Boundaries usually only appear on paper
* Marking sporting areas, such as kayaking, canoeing, diving, rowing etc...

I doubt the list is exhaustive, but these are obviously important to people, otherwise they wouldn't get tagged.


Further more many non-physical things are mapped, such as street addresses -- JohnSmith 05:47, 9 May 2011 (BST)

An address is an attribute of a building which is very physical IMHO -- AndiPersti 10:47, 13 May 2011 (BST)
Addresses exist even when buildings don't -- JohnSmith 11:43, 13 May 2011 (BST)
But the point is that addresses in OSM are bound to a physical object like a building. They are not stand-alone -- AndiPersti 18:01, 13 May 2011 (BST)
A lot of street addresses are tagged separately to buildings, even if there is a building because it's quicker to just tag the first and last address, no addresses are tagged to find places, not to describe an object -- JohnSmith 06:29, 14 May 2011 (BST)
I think we have to agree to disagree. EOD for me. -- AndiPersti 11:59, 15 May 2011 (BST)
Well please explain to me how can address interpolation be attached to any physical object. -- JohnSmith 16:21, 15 May 2011 (BST)
For me, address interpolation is just a intermediate step (and a tool for lazy mappers :-) ). It only works for some very special cases (all buildings/properties are of the same size and the numbering is regular). For example if you want to route to the entrance of a house/property and the first 2 or 3 houses are small and the fourth is very big (because the owner was able to combine some properties) how will you determine the position of each property with just interpolation? It's for sure wrong because the space between the properties is not regular.
But I understand now why you think that addresses are non-physical if you just look at interpolations and I would certainly agree with you. I personally have never used interpolations and will probably never use them in future. I just prefer outdoor-mapping instead of armchair-mapping and if I add addresses to OSM then I was for sure on site and saw the numberplate with my own eyes. That's why addresses are physical for me :-). YMMV -- AndiPersti 18:33, 15 May 2011 (BST)
Interpolation is just a good example of what I meant, addresses aren't useful meta information for buildings, they are used to find buildings, people only really care about address numbers and names for that matter to find places, not to find out information about them. As for your comment about being lazy, I'm sure some would consider it more efficient, since there would be a lot less tags needed to describe more or less the same thing. -- JohnSmith 05:01, 16 May 2011 (BST)
So you believe that the houses in a residential area are not physical objects? I suggest you try walking into one.
Sure the buildings are physical, the land use isn't JohnSmith 11:43, 13 May 2011 (BST)
Have you ever noted that there are bus stops along every bus route? I guess those are not physical to you either. --Nop 09:11, 13 May 2011 (BST)
I didn't say bus stops, I said bus routes, please point out something physicals between the stops that links them -- JohnSmith 11:43, 13 May 2011 (BST)
I can agree on many of your points but not addresses. What are addresses if not a fundamental human-readable geolocalisation information ? You could use the same argument to remove street names from OSM then, no ? And then place names, etc... --Pieren 13:16, 13 May 2011 (BST)

You forgot URL's, websites, phone numbers, opening hours which could go to an extra database (call it OpenYellowPage if you like). --Pieren 13:16, 13 May 2011 (BST)

Addresses, like URLs are a sort of index information, they exist purely to make it easy to pin point a location on the planet, similar to lat/lon, they are in themselves not physical objects, but reference physical objects, the rest of your arguments are moot however, since that is directly related to the object, not finding the object. -- JohnSmith 15:52, 13 May 2011 (BST)
Show me one address point on the map that is anything else than a building that has not been mapped in detail. Andrew 13:47, 14 May 2011 (BST)
In other words you are too lazy to even look up the addressing on the wiki, I suggest you start here -- JohnSmith 17:03, 14 May 2011 (BST)
URLs, a sort of "reference physical objects" ? If a business is changing in one building, the URL is changing, the phone number is changing. The adress is not changing. Other point : an URL can point to many locations. --Pieren 12:20, 16 May 2011 (BST)
If a company shifts beyond the same exchange their phone number usually changes, or they implement a redirect, so it depends how far they move as to what changes, and phone numbers can be directed to multiple locations in Australia, although typically this is limited to special numbers only. If a company occupying the location does move, that reference point is unchanged, so thanks for proving my point about addresses, even if the building is replaced or the building is moved to another location, or the building is replaced the address references a location not a building, thanks for proving my point. -- JohnSmith 16:09, 16 May 2011 (BST)
Okay, happy to see that we agree : an address is a geolocation information which has his place in OSM, not an URL or a phone number. --Pieren 16:27, 16 May 2011 (BST)
My point was, addresses point to non-physical objects, a geolocation isn't a physical object and if it belongs so do other non-physical objects such as battlefields and historical events. -- JohnSmith 04:06, 17 May 2011 (BST)

Thanks for proving my point about the wiki being a poor discussion tool

This page is a complete mess and if any normal human being can follow it they're doing better than I can -- JohnSmith 15:53, 13 May 2011 (BST)

Relevance of battlefield_* tags

First timer here, but I agree with above re difficulty in following argument, and I am suprised that there seems to be a reductionist tendency -- get rid of tags instead of embracing thoughtful expansion.

My use case? In recent years I have taken several trips to Southeast Asia and, among other locales, have visited Dien Bien Phu, site of the famous 1954 battle. It is a complex location with new development making elements of the 1954 locale difficult to discern. I have collected a good number of GPS coordinates for specific points and positions including hills, French Union positions, remote Viet Minh artillery positions (that are preserved as historic sites) and General Giap's headquarters, among others. I collected this because I was not able to find much of the information elsewhere . I thought it might be of use to other travelers and interested parties. Recently I thought about creating a map-based representation of this information and briefly looked at Google's map services before quickly looking for something open, not vendor dependent.

I would like not only to retain historic:event but extend it to include historic:battlefield_position and maybe even historic:battlefield_headquarters. Using military:* tags would seem incorrect in that they suggest that something is there where history would be much better for sites that have evolved over time and where points are hard to find.