Key:tiger:reviewed

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Public-images-osm logo.svg tiger:reviewed
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Description
Added as part of the TIGER import to allow mappers to add whether or not a road has been formally reviewed. Edit or translate this description.
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
See also
Wikidata
Status: de facto

This key indicates whether a road or railway needed human review at the time it was imported from TIGER 2005 in 2007–2008. The most common value is tiger:reviewed=no, but this tag does not necessarily reflect the way's actual quality. In some cases, the key may be set to a different value, indicating that the road or railway has since been reviewed and fixed.

History

The TIGER 2005 import tagged tiger:reviewed=no on every road and railway in the United States. The key was intended to help track the progress of the TIGER fixup project: a mapper would "review" each individual road or railway and remove the tag or set it to a different value after fixing any issues. Some other imports used similar keys, for example gnis:reviewed=*, USFS:reviewed=*, and RLIS:reviewed=*. For various reasons, mappers did not follow this procedure consistently enough for the key to mean much on a large scale, though some mappers continue to use the key to track their personal reviewing progress locally. As of 2019, tiger:reviewed=* remains the 25th most common key and tiger:reviewed=no remains the 14th most common tag in OpenStreetMap worldwide.

How to tag

This key is deprecated in the sense that you should not add it to a way that does not already have this key.

Some mappers remove this tag to indicate that they have reviewed the imported way and made any necessary corrections. Some mappers set tiger:reviewed=yes instead of removing the tag. Some set tiger:reviewed=aerial to indicate that they used aerial imagery to check and/or fix the way.

Software support

An optional mappaint style for JOSM highlights ways tagged tiger:reviewed=no.

Caveats

The prevalence of tiger:reviewed=no is sometimes cited as evidence that unimproved TIGER data remains widespread in OSM. The implication is that it is unreasonable to expect a large-scale import to be cleaned up after the fact. However, such arguments overlook the limitations of this tag, which make it a poor proxy for map quality:

  • Each mapper has a different idea of what it means for a road to be "correct" or "accurate". One mapper may remove this tag after painstakingly realigning it to aerial imagery, while another may merely correct the highway=* tag or fix a typo in the name=*.
  • Some mappers remove the tag after reviewing and correcting any part of a long way, while other mappers leave the tag unchanged until the entire length of the way has been reviewed and corrected.
  • TIGER fixup is laborious enough without having to fiddle with this tag, so many mappers leave it alone even as they make corrections, in order to make faster progress in cleaning up the data.
  • Some mappers object to the tag since it implies a process of review and "moderation" of edits, which does not exist.
  • Some mappers leave this tag alone because they do not understand it or it is buried in a sea of other tiger=* tags.
  • Some mappers remove all tiger=* tags they come across as import cruft, without reviewing the ways.
  • Road ways are routinely split for a variety of reasons, increasing the number of tiger:reviewed=*-tagged ways without decreasing the map's quality.
  • Road ways are routinely extended or shortened by humans in response to changes on the ground, changing the total length of tiger:reviewed=*-tagged ways without decreasing the map's quality.

All this means that the tag is not an accurate indication of anything, and developers of tools such as TIGER Edited Map have developed different more reliable ways of seeing areas which need fixup.

Alternatives

These Overpass queries return ways that have not been edited since the import, other than certain automated cleanup edits.

Potlatch 2 highlights ways similarly when the "Highlight unedited TIGER (US roads)" option is enabled. [1] This approach cannot detect when the way's nodes are moved or retagged, so it misses some forms of review.

But why dwell on the past? Most editors support displaying an annually updated TIGER Roads Overlay atop background imagery and below OSM data. This overlay shows roads and their names in the most recent TIGER release, highlighting missing roads (according to TIGER) in red. Depending on the state or locality, there may be other suitably licensed sources of road centerlines to compare and conflate or even import.

See also