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The value of this tag seems to be too detailed, leading to subjective conclusions. --Jgpacker (talk) 13:50, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Can you give an example? I think that the definitions are pretty clear. Of course there is no clear line between e.g. partly_ruinous and mainly_ruinous, because degradation comes continuously over decades and centuries. It's just the same ambiguity as for tracktypes, meadow vs. heath vs. scrub vs. wood, etc. We have to classify things somehow. Cartography is an abstraction of an analog world. --Fkv (talk) 15:42, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
If I were to group this tag's values in similar-meaning groups, it would be: "preserved, renovated, reconstructed", "partly_ruinous, mainly_ruinous" and "completely_ruinous, recognizable_remains, ruinous". The first group could be said to be verifiable (not ambiguous) given the history of repair/reconstruction of a building.
Tags like tracktype=* and smoothness=* went through many discussions with people trying to get as close as possible to some verifiable criteria, but even so some people don't feel satisfied. Once in a while a discussion appears because of things like meadow vs heath vs scrub vs wood, and generally people prefer to have a more objective schema.
One thing I found odd is that more than 90% of this tag's current use contains values that don't match the documentation. Not sure if they already were like this when the page was created.
By the way, it was nice to see you were watching the page. Unfortunately most people don't (or simply don't know how to turn on notifications).
--Jgpacker (talk) 16:43, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
We can add some photos to support the descriptions. The problem with smoothness=* is that the photos contradict the tag descriptions instead of supporting them.
I was not aware that there are so many undocumented values, with "average", "poor" and "good" making up the vast majority of uses. These are indeed subjective. What is "poor"? I don't know! I also don't know what building:condition="baik" (forth most frequent value) or "Baik" (fifth most frequent, in spite of the uppercase letter) means. "baik" does not seem to be an English word. Maybe Indonesian?
The wiki should normally document the most frequent values, but in this particular case it would be an ugly task. I'm going to contact Walter Schlögl (Walterschloegl), who is the original author of this documentation (originally located on castle_type:de=*). I hope he'll find some time to participate in this discussion.
--Fkv (talk) 20:33, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Thanks to fkv for taking up this documentation. I can tell you the history about my usage of this tag. When I started to edit castles and ruins I surged for a tag to document the condition of a ruin. At that time building:condition was used undocumented with the values good / average / poor which might fit for a building which is not a ruin. So I added my own values which fit more for a castle and/or ruin. I don't know what's the difference between average and poor but I would classify a building if it's still possible to life in it or not, although this would depend also on the country it is in. Here my definition of the ruinous values

  • recognizable_remains ... you can find some foundations of a wall but no walls any more
  • completely_ruinous ... there are some walls left but no rooms, no roof
  • mainly_ruinous ... most part of the castle only consist of some walls but there is at least one part with a roof left.
  • partly_ruinous ... most part of the castle consist of buildings where the roof is still there but there are also parts with walls only.

In case it is partly_ruinous many mappers would map both parts separately and tag one part as completely_ruinous and the other part according to the condition, at least if the preserved part is still in use. --WalterSchloegl (talk) 16:01, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

What if windows are broken, or there are small holes in the roof? I have been using partly_ruinous for these cases. When the roof is completely down in some part of the building, I would consider it mainly_ruinous, because the building as an entity is no more habitable, and it is certainly dangerous even in those parts where the roof is still in place. --Fkv (talk) 16:25, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
This definition sounds not so bad, I could also aggree to that.--WalterSchloegl (talk) 19:43, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure if that would completely remove possible ambiguities, but if a description like this is put in the page for the values, I would be ok with removing the claim that this is not verifiable (i.e. the {{Verifiability}} template). --Jgpacker (talk) 21:30, 24 October 2014 (UTC)