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Semi-colon value separator or dash?

According to taginfo, most mappers use semi-colon separated values when there is more than one level, like isced:level=1;2;3, but some use a dash like isced:level=1-3. Is one version clearly superior for database users, or should mappers feel free to use the format that is easiest? --Jeisenbe (talk) 04:37, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

Yes I tested this with Overpass:
[out:json][timeout:25]; // gather results ( // query part for: “"isced:level"=*” node["isced:level"]({{bbox}}); way["isced:level"]({{bbox}}); relation["isced:level"]({{bbox}}); ); // print results out tags;
> jq '.elements[].tags."isced:level"' < isced.json | grep ';' | wc -l
> jq '.elements[].tags."isced:level"' < isced.json | grep '-' | wc -l
Which shows 16,372 tags use ; and 1,932 tags use -. Mind you I did a big import in Australia which exclusively used -, since I think it's a lot clearer and makes human mappers life a lot easier by using -. But this import may skew things.
The tagging list thread at did discuss this, there were views on both sides so given usage and given both are easy for a computer to parse, I think we should accept both and let mappers use what's easier for them and let the computer parse out both. Aharvey (talk) 05:14, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
It may be locally different, and I don’t question the appropriateness for multiple levels in general, but around here it usually is several schools on the same grounds, but distinguishable (although they might have (almost) the same name), as different objects.—Dieterdreist (talk) 15:48, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Right that makes a lot more sense now, since `;` is used to tag multiple things, so if there are two distinct schools one for isced:level=1 and one for isced:level=2 I can now see how you'd prefer isced:level=1;2. For me I use the dash because it's almost always the school covers multiple isced:levels and there is no distinction between the two isced:levels (apart from going up through the grades). So isced:level=2-3 for a high (secondary) school because there is no lower secondary and upper secondary. All the more reason to let mappers choose what makes the most sense for their area. Aharvey (talk) 22:58, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
If there’s 2 schools, you should not use one school object in osm to represent both, IMHO, but if there is one school (with one headmaster etc.) and covering several isced levels, then multiple values are appropriate. —Dieterdreist (talk) 09:35, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Missing instances for Germany

Seems the table row for Germany is utterly incomplete, what about "Fachhochschule", "Kunsthochschule" (containing "Hochschule für Bildende oder Freie Kunst", "Musikhochschule" / "Konservatorium", "Hochschule für Schauspielkunst", "Filmhochschule", "Hochschule für Medien", "Hochschule für Tanz", "Hochschule für Architektur", "Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst"), "Sporthochschule", maybe "Hochschule" in general? --Dieterdreist (talk) 09:34, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

ISCED 1997 and 2011 versions

I suggest isced:2011:level=* & isced:1997:level=*, to follow current usage on date suffix as historic values, and make isced:2011:*=* & isced:1997:*=* clear in relations to isced:*=*. Kovposch (talk) 06:11, 16 February 2020 (UTC)

what about isced:level:2011 and isced:level:1997? if you put the year in the middle, the original tag is split in two. --Dieterdreist (talk) 23:47, 19 February 2022 (UTC)

Local terms section

I'm kind of wondering about the local terms section and having it in none English when this is the English article. I'm not saying there isn't examples, but I can't think off the top of head of any English articles where it's the same if there is a national variation in tagging practices. It's not that way in the other languages for this article either. I can imagine scenario where a native English is mapping schools in somewhere like Germany and wants to add isced:level. So they come here to see how to do it, but don't read German. So they just do it the United States way. I know most browsers translate things now, but that's not the point because someone from Germany or wherever could just as easily have their browser translate it to German if need be.

I think ultimately the English article should just be in English. If there is a need for a German (or whatever language) translation, then someone should create a German (or whatever) article. So there's no confusion or miss-tagging. It doesn't help German (or whatever language) speakers to do it this way either. Since they are just getting brief sentence on how to use the tag and won't know how to use the tag in places where their language is spoke anymore then an English speaker does. Plus, like I said browsers translate things now anyway. --Adamant1 (talk) 09:41, 11 July 2020 (UTC)

grades=* or isced:level=*

What's the difference between these two? Shouldn't this wiki explain how they're are different and which one should a mapper use? --AntMadeira (talk) 23:31, 5 April 2021 (UTC)

isced:level is an internationally agreed scheme to classify educational levels, which is quite suitable for an international project like OSM. grades was pushed years later be people who were unfamiliar with the ISCED scheme, apparently. It appears to be simpler to understand, however its values might mean different education levels in different countries. Currently, isced:level is 12x more popular than grades. --Polarbear w (talk) 20:47, 6 April 2021 (UTC)
  1. isced:level=* could be seen as an int_ref=*, and grades=* could be seen as a nat_ref=*?
  2. Slight issue with verifiability still remain in that the specific standard relies upon individual editors to apply, similar to sac_level=* and mtb:scale=*. May need to distinguish official from unofficial ratings. ---- Kovposch (talk) 22:22, 6 April 2021 (UTC)
I guess you might have ambiguities with grades even within the same country for different school types. E.g. a secondary school starting to count at 1 again, or counting backwards. --Polarbear w (talk) 22:49, 6 April 2021 (UTC)
@Polarbear w: I think your example of secondary schools counting from 1 may be different than what grades=* is about. For example, in the U.S., many high schools do call their freshmen "first-years" as a more gender-neutral term, but they're still in 9th grade; grade numbers are uniform within those school districts. Some International Baccalaureate schools have a parallel year numbering system as well, but that doesn't undermine grade number usage in mainstream schools. Are you aware of any examples of schools or school systems that count grades backwards? That seems impractical, and I haven't found examples through a cursory search. – Minh Nguyễn 💬 21:15, 6 January 2022 (UTC)
@AntMadeira: The original grades proposal was flawed as stated above, but conceptually, grades=* is more suitable for OSM than isced:level=* in some countries. For example, in the United States, the ISCED levels are officially derived from grade numbers, which are usually verifiable on the ground and always available from a public domain database. People use grade numbers in everyday life, whereas ISCED levels are too ambiguous for anyone to use, because the standard has to generalize a diverse array of educational systems. Grade numbers are also more stable: ISCED could be redefined again, rendering countless isced:level=* tags outdated. A global renderer may find ISCED levels easier to work with, while a country-specific renderer might label schools with their grades=*. – Minh Nguyễn 💬 04:05, 3 August 2021 (UTC)
Ideally you'd tag both grades=* and isced:level=*, and others are correct here that grades=* need to be evaluated differently per country or region whereas isced:level=* is universal. For example in Australia schooling consists of grade/year K-12 (K, 1, 2, ..., 12) by using grades=* I can specify the school only provides year 9-12 whereas I can't do that with isced:level=* as level 2 is year 7-10 and level 3 is year 11-12. I've added a section at Key:isced:level#Comparison_to_grades.3D.2A to try to summarise this discussion. --Aharvey (talk) 00:40, 21 January 2022 (UTC)

Incorrect tabulation for United Kingdom

Apparently there are no isced:level=6 institutions in the UK. Virtually all degree awarding bodies are now universities and offer masters & doctoral degrees (level 6). Some universities will still provide some limited level 4 education, but rarely, and not part of their main mission. Further Education Colleges (diminishing in number) are lumped in with Sixth-form Colleges, but in practice are level 4 institutions, and many so-called Sixth-form colleges will also offer vocational training. The table should be updated to reflect this. SK53 (talk) 09:19, 29 March 2022 (UTC)