I have been editing in the area around muscat covered by hi-res yahoo imagery and there are some things unclear to me that I think could be discussed here.
Road signs and most other signs in Oman are usually bilingual (arabic - english). For major features on the map I suggest to do that as well (e.g. tag the capital city as "name=مسقط - Muscat") and add name:en and name:ar tags as appropriate. But doing that for every named feature would make for a quite cluttered map; I'ld prefer to go with the arabic name in the name tag where known (and additionally in the name:ar tag of course), adding a name:en tag if there is a specific english name for the feature or an int_name tag with the arabic name transliterated into latin script.
Imported place names
Apparently names for towns and villages have been imported from GeoBase. These place markers are at times not exactly in the same position as the place they belong to; also the name is usually a transliteration of the arabic name into latin script. Another minor problem with this import is that some of the places imported as village should be tagged as hamlet instead. Is there a convention to tag imported place markers if they are modified? This way it could be seen if a human being has been working on that node or if it is still just the imported data.
The prime use of agriculture in Oman is the growing of dates. The date palms are usually irrigated, either by small streams in mountain valleys or by water brought from the mountains in underground channels. Often the trees are inside walled enclosures, sometimes next to houses, and often there are only relatively small patches of trees. Now how do we map these? A tag landuse=orchard has recently been approved; it is not rendered by any of the renderers so far, though. I suggest to use it anyway, renderers will follow if it is used.
Villages often used to be built at the sides of steep valleys in an easily defensible position. After some decades of peace many of these villages have been abandoned because their steep paths are unsuitable for motor vehicles; often the villagers moved to a nearby flat area and built new houses there. How should we tag these abandoned village sites? The area is no longer "residential", though there are (often ruined) houses there and the place is probably the property of some people that maybe use it for seasonal storage or something.
Mountain valleys are usually dry or carry only a small stream during much of the year, but turn into a wild and dangerous river after some rainfall (flash flood). The part of the valley that is usually flooded in such a case is often clearly visible in aerial photos and often quite wide. Is there any way to map these wadis, or should there be one?
As mentioned in the paragraph on orchards, water is usually transported from the mountains to the coastal plain in ancient systems called falaj. These collect springs or small streams in the mountains and transport the water in covered or underground canals to the plains, often running along the side of a wadi. These features can easily be mistaken for tracks or road construction on aerial photos, especially where tracks run next to them or across them. How can we map these features? I have no idea if there are already tags for that or if we need to create a new one.
--Lyx 07:14, 10 March 2010 (UTC)