From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Trolltags are tags used to modify the properties of a well known feature such as highway, building or hotel in a way that radically changes the original meaning of the feature.

It is not OK to use one tag (for example tourism=hotel) and add second tag that negates or massively change its meaning (for example adding involuntary=yes to tourism=hotel instead of using amenity=prison). Additional tags should clarify meaning of main tags rather than negate it.

In general, any tag that must be processed to avoid serious misinterpretation of the feature is a trolltag.

For example somebody wants to produce map of cycleways. Simply processing highway=cycleway and highway=path with bicycle=designated should be enough. Data consumer in that situation should not be expected to check for proposed=yes, demolished=yes, construction=yes, completely_fictional=yes or end_date=1990.

Adding tags like proposed=yes is a really poor idea. In case of data consumers not supporting them it will lead to invalid and highly misleading data. And data consumers supporting completely broken tagging schemes (like [highway=tertiary; construction=yes] instead of supporting just [highway=construction, construction=tertiary]) encourages usage of this tagging method. The danger is that with more and more data tagged using trolltags other data consumers will either be forced to add support for trolltags or stop using OSM data.

Note that some tags may be OK or trolltag depending on how it is used. For example abandoned=yes. It is perfectly OK to add it to building - after all, abandoned building is still building. But using it on shop=supermarket to indicate that shop is no longer operating and it is impossible to buy anything there (in other words - it is no longer a shop) is not OK and should be tagged in proper way (typically - by deleting shop=supermarket or using a decent Lifecycle prefix such as disused:shop=supermarket).