WikiProject Semantics

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This is a project to improve the description of existing tags and to give guidelines to follow when suggesting new tags.

The project name refers to computer science semantics.

Executive summary

As OpenStreetMap evolves, we need to better document the exact meaning of our tags in order for other projects/software to make the most out of it.

This project is aimed at, but not limited to, direct usage of our data by software, like routing software or any other analysis tool.

Project mission

OpenStreetMap contains a wealth of data, which however faces the risk of not being fully exploited in case the meaning of our tags is not well understood. This project is specifically interested in the usage of OpenStreetMap data by computer software, like e.g. routing software.

This is an example of the problems we wish to solve: if a highway=cycleway is tagged as access=destination, what is the access restriction for a motorcar?

If you replied: "That's easy! Those tags imply motorcar=destination" you are right. But this project wants to explain why you are right, and what is the reasoning you followed, in order to implement it in software.

The project is not interested in suggesting new tags (unless it's strictly necessary): following the analogy with computer science semantics, the project is not interested in syntax. That is left to mappers' creativity.

As is often the case with semantics, however, we may discover that some tag schemes work better than others: this could prove useful when suggesting new tags.

See also

Related Projects