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please tag: sotmeu11

Organized by

OpenStreetMap Austria  TU Vienna, Research Group Cartography
Supported by:

International Cartographic Association     Vienna Convention Bureau
Open Government Data Konferenz 2011
Teaching Support Center

Hosting by:


Talk details

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Jochen Topf

Jochen Topf DE

Wiki Twitter


Details about the talk:
OpenStreetMap uses so called "tags" to attach meaning to objects in its database. Tags consists of a "key=value" pair of text such as "highway=primary" for a main road. It is one of the fundamental design features of OpenStreetMap that everybody can invent new tags and use them immediately without having to ask for permission or any kind of consultation. This way OpenStreetMap can react in a flexible way to new requirements and can be used universally even for niche applications.

But of course there needs to be some agreement if tags should be useful at all. This happens mainly through the OSM wiki where the most important tags are documented. Over the years OpenStreetMap has been growing and becoming more and m
ore complex. Over 20,000 different keys and over 50 million different tags make it hard to decide how to tag what and which tags to show on a map. And the documentation on the wiki is woefully out of date.

Taginfo to the rescue. The Taginfo system gives you an overview of how tags are used. It brings together tag usage statistics from the database with information from the wiki, from editors and from other sources to show which tags are used where. Extensive search options and different views on the data allow you to answer questions such as: How often is this tag used? By how many users? Where in the world is it used? Which values are used with this key? Which of those are documented on the wiki?

The talk gives an introduction to the Taginfo system, explains where the data comes from and how it is processed. It shows how the huge amounts of data is processed efficiently and how you can use the Taginfo API to get to the data. And of course it shows how to use the web interface including some hidden features.

Details about the speaker:
Jochen has been an OSM contributor since 2006. He is actively mapping, developing software and building the German OSM community. He is co-author of the most comprehensive book about OpenStreetMap (see He has turned his OSM hobby into a business developing software and as consultant on all things OSM and geo.

More about his involvement with OSM can be found at .

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