On the weekend there was (again) a discussion on the German OpenStreetMap mailinglist about how the system of coming up with new OSM tags and better defining existing tags could be improved (or whether it actually needs improving). This is a difficult subject. The “system” (for lack of a better word) is confusing and often leads to frustration. But it does basically work. OSM is growing, people are entering more and different kinds of data, usable maps are produced, finding routes based on OSM data works.
Prompted by this discussion I have created a page in my personal area on the OSM wiki called How to invent tags. There I list my personal criteria and ideas and try to provide reasons for them. The list is not complete and I am sure it will change over time. I have changed my opinion about some of these issues over the last years, and I will probably change my opinion again. I hope it will move the discussion one step ahead and maybe it can be one input for a “best practice” document containing a community consensus that can be developed over time.