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Related Term (de: Verwandter Begriff)

  • association relationship between terms, like synonym. A term can consist of one ore more words, like Lord's House.
  • de: Assoziationsbeziehung zwischen Begriffen wie z.B. Synonym (ein Term kann aus mehreren Worten bestehen, wie z.B. Lord's house).


The Problem

We want to improve the searching for OSM tags. Currently, when looking in OSM wiki or Taginfo for the tag of a "chapel" (where the correct tag is "amenity=place_of_worship"), it's not found! A crucial point there is that synonyms and related terms have to be there.

Here are some examples of terms currently not found in OSM Wiki nor in Taginfo:

  • Fussgängerstreifen (de_CH) => ?
  • Litfaßsäule (de_DE) => ?
  • Schloss (de) => ?
  • Geldinstitut
  • (please add yours...)

Here are some examples of terms only found because of redirect pages or other tricks:

  • chapel (en), Parkplatz (de) => amenity=place_of_worship (redirect)
  • Badeanstalt (de) DE:=> Howto_Map_A

The Solution

In order to achieve an enhanced search, a controlled word list (a term list, a thesaurus) becomes necessary. This is a list of synonyms where most are OpenStreetMap specific. This information can not be found in a general purpose thesaurus. So, we propose that mappers capture so-called "related terms" (synonyms) in the OSM wiki. These related terms are fully part of the OSM wiki page and can be kept up to date by the community (where I would like to set a good example). Tools like TagFinder can parse these info - among others - out of the wiki page and thus helps making the OSM database more accessible.

 We encourage all to add also related terms when documenting OSM tags (key/values)!
 This will help enhance the search experience of all mappers!

The Template

Mappers and Wiki authors can use the 'Template:RelatedTerm' (local: Template:RelatedTerm). See there for further instructions.

Look for example at 'Tag:amenity=place_of_worship' to see how this template is being used.

Here are some examples: {{RelatedTerm|castle}} {{RelatedTerm|villa}} {{RelatedTerm|ruin}} {{RelatedTerm|DE_ch|Schloss}} {{RelatedTerm|word1 word2}}


Of course it would be more precise to introduce synonyms and broader/narrower terms instead of the multipurpose 'related term' (see Thesaurus and [1] on Wikipedia (en)). But that seems too complicated for many users.

Or you could hope there exists some "Google magic" which would collect and combine sources in order to find out the usage of tag. But that not going to happen - at least not so precise and effectiveness like the information the related terms provide.

How does it work? The related terms are parsed from the Wiki pages by TagFinder and stored in a SQLite database. TagFinder combines this information with othe sources like Taginfo. TagFinder in turn, offers an API which can be used by editors like JOSM.

Related Terms for Programmers

Programmers can access related terms with RESTful webservices (HTTP GET with JSON response) to be defined and implemented yet.

See the current work in progress at the discussion page.