[Tagging] What's a power=station?

Alan Mintz Alan_Mintz+OSM at Earthlink.Net
Tue Jan 19 03:10:39 GMT 2010

At 2010-01-18 18:31, Randy wrote:
>Avoid using power=station (although it would be my preferred term) as a
>misdefined term which, when properly used in according with the wiki, is
>misused in accordance with common English understanding (acknowledging the
>possible blur in the German usage).
>Use power=plant to designate a power generating facility,

What was wrong with power=generator - the existing widely-used tag? It's a 
little too specific, since such plants include things other than the actual 
generator, but this seems close enough and less prone to confusion with 
other meanings of the word "plant", not to mention being similar in many 

>Use power=substation to denote a voltage transforming (either up or down)
>and/or switching facility which is not normally the final transition point
>prior to consumption of the power.

Doesn't this create a conflict with the existing uses of sub_station (1183 
in north-american TW)? If these were tagged correctly (according to the 
wiki definition), is it really right to make them wrong by changing the 
definition? (I'm assuming here that this isn't about "sub_station" vs. 

>Use "power=local_distribution" or something similar for pole transformers,
>and underground power, distribution transformers such as the one shown in
>the wiki "station" photo, which are typically the final transition prior
>to use by a commercial or residential consumer.

How about power=transformer, again being more specific (in this case 
correctly), and having the benefit of being similar in multiple languages. 
Then again, is it really necessary (or wise*) to tag something this small?

My questions are:

1. Should we actually attempt to correct what appears to be only a 
difference in the actual word (station) used for a value? Are not the user 
agents (Potlatch, JOSM, etc.) supposed to ultimately isolate the user from 
the underlying tags (certainly for non-English-speakers)? Are we being 
US-centric here (is the term really globally wrong)?

2. If it should be fixed, is it not then correct to look at all the 
existing uses (of power={station|sub_station})
and make them conform to the new definitions if necessary?

>One minor caution to some of this: there are other power plants than
>electrical plants. For example, there are a few steam power plants where
>steam is distributed outside the plant and is used for motive force other
>than to turn electrical generators.

Aren't these simply "steam plants"? I thought we were using the term 
"power" as an abbreviation of "electric[al] power". How about 
man_made=steam_plant for these?

Alan Mintz <Alan_Mintz+OSM at Earthlink.net>

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