[Tagging] Mapping a negative

Bryce Nesbitt bryce2 at obviously.com
Tue Nov 15 06:42:26 GMT 2011

On 11/08/2011 09:19 PM, John Smith wrote:
> On 9 November 2011 16:12, Bryce Nesbitt<bryce2 at obviously.com>  wrote:
>> I've run into a curious use of a tag, to map the lack of a thing.
>> At least that's what I think mappers are doing.
>> One might normally expect a well, mountain hut, highway rest area, or toilet
>> to offer drinking water. Some mappers have placed:
>>      drinking_water=no
>> To indicate the normal expectation is wrong.
> All the signs round here have potable yes/no depending if it's safe to
> drink or not.
Though potable=yes/no
     describes a condition of a facility, not the lack of a facility.

I suppose
Is a possibility, but then why call it drinking water?  Why not then 
have a more generic water tap which may or may not be potable:
     volume=large (e.g. replaces 
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:waterway%3Dwater_point )

Are there any other OSM conventions that indicate a /lack/ of a 
facility?  Maybe:
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