[Tagging] drinkable vs. drinking_water

Andrew Errington erringtona at gmail.com
Fri Jul 13 01:12:52 BST 2012

On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 10:46 PM, Janko Mihelić <janjko at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2012/7/12 Andrew Errington <erringtona at gmail.com>
>> Can we introduce "potable=yes/no" and migrate both of those tags to it
>> over
>> time?
> I don't know if this is for consideration, but the word "potable" is not
> very known outside english speaking countries (and maybe french, because it
> comes from a french word). Why not drinkable=official/yes/no?

I expect that "trunk road", "roundabout", "shelter" and
"archaeological site" are not well known in all languages, however,
the language of OSM is English and "potable" has a very clear meaning.

Petrol, or gasoline, is drinkable, but you shouldn't do it.

You could dumb-down the meaning in the dialog that asks "Is this
drinking water?" and set potable yes/no.  You can dumb-down the
rendering and make it display 'drinking water' if potable=yes.  You
can even translate the tag, so that in the database we use
potable=yes/no, but in the user interface we show the local

Furthermore it's trivially easy to learn the meaning of a tag by
looking in the wiki.  If you don't know what potable=* means then look
it up.  If it's not listed in the wiki in your language- add it.

The language of OSM should be precise.  If it's not then people start
inventing tags that have similar, but imprecise meanings, which is
exactly what has happened here.

Best wishes,


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