[Tagging] drinkable vs. drinking_water

ael law_ence.dev at ntlworld.com
Fri Jul 13 10:46:12 BST 2012

On Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 11:02:27AM +0300, Ilari Kajaste wrote:
> On 13 July 2012 05:35, Andrew Errington <erringtona at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Anyway, I don't think we should assume other people are stupid and
> > choose 'simple' words just for the sake of it.  It seems that we all
> > know what potable means, but we are worried that other mappers, whom
> > we have never met, won't understand.  Let me assure you, they are just
> > as smart as you.
> No. (And please don't equate knowing words with being smart.


To equate being "smart" with knowledge of an array of facts is typical
of the "Arts" culture. Here, I would expect the majority of the
population to be drawn from the engineering, mathematical and
scientific communities where it is "smart" to be able to deduce
information from first principles, and avoid the burden and clutter
or learning arbitrary instances.

As a native English speaker, as far as I can recall, my first encounter
with potable was in OSM. I inferred the probable meaning and then
checked. I did learn French long ago and maybe if my memory was
better that might have helped me guess.

I understand the wish to use a precise technical term, but a busy
mapper who isn't familiar with the term is very likely to use
something else, or just forget it.

That said, I don't think I would ever trust such a tag to guide whether
I should take a drink. I would want evidence on the ground. I suppose
if you are desperate for a drink and using a OSM satnav, it could be
useful, but I can't think of any other use-case. Apart from a survey
of fountains...


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