[Tagging] drinkable vs. drinking_water

David ``Smith'' vidthekid at gmail.com
Sat Jul 21 16:43:04 BST 2012

Just contributing another data point on vocabulary…

I am a native English speaker from Ohio, USA.  I have been aware of the
term "potable" for many years, probably since asking what it meant after
seeing a water source labeled "non-potable".  I have seen that warning on
taps in public parks, and on many trucks and railcars.  On the other hand,
I'd never heard of a "trunk road" before joining OSM.  I still don't know
any objective way to tell the difference between trunk, primary, secondary,
tertiary, and unclassified roads, and I'm amazed there aren't rampant edit
wars over those distinctions.  I think it's silly that "unclassified road"
is in fact a specific road classification.  I'd never heard of a "weir"
before joining OSM, desptie the existence of several in my home area.

That turned into a bit of an off-topic rant, didn't it?
On Jul 12, 2012 8:14 PM, "Andrew Errington" <erringtona at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
> equivalent.
> 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,
> Andrew
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