[Tagging] how to tag: water enclosure beneath fountains

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Mon Oct 1 15:06:12 BST 2012

2012/10/1 Ronnie Soak <chaoschaos0909 at googlemail.com>:
> recently someone mapped a lot of fountains here, so tried to find out
> how they should be tagged. But I failed.
> I found both natural=water or landuse=basin to be in use for those
> features, but both have their flaws.
> natural=water
> - wiki page doesn't specify, but details, examples and name imply the
> use for a natural feature

IMHO natural=water is flawed, for several reasons: it is not a
geographical feature (that would be natural=lake, etc.), but it is
also practically used for all kinds of superficial water (and if one
insists on "natural=from mother nature": water is almost always
"natural", the rare cases of "artificial" water aren't probably
something that will be tagged in OSM). There is an attempt to further
specifiy natural=water with a key water=? (where one of the values is
reflection_pool IIRR)

> landuse=basin
> - wiki page doesn't specify, but key and sub-types seem to fit for
> large stormwater/rainwater installations only
> - not that much in use according to taginfo

wouldn't use this for a fountain.

> Do you know any other tag fitting small scale, urban, man made
> enclosures of water (possibly fed by a fountain or well)?

if you want to be generic like this, natual=water is your tag IMHO. If
you are interested in a particular feature, additionally tag this
(e.g. amenity=fountain, water_well, ...)

> Or just keeping it with amenity=fountain mapped as an area? Or tag both?

well, a fountain might consist of parts covered with water and others
made of rock, metal or s.th. else, and there might even be no water at
all (any more), e.g. here is a nice monumental fountain by famous
architect Bernini in a small town that was destroyed (and remained
ruins since then) in 1799 by the French:


More information about the Tagging mailing list