[Tagging] Power Tagging

Ole Nielsen on-osm at xs4all.nl
Sun Feb 3 14:41:23 GMT 2013

On 03/02/2013 02:31, Michael Patrick wrote:
> For reference, see the International Electrotechnical Commission (
> http://www.iec.ch/about/ ) Electropedia ( http://www.electropedia.org/ )
> or from the Glossary search at ( http://std.iec.ch/glossary  ),  to the
> Overhead lines / Towers description page (
> http://www.electropedia.org/iev/iev.nsf/display?openform&ievref=466-08-08 )
> where we see a diagram (
> http://www.electropedia.org/iev/iev.nsf/master/466-08-08:fr/$FILE/466-fig2.gif
> ) and nomenclature in multiple languages: (English) double warren
> redundant support ..

This is a highly useful reference that I would have liked to know about 
earlier. Now I see why the Germans are so fond of the "power=station" 
tag: en:substation = de:Station (authoritative!).

Whether we should go into details about how towers are braced etc can be 
discussed. If somebody wants to tag bracing types, ok with me, but I 
would find it of little added value in osm. There is already a scheme to 
tag different types or designs of towers, see 
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:power%3Dtower, but it does not go 
into that kind of details.

> While I get that crowd generated attribute tagging has some unique
> advantages, huge flexibility, allows whatever level of detail in any
> language to be incorporates, at the other end of the pipe are editing
> tools, maintenance bots, and rendering engines which do expect some sort
> of conventions. There might be some advantages to at least examining
> these vocabularies ( like the IEC). For instance, it might be revealed
> that a proposed tag might actually be several additional tags ( I
> usually can't see every possible variation when looking at a  specific
> case). As dedicated user communities seek to add their own tags, there
> would be a path to add more level of detail without breaking downstream
> tools. Expanding tag sets to other languages is somewhat easier because
> the basic objects and concepts are already translated. There also seems
> to be a growing space of communities and applications outside of OSM
> that would benefit from interoperability ( 'routing' as a quick example ).

I agree that it would have been better to define osm features according 
to internationally accepted standards to facilitate the use of such 
data. However the existing power tagging scheme is going to be difficult 
to adapt although our terminology and definitions are clearly different 
from IEC and often illogical ('cables' and 'wires' being some of the 
more strange tags). As an example we are currently trying to eliminate 
the station/substation confusion but even that isn't appreciated by 
everybody. For some features it may be possible to subtag further 
details according to the IEC definitions and I would certainly recommend 
to consult the IEC vocabulary when drafting new power related proposals.


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