[Tagging] Wind turbines: big and small

Dan S danstowell+osm at gmail.com
Sun Oct 27 20:02:56 UTC 2013

Thanks all for the thoughts about distinguishing wind turbines that
are/aren't landmarks. Personally I quite liked the landmark=yes
suggestion but, looking at the current tagging, I saw that it simply
has never been used with wind turbines. (Also, the wiki page for
landmark is very ambivalent.) landmark=windmotor is mentioned in the
wiki, and has been used 36 times, but again, the wiki is ambivalent,
suggesting it's not normally to be used.

On the other hand, "man_made=tower" has been used hundreds of times in
combination with wind turbine tags. Now, marking something as being a
tower doesn't make a 100% definite indication of significance. But
since it's already in use, verifiable, and in most cases it goes along
with the distinction I have in mind, I think I intend to go along with
that - I'll add man_made=tower wind turbines that I map, when indeed
they are towers.


2013/10/7 Dan S <danstowell+osm at gmail.com>:
> Hi all,
> One of the things I noticed at SOTM was that the Aston campus has two
> little wind turbines, perched on top of some of the buildings. They're
> quite small, yet the standard OSM style shows them even at zoom level
> 15, as if they're significant landmarks:
> <http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=52.4849&mlon=-1.8899#map=15/52.4849/-1.8899>
> The relevant tags on these items are
>    generator:source = wind
>    power = generator
>    power_source = wind
> I've no problem with them being rendered, but I'd suggest it'd be
> better to show them only at finer zoom levels. However, as far as I
> can tell our renderers don't have much choice, because there's no
> tagging that distinguishes a tiny building-mounted turbine from a
> massive free-standing turbine.
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:generator:source%3Dwind
> In open areas with wind-farms, the turbines are significant landmarks,
> so I can see it makes sense to render them then.
> I'm suggesting this is not a problem we can leave for the renderer,
> since the renderer doesn't know the turbine's significance - it
> doesn't know if the turbine is 5 feet high or 50 feet high. (This
> implies that tagging the height could be a solution... might be a bit
> tricky to get correct height data though...)
> Best
> Dan

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