[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - Water tap

Kotya Karapetyan kotya.lists at gmail.com
Wed Nov 5 19:32:51 UTC 2014

Hi Martin and all,

On Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 12:41 PM, Martin Koppenhoefer <
dieterdreist at gmail.com> wrote:

> 2014-10-18 23:20 GMT+02:00 Konstantin Karapetyan <kotya.lists at gmail.com>:
>> I have already corrected the proposal from man_made to amenity following
>> the suggestion at
>> https://help.openstreetmap.org/questions/27869/how-to-tag-water-taps-not-intended-for-drinking-water.
>> So this is fixed.
> IMHO this doesn't fix it, because it now becomes incompatible to be tagged
> on a node with amenity=drinking_water. If the value shall remain a generic
> "water_tap" I'd stick to man_made to keep these compatible (see also
> man_made=water_well for instance, which is a similar feature somehow).
> Please note that amenity=drinking_water is highly introduced and used by
> many data consumers. This is an established tag that is used for almost
> seven years now.

1) Looks like there is a divide between the proponents of the two options
(amenity and man_made). Honestly, I don't care because I see the need in
"water_tap" whatever category it falls into and because I think that the
whole OSM tagging system needs revision, so it is hard to find a good
solution. I see your point though. I have added it to the discussion page,
and during voting both options can be considered separately.

2) Your remark about high usage of amenity=drinking_water caused a long and
confusing chain of thoughts in my mind.

In principle, it is probably easy to automatically change any OSM tag in
the database. It looks like the best solution would be to have
amenity=water, drinkable=*, type=fountain|tap|water_well. However, we
cannot simply change the data, since the data consumers would then loose
this feature suddenly.

This makes me wonder: Is there any commitment or agreement between OSM and
third parties, that the tagging should be maintained in some form? I've
read that some big data users are correcting the OSM raw data, because it's
so, well... raw. To make it usable for navigation for example, they have to
do post-processing and close the gaps. I wonder what they do with
non-standard (although what is standard? let's say, less common) tags for

A good solution in my opinion could lie in the direction of some form of
standardization work. A group of OSMers could form a "working tagging
group" and, say, once a year review the current tags and make sure that the
whole system is in good order (no obvious contradictions, everything well
documented, also for automatic use, the system is clear...). The data
consumers could then rely on the output of this working group and update
their software accordingly (and also plan the updates). Most importantly,
this group could not only clear up tagging (make some tags obsolete,
change/introduce categories and subtags etc.) but also issue
recommendations on *how* to tag: what combinations are recommended, what
should be avoided. The software authors could then make sure that the
programs support these recommendations (in the editors) or show the data in
the most appropriate way (in the viewers).

Open tagging system of OSM is vital because otherwise we wouldn't be able
to map a lot of things; our planet is very diverse, and this non-potable
water tap is a good example. However as it is, a lot of confusion exists,
which is especially bad for the beginners. Being unable to find the right
tags immediately, they map something somehow, reducing the overall data
quality. There is a couple of places where they can ask, but they may not
even know it. The experienced users may also contribute to the confusion,
since they have no restrictions to implement in the map whatever they deem
reasonable. The lack of proper review process prevents feedback.

> most cases I am aware of are indeed taps, because fountains are in the
> amenity namespace as well and will likely be tagged as such with
> drinkable=yes, a well would be man_made=water_well and could have
> amenity=drinking_water as combination (but there would be no need to
> clarify, it would already be clear that it is a well).
This is another good example to support my point 2 above: Why is a fountain
an "amenity" and a water-well a "man_made"? Isn't fountain man-made? Can't
we call a water-well a community facility (i.e. amenity as per
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Amenity)? Both can be debated, but an
agreement based on some organized discussion and a uniform approach
*throughout* the tagging system would be beneficial.

The wiki discussion page updated.

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