[Tagging] Ambiguous translations of waterway=dam - should be moved to man_made=dam

Dave Swarthout daveswarthout at gmail.com
Thu Apr 16 04:16:22 UTC 2015

I think redefining waterway=dam is gonna be a hard sell for most Americans.
But now thanks to this list I understand why some reservoirs I've worked
with in Thailand have had the name of the dam applied to the water behind
them as well. As you probably know, many reservoirs in the U.S. have names
that are different from the names of the dam that formed them, Lake Mead
and the Hoover Dam, Lake Roosevelt and the Grand Coolee Dam, are just two
of the better known ones. The dam and the water impounded behind it usually
have different names.

Even though I can agree that dams are man_made there are roughly 200K uses
of the waterway=dam tag. You have a lot of convincing ahead of you.


On Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 1:19 AM, David Bannon <dbannon at internode.on.net>

> On Wed, 2015-04-15 at 12:35 -0300, Lists wrote:
> ...
> >
> > Since the dam structure is a man_made construction, I suggest that the
> > tag should be moved into that namespace. Currently we should abandon
> > (deprecate) the tag waterway=dam to avoid conflicts with existing
> > tagging scheme, and maybe in the future allow this tag to mean the
> > waterbody of the dam.
> Hi, in Australia, the noun 'dam' refers to the whole water body, wall
> included. Generally, the man made part, the wall, is referred to as the
> dam wall. But not exclusively...
> David
> > Today I had to explain to a user why he couldn’t use waterway=dam on
> > the waterbody, and he seemed confused about using landuse=reservior
> > (which also should translate to represa). I do not know how these
> > things are translated in iD, maybe some of this confusion could be
> > solved with improved translations?
> >
> > Anyway, since the dam is a man_made structure I think it is about time
> > this is corrected in the tagging namespace also. This tag is quite
> > old, and have many uses, so a transition from waterway=dam to
> > man_made=dam will be a timely long process. If consensus is that the
> > man_made namespace is more propitiate, the new tag should be added
> > (maybe in a mechanical edit) to existing tags, let data consumers get
> > sufficient time to update stylesheets, etc, before removing the old
> > tag from the database.
> >
> > Aun Johnsen
> >
> >
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Dave Swarthout
Homer, Alaska
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Travel Blog at http://dswarthout.blogspot.com
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