[Tagging] man_made=mast for non communication uses?

Anders Fougner anders.fougner at gmail.com
Thu Feb 18 13:22:06 UTC 2016

Den 18.02.2016 12.21, skrev Martin Koppenhoefer:
>     "When the structure is made from steel or concrete, it is not a tower,
>     it could be a mast though"  (maybe not the best example).
> yes, clearly not the best example ;-)
> It's quite obvious that "steel and concrete" can be safely removed 
> from the definition, as almost any structure is made of concrete or 
> steel (or wood or masonry), and while a masonry mast likely doesn't 
> exist (a chimney isn't a mast I think), wooden masts are probably 
> common as well (or are they all called "pole" then, and the mast is 
> used only in nautical context?).
> Cheers,
> Martin
I also don't think the material should be part of the definition.
I believe the word "mast" origines from the nautical context and meant 
something like "pole" in PIE (indeed, most dictionaries say that a mast 
is a pole or polelike structure etc.), and for many centuries these were 
mostly made of wood. The smaller ones could stand without guy 
wires/ropes, while larger ones would normally be supported.
If material is significant, it should rather be tagged.

For similar reasons, I don't think the size/length of the mast (e.g. 
"small" or something more concrete) should be in the definition of a 
mast. It makes more sense to tag the size - to avoid excluding large 
masts or super small masts.

Use of guy wires (or ropes) may also be added as a tag instead of being 
defined as a necessary condition.

Back to the topic of the first post:
Den 17.02.2016 15.42, skrev Marc Zoutendijk:
> Hi all,
> Currently man_made=mast has this wiki description:
> "A man_made=mast is usually a small tower of only a few meters height. It is often built from concrete or steel and only for a single application like a mobile phone base station."
> The part "only for a single application" almost always deals with communications, but does it has to be so?
> Recently someone was trying to map a number of street lamps that were really beyond the regular lamp pole idea. Tagging them with highway=street_lamp would not describe (fully) their function.
> You can see a picture of that situation here. [1]
> The location on the map is here. [2]
> On the map you can see that because of this tagging:
> man_made=mast
> mast=lighting
> they show up on the map as communication towers. Which of course looks rather weird. (*)(**)
> The design of the lighting on this square is part of the architectural design and could probably be tagged different to do more justice to this type of lighting.
> Another type of similar lighting is here [3]
> Do you think that extending the use of man_made=mast with the above used mast=lighting (or maybe better mast:type=lighting) is a useful adddition?
> Do you have any other thoughts on this?
> Thanks,
> Marc.
> [1] http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer#view=photo&position=23&with_photo_id=93337008&order=date_desc&user=7788600
> [2] http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=19/52.23768/6.83967
I believe that these rather small masts can be tagged as you did, but if 
you add height=* it will be easier to decide how to render them (e.g. 
one can decide to render only those above a certain height).
Otherwise, I think it's just "bad rendering" (at osm.org) to plot every 
mast as a communication tower when we have different tags for those, and 
I wouldn't change the tagging just because of such a rendering example.

Otherwise, it would also be possible to tag them as lamp poles but with 
an approximate height=* indicating that they are larger than usual.


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