[Tagging] Discouraging frequency=* on power lines and cables

Jherome Miguel jheromemiguel at gmail.com
Thu Mar 9 14:26:09 UTC 2017

Though busy, I will share my opinion on tagging frequency on power lines,
and also the use of power route relations

On Mar 9, 2017 5:40 PM, "François Lacombe" <fl.infosreseaux at gmail.com>

Hi David,

2017-03-09 6:35 GMT+01:00 David Marchal <penegal at live.fr>:

> > Le 8 mars 2017 à 23:04, Michael Reichert <nakaner at gmx.net> a écrit :
> >
> > Please keep OSM simple. I don't want to add a power route relation on
> > every tiny minor distribution line/cable (230 V).
> >
> Totally agree with that. I don’t understand the usage of a relation
> binding the distribution network elements: the connections between them can
> be retrieved from the nodes and ways,

Not always:


Here you would connect all lines while they are actually not, and sometimes
the two apparently independent circuits are actually connected at such
points. No general rule regarding this.
No relations are currently setup in my example but we'll need to.

Distribution lines tend to have that complicated connections than the main
transmission lines, as in the case you used, that is a distribution line
branching out from its main circuit via a tap connection. And tapping is
very common on distribution systems, and ways to isolate the branch in case
of power line issues on the main line where the branch is connected is
through mechancal switches or fuse cutouts. Switches will see use on a
power line segment connected to another circuit in a distribution system
with a radial configuration, but may also appear on higher voltage lines,
where they are opened to isolate loads from the main line in case of faults
or line repairs. Fuse cutouts are rather limited to distribution systems,
and are used to isolate a power line segment from the main line in cases of
overcurrent or long voltage spikes, but will not isolate a power line
during line repair, unless linemen open them using insulated sticks.
Indicating switches or fuse cutouts on a distribution circuit may be useful
on power route relations, when assuming that power distributors use the
data to locate portions of the circuits having faults, or loads temporarily
disconnected for line repairs.

> and the relation would merely be use for group tagging. IMHO, the relation
> would only make sense for transport lines, which are often viewed and
> treated as continuous, even if their characteristics change along their
> path (overhead, underground…). At a distribution level, however, this
> sounds overkill to me.
Distribution networks change more often between overhead and underground,
and seems more messy than a A-to-B transmission lines
Have you seen this example ?

By the way, you aren't forced at all to make relations if you don't want
to, right ?
You can join the discussion ongoing on : https://wiki.openstreetmap.org

All the best

And yes,distribution systems will have the most variations in location,
either overhead, undergound, or underwater. And while it may occur on
distribution systems whose primary lines run in the open countryside
instead on the roads, like those in Europe, they are the same on countries
where such systems have the primary lines run beside roads or railways,
like those in the Americas and most of Asia, but on an urban area, these
will usually be found on tunnels accessible via manholes. And finding
underground power lines are difficult, unless markers (like manholes or
signage) or knowledge from working as a lineman wil help you find their
routes. But, it's still fine to add underground or underwater power cables
on a power route relation, especially when assuming that utilities or
transmission system operators will use the data on the relation to find the
specific circuit or line where a line or cable needs repair.

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