[Tagging] Can OSM become a geospacial database?

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Thu Dec 6 01:16:09 UTC 2018

It’s difficult enough that Indonesians have to understand English to use
OpenStreetMap effectively, or at least have to find English-based tags that
match Indonesian words. But if we encourage inventing tagging things in
hundreds of languages it will become even more difficult to use this global

I’d suggest that the original poster, Eugene Podshivaliv, or other Russian
language speakers, talk about what defines the difference between the two
types of pond, “пруд” and “копанка”, and then make a new subtag for pond=*
If there is no better word we could even use pond=копанка for example, but
I suspect that it could be translated.

If there is no consistent difference between the two words, then a new tag
should not be used.

For example, in America we can call a waterway=stream a “brook”, “creek”,
“run” and several other things. These waterways will be tagged
waterway=stream or =river (depending on size) with name=“Bull Run”,
=“Walker Creek”, =“Johnson’s Brook”, etc.

We don’t use waterway=creek or waterway=run because there is no consistent
difference between these. In fact in Standard British English a Creek is
often a tidal channel in a salt marsh or mangroves.

OSM tags should have a consistent definition.

On the other hand, a name can contain whatever the feature is called
locally, and this can include pond, lake, mere, tarn, brook, stream, creek,
run, etc.

So it would be best to use one of the many existing name tags to include
the local term, which is often considered part of the name.

Eg, alt_name:ru=, loc_name=, official_name= etc, as appropriate based on
local usage.


On Thu, Dec 6, 2018 at 9:47 AM Sergio Manzi <smz at smz.it> wrote:

> I mean, in a more general way and going back to the pond case,
> object 1:
> natural=water
> water=pond
> water:RU=пруд
> object 2
> natural=water
> water=pond
> water:RU=копанка
> would respect both *our *sensibility to "see" the two objects as ponds
> and *their *sensibility to "see" the two as whatever they think they are.
> On 2018-12-06 01:37, Sergio Manzi wrote:
> In this case I think the "alt_name:ru" tag solution could be a very good
> solution (*but I leave this to our Russian friend to decide...*), but why
> do you see that preferable to the water:ru=озеро solution?
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