[Tagging] nautical channels

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Sat Jun 30 13:02:58 UTC 2018

On Sat, Jun 30, 2018 at 1:41 PM, Volker Schmidt <voschix at gmail.com> wrote:

> It looks as if OpenSeaMap does map the seamarks that delimit the
> navigation channel, but not the channel itself.
> The reason I am asking here, is that I detected by chance that navigation
> channels in the Venice Lagoon [1] have been tagged as waterway=canal, which
> to me seems not correct, or at least not covered by the wiki definition.
> This is most likely due to the fact that the English words "canal" and
> "channel" both are translated in Italian as "canale". In Italian artificial
> waterways are called "canale", on land and on water.

It's not the first time such confusion has arisen over the Italian
"canale."  What two Italian astronomers thought were
channels on Mars ended up being translated as canals in English.

I think it ought to be fixed as OSM uses British English (mostly) for tags
and thosewill be interpreted as lagoons with
artificial waterways in them rather than lagoons with navigable channels.
Of course, saying it should be fixed is a lot
easier than fixing it.

The way to handle navigable channels across lagoons/lakes is covered at
(you might have to invent route=boat or route=ship). Extending the
definition of canal is, in my opinion, a VERY bad
idea.  The wiki ought to draw attention to the fact that using canal in the
sense of navigable channel in a body of water
is WRONG (and maybe even explain why Italians are prone to making this

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