[Tagging] Seasonal, intermittent, and ephemeral water tags

Warin 61sundowner at gmail.com
Sun May 20 21:57:14 UTC 2018

On 20/05/18 18:33, Mateusz Konieczny wrote:
> 19. May 2018 04:33 by 61sundowner at gmail.com 
> <mailto:61sundowner at gmail.com>:
>     The intermittent tag continues to be confused with seasonal.
>     Possibly this is because some want to use it to indicate that a
>     follow is both seasonal and intermittent?
> At least in my case it was like this:
> - I discovered intermittent tag
> - later I encountered someone claiming that seasonal water flow
>   should be tagged with seasonal tag
> - I checked intermittent definition in some sources and found no
>   confirmation that "intermittent" excludes cyclic changes
Oxford Dictionary definition of Intermittent:
"Occurring at irregular intervals; not continuous or steady."

The word 'irregular"?
"Occurring at uneven or varying rates or intervals."

I would think that excludes 'regular' ... and I would take 'cyclic' to 
be 'regular'?

> - I continue to use intermittent for anything waterway-related
>   that has no constant presence of water but maybe I also started using
>   seasonal=yes for some clearly seasonal features

> BTW, what in your opinion should be used for spring that is
> - active during snow melt
> - active after heavy rains
> - active continuously if within previous months/years weather was wet
> ?
For the snow melt I might tag seasonal=spring

For the heavy rains intermittent=yes

This would need to be interpreted as a logical 'or' between the two 
tags, rather than a logical 'and'.

The present tagging does not make this clear as there is no way to tag a 
logical 'and' as distinct from a logical 'or'.

This is another problem that exists with the present tagging of both 
seasonal and intermittent on the one feature.

> Note also that successful redefining of popular tags is likely to fail.
> Changing Wiki description is not magically changing what was tagged.

The definition on the OSM wiki of intermittent is not clear! Clarifying 
the meaning is one of my objectives.

If 'intermittent' is to include 'seasonal' then as you say there will 
need to be a new tag for non-cyclic flows.
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