[Tagging] Tagging Digest, Vol 108, Issue 162

Dave Swarthout daveswarthout at gmail.com
Fri Sep 28 05:37:11 UTC 2018

The discussion about the definition of "reach" is interesting but IMO it's
slightly off topic.  Perhaps, because of those differences in its
interpretation, we would be best served by not using the term at all.

On Fri, Sep 28, 2018 at 12:06 PM Michael Patrick <geodesy99 at gmail.com>

> > It would seem odd to tag a bend as a reach, as the classic definition of
> a reach is 'A portion of a river, channel, or lake which lies between two
> bends or which can be seen in one view'.
> Which is why the first sentence the USGS definition is: “Reach” can have *slightly
> different meanings*, depending on how it is used.
> Since USGS is the custodian of the Geographic Names Information System
> <https://geonames.usgs.gov/domestic/> (GNIS) and also the hydrology
> models, they probably have a better overview of where and how it's applied
> ranging from common / historical names to strict scientific terminology.
> One that came to my mind which has no straightness component at all was
> the Hanford Reach on the Columbia River: *" The Hanford Reach
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanford_Reach> is a free-flowing section of
> the Columbia River, around 51 miles (82 km) long, in eastern Washington
> state. It is named after a large northward bend in the river's otherwise
> southbound course."*
> I.e. that single bend is the 'reach' :-) The Mississippi River Reaches
> <https://www.umesc.usgs.gov/rivers/upper_mississippi/select_a_reach.html>
> are hundreds of miles long and include many straight log sections, bends
> etc.
> I also have an U.S. Navy COLREGS book "Collision Prevention" on my table
> here where their use is exactly according to the definition you mention
> based on 'visibility'. And close to other nautical meanings like a
> sailing 'reach', being the longest clear path achievable without
> obstruction under given conditions.
> One source gives the 1520s as the earliest use, referring to stretches of
> water.There weren't to many straight stretches of water back then, even the
> canals in Venice and Amsterdam were pretty organic. :-)
> It seams it can be applied in any ad hoc way to any water between two
> locations, even nested and overlapping manners, at any scale. Precise
> ambiguity, good for OSM. :-)
> Michael Patrick
> Geographer
> .
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Dave Swarthout
Homer, Alaska
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Travel Blog at http://dswarthout.blogspot.com
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