[Tagging] Tag for a plateau or tableland?

Michael Patrick geodesy99 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 18 20:21:22 UTC 2019

>> But if a locality represents only a historic location that has no
>>  physical presence today, it is debatable if this is a “real and
>>  current” feature that is appropriate for OSM rather than a historical
>>  map.

> If the name is still in present use then it belongs in OSM, even if
> there is no physical presence on the ground people still use the name to
> define the place.

We might get some ideas about how to handle these issues about what goes on
the map from organizations that have already dealt with them ( some like
the British Ordnance Survey, over hundreds of years ). They publish their
naming policies ( Toponymic Nomenclature  ), and almost every country ( and
the U.N. ) has one, The U.N. links to these from
https://unstats.un.org/Unsd/geoinfo/UNGEGN/nna.html and the Canadian one,
for example is at
- refer to 'Principle 2', for example: "NAMES IN GENERAL PUBLIC USE" - First
priority shall be given to names with long-standing local usage by the general
public. Unless there are good reasons to the contrary, this principle should
prevail. Most U.S. states also have a board:

Unlike most agency documents, these can be a pretty fun read, imaging the
arguments that created the item in the first place: " ... Examples are
Lake in Manitoba and Île Kuchistiniwamiskahikan in Quebec."!

Remote mapping, it is really hard to tell if a name is in use locally, and
frequently I've encountered names like 'Jackson's Barn' that the original
landmark rotted away fifty years ago.

> but when the thing is gone, (a rail line stop that is no longer there),
or is a collection of larger items that get named like a city or a village
- yet have zero residents - seems like a good use for locality to me.


> Thus mesas and buttes could be mapped as nodes or areas, but plateaus
could only be mapped as nodes. Thoughts?

I scanned the NGA name server, and plateaus seem to be large areas, and
mapped as points.

Michael Patrick
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