[Tagging] emergency=ambulance_station vs amenity=fire_station

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 11 14:37:46 UTC 2019

On Mon, 11 Nov 2019 at 14:22, Dave F via Tagging <tagging at openstreetmap.org>

> As emergency=ambulance_station appears to be a later invention, was
> there a valid reason fire_station did follow suit?

Presumably because the icon looks like a firepit.  Or maybe an eternal
flame.  Or maybe
a flammable chemical site.  So everyone goes there to sit around the
firepit.  Or admire
the eternal flame.  Or wait to see the chemical site explode.  So it's an

Joking aside, the carto people appear to have a fixed rule of "no
synonyms."  A very good rule
in many situations as we don't want more than one way of mapping the exact
same thing.
However, it seems problematic in cases like this where there is broad
agreement that we
should replace amenity=fire_station with emergency=fire_station and that
the 1:1
correspondence means it could even be considered for an automated edit.  It
seem that TEMPORARILY allowing a synonym in this case would be a sensible
to do.  Render both until editors have made the change and most occurrences
in the
db have been updated, then only render emergency=fire_station.

There are other cases where a policy of temporarily allowing synonyms in
order to
rationalizing tagging would be useful: landuse=grass vs landcover=grass
comes to mind.

As things stand, though, emergency=fire_station doesn't render and (without
a change in
policy by carto) will never render, so mappers won't use it, so you'll just
have to live with
the confusion.  And the further confusion from the icon being completely

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