[Tagging] Rio de la Plata edit war

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Tue Aug 4 15:21:48 UTC 2020

We are not talking about a concept like "the coastline", we are talking
about the tag "natural=coastline", which in OpenStreetMap has been defined
(for over 12 years) as "The mean high water (springs) line between the sea
and land (with the water on the right side of the way) ".

"The natural <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:natural>=coastline tag
is used to mark the *mean high water springs
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/mean_high_water_spring>* line"


Mean high water springs is " the highest line the water reaches in normal

The problem is that we did not have a clear definition of where this line
should cross a river or estuary.

However, it is widely agreed that the highest tide line is the feature that
should be mapped on the edge of marine water bodies which have tides,
including bays, fjords, lagoons and so on.

This means that the line tagged with natural=coastline is on the inland
side of all marine water, including mangroves, salt marshes, and tidal
channels, as far as possible. It makes sense that in estuaries, the route
of the ways tagged natural=coastline should also extend up to the limit of
marine influence. In some cases this has been taken to mean the limit of
the tides, in others it is the limit of mixing of salt and fresh water.

We are not mapping the low tide line or political baseline with
natural=coastline: the baseline is often far out to sea. Looking at the
Phillipines and Indonesia, the baseline has very little relation to the
physical geographical tide lines, since it merely connects the outer edges
of islands in the archipelago.

Similarly, in Uruguay and Argentina, the local governments have defined the
baseline as far out to sea as possible, so that they can claim a larger
area of ocean as an exclusive economic zone. This should not influence
tagging in OpenStreetMap, which needs to be based on real, verifiable,
physical characteristics.

– Joseph Eisenberg

On Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 7:57 AM <muralito at montevideo.com.uy> wrote:

> ----- Mensaje original -----
> > De: "Christoph Hormann" <osm at imagico.de>
> > Para: "Tag discussion, strategy and related tools" <
> tagging at openstreetmap.org>
> > Enviados: Martes, 4 de Agosto 2020 11:17:32
> > Asunto: Re: [Tagging] Rio de la Plata edit war
> > On Tuesday 04 August 2020, muralito at montevideo.com.uy wrote:
> >>
> >> I linked several scientific studies that clearly shows and are
> >> verifiable geographic evidence that this is not an oceanic coast, its
> >> a riverbank [...]
> >
> > I am not going to start a discussion here on the semantics of terms
> > like 'ocean', 'riverbank', 'coast' or similar which are inherently
> > culture specific and political.
> >
> > So i repeat my request:
> >
> > could you formulate a generic rule for coastline placement similar to
> > what i formulated in
> >
> >
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_Features/Coastline-River_transit_placement
> >
> > that
> >
> > (a) allows for the coastline placement you favor in case of the Rio de
> > la Plata
> > (b) is based on verifiable physical geography criteria that can
> > practically be checked by mappers and
> > (c) that is compatible to most of the current coastline placements at
> > river mouths around the world?
> >
> > If you can do that we can try to have a productive discussion without
> > delving into the swamp of politics and cultural differences and maybe
> > can find a consensus position that everyone can be satisfied with.
> >
> It's all about semantics.
> How could I answer your question if you are not able to define what you
> mean by natural=coastline?
> We must first agree on what features we call it coastline, and then I can
> explain where I think it should be drawn.
> Regards,
> M.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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> costo.
> Informate si aplicás aquí.
> mvdfactura.uy
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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