[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - Reservoirs, lakes, and ponds

Brian M. Sperlongano zelonewolf at gmail.com
Sun Dec 20 14:55:18 UTC 2020

A proposal[1] to clarify the tagging of reservoirs, lakes, and ponds is now
open for comments.

This proposal:

  1. Deprecates landuse=reservoir
  2. Provides definitions for:
     a. water=reservoir
     b. water=lake
     c. water=pond

It is clear from various multiple discussions on this topic that there are
still open questions from the original 2011 water=* proposal, as well as
the exact definition of a reservoir, and how they differ from lakes and
ponds.  Previous discussions indicated that there is community support for
maintaining a distinction between lake and pond, rather than eliminating or
merging these concepts.

The definitions posed in this proposal were developed with the help of
considerable community input over the last week, and I want to thank the
numerous folks that collaborated on this.  The real world presents many
edge cases that make it challenging to come up with clear definitions, but
that should not prevent us from trying.

The goal in these definitions is to *describe* rather than *prescribe* how
reservoir, lake, and pond are actually tagged.  This necessarily involves
some degree of subjectivity between the categories, and the proposed
definitions leave it to mappers to make these subjective decisions when a
body of water exhibits some characteristics of more than one of these terms.

As this topic has been discussed ad nauseam for nearly a decade, I hope
that this proposal, discussion, and subsequent vote will allow us to put
this issue to rest, and/or document the level of community support that
exists for different tagging schemes.

[1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Reservoir
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