[Tagging] Riverbanks

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Tue Jul 21 13:51:42 UTC 2020

> Tomas Straupis <tomasstraupis at gmail.com> hat am 21. Juli 2020 um 15:21 geschrieben:
>   IT considers wider/higher-level things like stability, quality of
> the final product, documentation, usability etc. etc. IT expertise is
> gained by years of doing work on IT (coding is NOT IT expertise).
>   Only coders/nerds are interested in things like "making sql slightly
> easier to write in some cases". 

Err, no.

I think you are quite on point that preferences for changing established tagging here exist due to misguided motivation but that is not due to some programmer nerd vs IT expert perspective but due to some programmers, mappers and IT experts likewise only looking at OSM through the narrow view of their short term use case and that use case for many not including any need for differentiating waterbodies.  In that mindset the idea of simplifying life *for everyone* by tagging every waterbody natural=water and degrading additional differentiation to a supplemental tag makes sense and the traditional differentiation in primary tagging we have is of no value and no benefit for anyone.

The way to address this problem is to explain why the traditional tagging is beneficial.  It is because it requires the mapper to always differentiate between standing water (natural=water) and flowing water (waterway=riverbank) - a distinction that is rarely a problem for a mapper with local knowledge.  That we have traditionally made this distinction in the primary tag could give OSM a huge advantage over other data sources which don't make such a distinction.  There are quite a lot of use cases (both cartographic and analytic) where this distinction when made consistently is of high value.

Christoph Hormann 

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