[Tagging] Milk Churn Stands

Jez Nicholson jez.nicholson at gmail.com
Sat Jun 20 14:33:18 UTC 2020

 "It's only been used once so we shouldn't
document it until it becomes popular"

Discuss and use by all means.

Thank you for providing a copy-and-paste response :)

On Sat, 20 Jun 2020, 13:44 Paul Allen, <pla16021 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Recently I was digging for some details of a farm I was mapping and came
> across a map
> of the locations of milk churn stands in the county of Ceredigion.  It
> struck me that we
> should have a way of tagging mllk churn stands.
> They are platforms, usually constructed from bricks or concrete,
> occasionally large
> chunks of stone, sometimes made of wood, that are usually located near the
> entrances to farms.  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_churn_stand
> and https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Milk_churn_stands
> I consider them to be mappable because they can aid navigation and can be
> used by
> walkers as improvised tables/seats.  Probably not worth rendering on the
> standard
> map but could be rendered by walking maps.
> They came into use in the 19th century and fell into disuse in the UK in
> 1979
> when milk collection was entirely by tanker.  Although the Wikipedia
> article
> mentions only the UK, they were in use in other parts of the world such as
> Germany, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Estonia.  They may still be used in
> 2nd or 3rd world countries.  The purpose was for the farmer to place large
> containers of milk on the stand to  make it easier for them to be
> transferred to a
> cart (later lorry).  Although no longer used in the countries already
> mentioned, they
> are unlikely to be removed because that would take time and money and
> (usually)
> nothing would be gained.
> My instinct would be to use man_made=milk_churn_stand.  Checking with
> taginfo shows this has already been used once.  Overpass-turbo shows it
> was used in Germany.  I'm not entirely happy with "milk churn stand" even
> though in British English the milk containers were known as "milk churns"
> despite not being used to churn milk, but I can't think of anything better.
> Etymology of the misleading name is here:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_churn
> The existing instance I found also included historic=yes.  I don't consider
> that should be used with most milk churn stands as it is not a synonym
> for old or disused but means it is of historical significance (most of
> these
> are not).  They should probably have disused=yes or a disused lifecycle
> prefix (cue endless arguments about which) except in parts of the world
> where they actually are still in use (if they are).
> Here's the map I found.  It deals only with the county of Ceredigion and
> the
> person responsible has only dealt with about half of that county so far.
> Until
> and unless I can get a response from him I don't entirely trust the
> accuracy
> of his locations and wouldn't use them anyway because of copyright (unless
> he gave permission and assurances of accuracy).  But his map gives some
> idea
> of the ubiquity of these things.
> https://www.lookingformaps.com/mapa.php?mapa=Stondinau-Llaeth-Ceredigion-Milk-Stands-Dr-Roger-Owen-Prifysgol-Aberystwyth-Uni
> Be patient, it takes a while for the map to load.
> Why do I bring all this up here?  Because I'd like to document what tag(s)
> to
> use for milk churn stands.  The person who mapped the German one as
> man_made=milk_churn_stand says he mapped another one as
> historic=milk_churn_stand because he wasn't sure of the best way to map
> them.
> I know, this is going to trigger the usual chicken-and-egg arguments.
> "It's only been
> used once so we shouldn't use it" and "It's only been used once so we
> shouldn't
> document it until it becomes popular" to which I'll counter "If we don't
> document
> it then people will invent their own ways of tagging these things and
> we'll end up
> with the usual mess which we can't change because all the different ways of
> mapping it are too widely used"  and "it's not a key, it's just a value."
> --
> Paul
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