[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - electricity=*

Lukas Richert lrichert at posteo.de
Mon Nov 2 23:54:30 UTC 2020

Hi Volker,

the tag is meant for any buildings or amentities where it would be 
helpful for the public or humanitarian teams to know the availability of 

I feel this is a silly argument. In the same way that the existence of 
the tag height=* does not demand that every building needs to be 
precisely measured, this tag is intended for use when it is relevant. 
When it /is/ relevant there should be an agreed upon standard in OSM 
however. Currently, there is no such tag available, even though 
electricity is arguably one of our most used and depended upon resources.

I would say this tag is primarily important in countries where a 
national grid does not exist everywhere and for amenities where the 
electricity provider is not necessarily given, e.g. at campsites or 
charging stations. Another relevant building would be hospitals and 
other services that would be important in emergency situations.

Finally, there is tagging available for e.g. internet connection, waste 
disposal areas, postal delivery amenities etc. Similarly, publically 
consumed electricity should also be taggable. Whiile waste_disposal 
(bins) and postal services (mail boxes) are tagged by location, 
resources available in an area, such as internet access and electricity 
should be tagged on the relevant service provider (i.e. building).

If I have somehow misunderstood your point, then I apologize, but I hope 
this addressed your concerns.

Cheers, Lukas

On 30/10/2020 14:46, Volker Schmidt wrote:
> I am confused on what the tag electricity= is intended for.
> You say in the first of the two proposals:
> " The parent key electricity 
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:electricity> would be used to 
> tag the availabilty and source of electricity, i.e. whether a building 
> or amenity has electricity. The availability of this electricity to 
> the public, either for free or for a fee, would be determined by the 
> typical access <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:access> and 
> fee <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:fee> tags."
> So let's go to the practical side:
> My home is an average single family house in an average city in an 
> average country in Europe.
> As for 99.9% of the buildings in this country it is connected to the 
> (national) electricity grid, hence electricity=grid.
> But I do not sell electricity to the public, and I do not offer a free 
> electricity supply to the public, hence it would be 
> electricity:access=private
> So we will start a major campaign to add the two tags to 99.9% of the 
> buildings in my country? This cannot be done automatically, as there 
> are the odd (for the time being) buildings that are autonomous with, 
> for example, solar + battery.and other odd arrangements.
> I am sure that you have thought of that and the intention is to put 
> the electricity= tag only on some categories of buildings in those 
> areas of the world where it is normal to be connected to the grid, but 
> which?
> Going on from there, what about other services like drinking water, 
> sewage, surface water drainage, television antennas, Internet 
> connection, postal delivery services, garbage collection, and so on?
> I have to confess, I only have questions, but no answers.
> Volker
> On Fri, 30 Oct 2020 at 13:47, Lukas Richert <lrichert at posteo.de 
> <mailto:lrichert at posteo.de>> wrote:
>     Since a lot of people apparently didnt see the RFC the first time,
>     I'll go back to RFC status for now. (I thought the threads were
>     sorted by subject title of the email and didnt check online if it
>     was actually visible. )
>     --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     The original message:
>     Hello all,
>     after the comments on the confusing nature of the word 'source' in
>     my original proposal of 'electricity:source', I have now changed
>     the name to 'electricity:origin' as suggested on the discussion
>     page. Furthermore, I would like to revive and extend the proposal
>     of the key 'electricity' as this previously conflicted with parts
>     of the electricity:source proposal and was not consistent.
>     Both proposal pages:
>     [1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/electricity
>     [2]
>     https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Proposed_features/electricity:source
>     The idea now is to allow for the tagging of buildings or amenities
>     that have electricity. The rationale is described in more detail
>     at [1]. Tags such as access, fee, schedule and origin can then
>     narrow down the availability to the public and the question of
>     financial or direct origin of the electricity.
>     This is distinct from the drafted tag power_supply as it is used
>     to describe the type of sockets used at a specific outlet. The
>     values for that tag are still currently under discussion.
>     I would also not tag this as a subset of power=* as this maps the
>     facilities and features that relate to the generation and
>     distribution of electrical power and should not be used to map the
>     consumers of electricity.
>     I am eager to hear the feedback to the revised proposals!
>     -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     Also, perhaps relevant: both the power_supply
>     <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:power_supply> and socket
>     <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:socket>  keys describe
>     the same feature. power_supply so far has occasionally been used
>     in the manner that electricity proposes to be. Unfortunately, the
>     proposal for power_supply is relatively inconsistent. I think the
>     socket:* tag is better thought out and also currently more used. I
>     would be in favor of deprecating power_supply and separating the
>     two meanings it currently has into electricity=* and socket:*=#.
>     Regards,
>     Lukas
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