[Tagging] Deprecate water=pond?

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Tue Nov 10 05:26:39 UTC 2020

The tag water=pond was added with a large number of other types of
"water=*" in 2011, but it has a poorly defined description.

"A pond <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pond>: a body of standing water,
man-made in most cases, that is usually smaller than a lake. Salt
evaporation ponds should be tagged with landuse
<https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:landuse%3Dsalt_pond>, open-air
swimming pools — with leisure

So it might be artificial, like a landuse=reservoir or water=reservoir, but
smallish. Or it might be natural like a water=lake, but smallish. However,
nothing on the water=lake page defines a lower limit for the size of a lake.

This is a shame, because all the other values of water=* are clearly
defined as only natural, or only artificial, and waterway=* features are
also clearly divided. Furthermore, the original lags landuse=reservoir and
landuse=basin were also clearly artificial, while lakes were natural.

But the biggest problem is that there is no way to define a lower size for
a lake or reservoir, or an upper size for a pond. And the size of the area
is easier available from the geometry of the feature, so it doesn't need to
be mentioned in the tag.

I think the best option is to deprecate water=pond and suggest using
water=lake for natural lakes, even small ones, and use water=reservoir or
water=basin (or landuse=reservoir or =basin if you prefer) for the
artificial ones.

-- Joseph Eisenberg
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