[Tagging] Deprecate water=pond?

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Thu Nov 12 01:29:34 UTC 2020

Ok, it looks like enough people feel that a very small artificial water
body, like a decorative pond in a residential garden, shouldn't be tagged
as water=reservoir or water=basin, so we need a replacement.

I can see the logic behind that, if a reservoir is thought to be larger and
must have a dam on one side, and a basin is artificially graded. A small
koi pond or decorative pool isn't exactly the same.

The current problem with water=pond is that many are completely natural
features, but almost all other values of water=* are clearly natural (or
semi-natural), or clearly artificial, so water=pond is losing this
information which otherwise should be conveyed by the key water=*. Since it
is unlikely that we could check 1 million water=pond features quickly, it's
not reasonable to redefine the meaning of this tag, but we can create a new
tag or several replacement tags which are more specific, and encourage use
of those instead.

But we need to have a clear description which will translate into other
languages and cultures. For example, in Papua Indonesia, most Trans-New
Guinea languages use 1 word for all types of "water", including rivers,
streams, lakes, and the sea, so they won't see a difference between a
"lake" and a "pond" unless you clearly describe it.

There are already several other more specific tags for small artificial
water bodies, in use:
- water=reflecting_pool - "A reflecting pool: a water feature found in
gardens, parks, and at memorial sites. It usually consists of a shallow
pool of water, undisturbed by fountain jets, for a calm reflective surface."
- water=moat - A deep, wide defensive ditch, normally filled with water,
surrounding a fortified habitation.
- water=wastewater - A clarifier/settling basin of a wastewater treatment
- water=fountain
- water=fishpond

And as mentioned before, there are water=reservoir (A reservoir
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reservoir> or an artificial lake is used to
store water. ) and water=basin (An area of land artificially graded to hold

So perhaps we could create a new tag water=natural_pond for small, natural
or semi-natural lakes which are currently tagged as water=pond, and
water=artificial_pond or water=man_made_pond for the majority of water=pond
features which are clearly not natural, such as ponds in gardens.

-- Joseph Eisenberg

On Tue, Nov 10, 2020 at 1:59 AM Andy Mabbett <andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk>
> On Tue, 10 Nov 2020 at 05:26, Joseph Eisenberg
> <joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com> wrote:
> > 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
> > landuse=reservoir or =basin if you prefer) for the artificial ones.
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