[Tagging] Deprecate water=pond?

Clifford Snow clifford at snowandsnow.us
Thu Nov 12 17:23:23 UTC 2020

Out of curiosity I decided to look at how USGS defines lakes and ponds
after noticing that their Feature Code is listed as lake/pond. Here is how
they define the two, as well as rivers and streams and mountains and hills.

*There are no official definitions for generic terms as applied to
geographic features. Any existing definitions derive from the needs and
applications of organizations using those geographic features. The
Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) database utilizes 63 broad
categories of feature types defined solely to facilitate retrieval of
entries with similar characteristics from the database.These categories
generally match dictionary definitions, but not always. The differences are
thematic and highly subjective. For example, a lake is classified in the
GNIS as a "natural body of inland water”, which is a feature description
that can also apply to a reservoir, a pond, or a pool. All "linear flowing
bodies of water" are classified as streams in the GNIS. At least 121 other
generic terms fit this broad category, including creeks and rivers. Some
might contend that a creek must flow into a river, but such hierarchies do
not exist in the nation's namescape. The U.S. Board on Geographic Names
once stated that the difference between a hill and a mountain was 1,000
feet of local relief, but this was abandoned in the early 1970s. Broad
agreement on such questions is essentially impossible, which is why there
are no official feature classification standards.*

I think they are smart to not try to classify lakes and ponds separately.
Back to the original discussion started by Joseph Eisenberg, I'd be in
favor of just using water=lake/pond or water=lake_pond.


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