[Tagging] Deprecate water=pond?

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Thu Nov 12 17:32:57 UTC 2020

Yes, it matters if it's flowing water, because rivers/streams (and
artificial waterways like canals, ditches and drains) are clearly distinct
from standing water bodies like lakes, reservoirs and basins. This is a
clearly observable difference which local mappers can survey.

Currently a number of map styles render flowing water (rivers, streams and
canals) differently than standing inland water or sea water.

Database users might want to calculate the total area of streams and rivers
in a country, and compare it to the total area of standing inland waters.
They also might want to compare the number or size of natural water bodies
to the number or size of artificial water bodies.

Since the difference between these is usually observable and verifiable, we
should have tags available that mappers can use.

Of course there will always be edge cases where it can be hard to decide if
a certain water body is a small natural lake or a semi-artificial pond, but
in that case mappers can just use natural=water without a water=* tag.

There are also edge-cases between rivers and estuaries at the junction with
the sea, and we should probably decide on a way to map this, but that's for
another time. Suffice to say that 99% of the time it's obvious if an area
of water is a flowing river vs a still-water lake. And similarly, canals
can usually be clearly distinguished from rivers based on their appearance,
and local knowledge of residents of the area.

So we should make sure our tagging distinguishes sea water from inland
still waters and flowing rivers, and also distinguish artificial from
natural water bodies and watercourses

-- Joseph Eisenberg

On Thu, Nov 12, 2020 at 3:50 AM OSM <osm at bavarianmallet.de> wrote:

> Am 11.11.2020 um 18:25 schrieb Peter Elderson:
> > I am getting a foot vs hiking feeling. Everybody knows a difference,
> > nobody has the same difference. In the end, it does not matter.
> Hmm - does it matter, if it is a river or a stream or a lake or a pond?
> Especially a lake with a river flowing through?
> Or is it not all and everything only water - and a name somewhere ...
> Why does the water=* tag exist anyway? To distinguish between flowing
> and standing waters? Don't say so - see above.
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