[Tagging] Deprecate water=pond?

Brian M. Sperlongano zelonewolf at gmail.com
Thu Nov 12 17:33:55 UTC 2020

Is a water= tag even needed at all in these cases then? natural=water +
name="Foobar Pond" seems to cover it.  I'm not sure what specific added
information is conveyed by "lake", "pond", or even "lake_pond".  It's a
natural body of water with a name.  If we need tagging to indicate
freshwater vs brackish vs saltwater, or depth, or murkiness, those seem
like separate tags.

On Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 12:26 PM Clifford Snow <clifford at snowandsnow.us>

> 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.
> Best,
> Clifford
> --
> @osm_washington
> www.snowandsnow.us
> OpenStreetMap: Maps with a human touch
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