[Tagging] Deprecate water=pond?

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Thu Nov 12 19:49:18 UTC 2020

On Thu, 12 Nov 2020 at 19:30, Joseph Eisenberg <joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com>

> Re: is water=* tag needed?

> But since water=pond is not clearly defined as natura/semi-natural vs
> man-made, we have a large number of features where the water=* tag is not
> providing this information. Since the previous tagging system clearly
> distinguished natural from man-made water bodies, this would be a loss for
> database quality.

We often do not know if it is natural or artificial.  Maybe it's a natural
depression in the ground that fills with water.  Maybe it was created
by man as a water feature.  Maybe it's an old quarry that has flooded.
Even if it was originally a result of something like quarrying it may have
happened so long ago that there are no records.

What we can determine (at least in principle) is if it meets criteria
for a lake (large size or large waves or has aphotic zones) or a
pond.  In principle, a suitably-qualified mapper could investigate
those things on site.  We can accept using guesswork based on
size pending fuller investigation. A lake/pond distinction is
useful irrespective of whether it is entirely natural or entirely

Determining if it's entirely natural, or deliberately man-made, or
an unintended consequence of past human activity is harder.
Possible for retention basins that are still in use.  Mostly
possible for reservoirs, although some reservoirs are
based around natural lakes.  But historical records are
incomplete (and some mappers insist we should never
ever make use of historical data to inform our mapping).

Maybe we need an artificial=yes/no.

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