[Tagging] Deprecate water=pond?

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com
Sat Nov 14 03:02:10 UTC 2020

On Thu, Nov 12, 2020 at 6:22 PM Adam Franco <adamfranco at gmail.com> wrote:

>    - origination:natural=beavers
> Thanks for remembering this one. Around here, beavers are a significant
sculpting force on the landscape.

(And `man_made=dam` is the best tagging that we have for their water
control structures, which are also often adjusted seasonally)

Very long story short, I think we might be able to worry a little less
> about what the body of still water *is* and more about its other
> properties that might be of interest. In programming languages this is
> referred to as "duck typing <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck_typing>".

If ducks could type, I could easily imagine that a pond might be mapped and
the tags entered by a duck typing. I think that the duck in question might
be Atwood's Duck.

And ... having seen this argument several times before, I basically avoid
`water=*` when mapping. I can hardly think of any waterbody, intermediate
on the large..small and natural..artificial scales between the Great Lakes
and a farmer's stock pond, where the `water=*` value would be
uncontroversial. `natural=water` renders, and I'll try to avoid taking a
census of the angels dancing on that particular pinhead.

This whole discussion reminds me of one time that someone who wasn't from
around here (nor a native speaker) was insisting that anything that was
called a 'creek' in English *must* be a tiny watercourse.  Not around here!
The creek in question was, if memory serves, either the Schoharie Creek,
shown in this picture:
http://minerva.union.edu/garverj/mohawk/images/schoharie_falls.jpg or else
the West Canada Creek
I'm comfortable with `waterway=river` on any waterway where I map the

On Thu, Nov 12, 2020 at 2:52 PM Paul Allen <pla16021 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, 12 Nov 2020 at 19:30, Joseph Eisenberg <
>> joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 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
>> artificial.
>> 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.
>> --
>> Paul
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73 de ke9tv/2, Kevin
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