[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC -mass rock

Anne-Karoline Distel annekadistel at web.de
Mon Apr 19 11:10:09 UTC 2021

They are not just used in Ireland, as I just found out - my aunt
inwittingly shared a photograph of one in Germany (location:
https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/374460949), and I have just had it
confirmed from the tourist information there that it is indeed a mass
rock or what they would probably call it "Altarstein". Only put there in
the 1950s, but still in use.


On 11/04/2021 14:55, Rory McCann wrote:
> I think this is a good thing to map.
> I think this suffers from a common issue in OSM where a term is very clear in a community (Ireland), and a person not familar with the community just looks at the words directly and thinks it's something else. A Mass Rock isn't just a rock. It's not just any rock where at one point there was once a mass held there. It's something which is currently remembered and viewed as where masses were held hundreds of years ago, and is still relevant for Irish cultural identity. The conflict between Ireland & England was so often tied up to religion, and so much anti-Irish oppression was tied up with anti-Catholic oppression.
> To an Irish person “Mass Rock” is quite clear what it means. The local community knows what they are. You don't need to get into semantics about defining what a Mass Rock is. But you can see from the photos in the proposal, there are often physical representations on the ground identifying it. It's about as valid as an old church.
> Another issue with mapping of historic things in OSM is the difference between  "At some point this was used as X" (should not be mapped IMO) and "today this is remembered as being used for X" (should be mapped). Something tagged `historic=battlefield` doesn't mean there is a battle going on here now. It doesn't mean "at some point, once, there was a battle here". It means that today this site is remembered and viewed as where a battle (which was somewhat relevant for today) happened. It's the same with Mass Rocks.
> On Fri, 02 Apr 2021 12:20 +02:00, Anne-Karoline Distel <annekadistel at web.de> wrote:
>> Hello group,
>> to be able to map historically significant mass rocks in Ireland, I've
>> started a proposal. They were places of worship for the 200 hundred
>> years of the Penal Laws when practising Catholicism was illegal in Ireland.
>> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/mass_rock
>> Anne
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