[Tagging] Is it OK to consider and describe landcover=water as deprecated?

Stefan Tauner stefan.tauner at gmx.at
Sat Mar 6 12:47:51 UTC 2021

On Sat, 6 Mar 2021 07:47:22 +0100 (CET)
Mateusz Konieczny via Tagging <tagging at openstreetmap.org> wrote:

> Overall, this tag sole use is to pushlandcover proposal.

[citation needed]

> I did it without discussion on taggingmailing list as situation was clear,
> given lack of real use, support, existingclear tagging and lack of anything 
> supporting that tag.

IMHO it has the same problem as other landcover values: quite a few
mappers think it is superior and should be pushed forward because of
the many problems the established alternatives have but due to the
hopelessness of succeeding thanks to people who try to make the
possibility of success even lower by pretending it is somehow
"deprecated" or unwanted, they don't tag it - me included.

Usage numbers alone are not a clear indicator in such cases.
There are regularly discussions about some aspects of landuse where
landcover is brought up as a possible alternative solving some of the
respective problems (not only here but various other OSM bubbles I am
part of). This and the steep rise in the use of landcover usage shows
very clearly that there exist proponents of the general idea of

Also, how is there a "lack of existing clear tagging" in this case? If
there is an area with a wet substance comprising mostly water that has
no other clear alternative values (there are none in the original
proposal) the tag is applicable. I'd even go so far as to say it is
among the clearest tags that describes natural and artificial
structures anybody can think of :)

> Can we consider this tag to be deprecated?

I certainly don't. I think a fair description that documents the current
state/low use but also links to the landcover proposal/arguments would
be the best solution. There is comparatively very little harm in
having parallel tagging in this case and such documentation would allow
for competition. If we bash all new/lesser used alternatives we will be
forever stuck with the established schemes no matter how bad they are.
How this ends can be seen around the globe with conservative politics.

Kind regards/Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Stefan Tauner

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