[OSM-talk-ie] Tagging holy wells

Dermot McNally dermotm at gmail.com
Sat Sep 13 17:35:01 BST 2008


2008/9/13 Patrick Casey <pcasey at compuserve.com>:

> I'd say the wells I am tagging are definitely places of worship. People do
> "the rounds" there with prayers and rosaries and invocations, and masses are
> said there on specific days of the year.

I'd also advise you to steer clear of place_of_worship for this
purpose. So whereas people may worship at a well, it's not a
place_of_worship the same way a church is. Firstly, you'll probably
want to consider what Map Features says about POW:

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/index.php/Tag:amenity%3Dplace_of_worship

It's intention and its pattern of use has been to tag the structures
that are the standard places for people to practice whatever religion
is theirs. So a church is one, or a mosque or temple. a shrine or
other place of pilgrimage isn't, though some may have a church or
other such structure onsite.

The fact that precedent considers a christian place_of_worship to be a
church makes it ill-advised to tag other "holy places" with the same
tag. Consider that one of the classic uses for such map data is for a
traveller to help answer the question "where can I find a suitable
religious service near here?". You don't want to navigate that guy to
a holy well on a rainy Sunday morning.

On your plans for grottoes, be mindful of the fact that the term is
possibly too generic for your use. Is any given grotto a religious
site or a place to see Santa?

To solve both of these problems, here's a half-baked suggestion:

rather than trying to make amenity fit the bill, create a new key,
religious. Under this key, you can accommodate the kinds of things
you're describing as follows:

religious:grotto
religion:christian
denomination:catholic


religious:relic
name:Holy Stone of Clonrickert
class:2


You can also add this key to existing ones:

historic:monument
religious:statue
moving:yes

amenity:well
religious:holy_well
...etc.


What do you think?
Dermot

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