[Talk-us] Waterway directionality in drainage canals

Steve All steveall at softworkers.com
Sat Apr 28 21:22:19 BST 2012

>It's the standard to draw a waterway in the direction of flow. I've 
>questioned this several times, but it's an ingrained default.
>My question is more specific: what happens to a drainage canal that 
>reverses direction? I offer the Everglades and surrounding 
>agricultural land as an example. There are huge "water conservation 
>areas" that store water. When it rains, gates are closed and opened 
>to direct water into these. During a drought, gates send water back 
>out into the canals for local use. When there's a big storm, water 
>will instead go directly out to sea.
>So there are a lot of major canals that have no fixed direction. How 
>should these be mapped? Is there any existing scheme that can show 
>how water flows under different conditions?

Calling all real technical-consulting planet-oriented hydrologists: 
join in this conversation, please!  (You never know).

NE2, you might invent, then propose a "newer, meant to be better 
because we discussed it first" standard after asking that question 
the way you did.  One way you seem to do so (NE2, though others, too) 
is with tags containing colons, as that has emerged in much 
structured tagging in a somewhat orderly way.  Without deriving a 
dialect of it off the top of my head, that might even be a specific 
instance of what is known as a regular language.  (We use 
network=US:I for Interstates, for example).

Inventing a stub language like tidal=yes and barrier=marine_gate and 
semantics for the actual direction of the way that represents 
something ABOUT its flow (like seasonal or active or whatever) is 
real work that can be sketched on a whiteboard as an idea development 
methodology.  It's more difficult via a channel like this digested 
list, but difficulties can be overcome.  But after some fits and 
starts and people double-checking and looking over each other's 
shoulders and finding things that work...we have something.

Considering how sane, smart growth of tags and processes whereby 
these evolve with real intent seems a fundamental topic.  Positing 
something like the quick stub of brain-spew above shows how some of 
us are good at posing questions, some of us are good at longer-term 
vision or middle-building, many of us are great at mapping, and all 
of us can recognize these differences are strengths when our numbers 
speak together.  (Even when it is seen that there is some spew that 
happens, it is the process of getting better of which I type).

There really is a "middle" of OSM which feels quite under-built to 
me, at least from the perspective of California.  Maybe that is just 
me having an early-feeling, though confident and articulate voice, or 
lack of finding specific more-local OSM community.  I have 
collaborated over networked wires for many decades in many ways. 
This newer "middle of OSM" overlaps in my mind with "conversation 
places" where listening and structured whiteboard-like collaboration 
takes place.  Let's build OSM's better middle with this in mind.  I 
look for these conversation places myself, so I reach out a bit.

I do not say how (right now), it's complex, everybody seems to have 
ideas and want to be listening and sorting that out is hard work and 
would take too long (right here).  But "listening areas" and "working 
groups" and such are the neighborhood of what I mean.  Am I 
unplugged-in from these?  Or does "our national scene" (OSM in the 
US) largely get hashed out right here in talk-us?  We seem to be 
lacking in coordination:  there are terrific skill-sets here, and 
much gets done, but new focus for those laser-bolts of "good methods 
we figured out work really well for us" that can synergy and 
feedback-loop and leap us ahead, well, as they say, could "use 

I do put myself out here, and yes, it feels a little bold to say 
this.  I listen, I look for structured listening.

I look for better coordination and yes, maybe even towards 
leadership.  Leadership doesn't have to be vested in an individual, 
it can consist of a core of "ideas that work, only" as a beginning. 
Yes, this is hard work.


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