[OSM-talk] New tool in Potlatch 2 for areas that share a way

David Fawcett david.fawcett at gmail.com
Wed Feb 2 14:34:13 GMT 2011

I believe that if one is tagging an area to imply that there is
contamination, one should cite an authoritative source.  Having your
property tagged as potentially contaminated could lead to difficulties
in selling or refinancing the property.  Even if a property was
contaminated, it could be remediated to the point where no
contamination exists on the site anymore.  If the tags are not
maintained, they will likely be inaccurate.

In the US, when a person/corporation has a major financial or
ownership transaction related to a property, there is often a review
of the current and historical activities that have taken place on and
in the vicinity of the property.  (A Phase I Environmental
Assessment).  The result of this is a list of potential environmental
risks or hazards.

I would suggest keeping information about contamination out of OSM and
leave it up to the end user to mash OSM data with up-to-date data from
the local environmental authority.  If one has knowledge about current
(and maybe past) land use activities, they could tag that.  This in
turn could be a good source for people who are doing environmental

Think about the weight of tagging a property as contaminated.
Incorrectly tag a property as a pub and you might get some frustrated
people parked in front of the house on a Saturday night.  Incorrectly
tag a property as contaminated and you may delay an important
transaction or force a person to spend money to prove that their
property isn't contaminated.


On Wed, Feb 2, 2011 at 4:58 AM, Steve Bennett <stevagewp at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 2, 2011 at 9:36 PM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
>> These things need not be, and have never been, global in OSM. If one local
>> community happens to have the manpower locally then it's great if they
>> manage to record all that detail, and we should be very careful not to make
>> decisions that keep them from doing so because we figured that we'd never be
>> able to collect that data for the whole country or the whole world.
> That is true - good point. I guess issues arise when we have to choose
> between a tagging scheme that allows maximum power (although that
> power will rarely be realised) and one that is most useful to most
> people.
> Steve
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