Proposed features/Mimics

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mimics
Status: Voting (under way)
Proposed by: erictheise
Tagging: mimics=*
RFC start: 2019-11-15
Vote start: 2019-11-29
Vote end: 2019-12-13

Proposal

Since 1992 cellphone masts and towers have been disguised as trees, cacti, and other features of the natural and built world. One suggested practice for tagging this infrastructure is to use man_made=tower or man_made=mast with tower:type=communication in combination with tower:construction=concealed.

There are two unfortunate consequences of this practice. It does not provide a mechanism for recording what the mast or tower is disguised as. Further, it overloads tower:construction with a value that is not even accurate; as Paul Allen points out on the tagging list, a cellphone tower recognizable as a fake pine tree is hardly concealed even if the communications technology is to some degree. tower:construction=concealed remains applicable for true "stealth sites".

I propose to introduce the key mimics to remedy the first consequence. I propose to mark the practice of using tower:construction=concealed when the mimics tag is applied as deprecated.

Rationale

These camouflaged masts and towers are of interest to photographers, conceptual artists, postmodern philosophers, hobbyists, and others who study the built environment. Their existence has been documented in numerous online photo galleries ranging from providers of these structures, e.g., the portfolio of Cell Trees, Inc., to accomplished photographers such as Robert Voit and his New Trees project.

Examples

In 2013 it was estimated that there were between 1,000 and 2,000 such structures in the United States. Sadly, OSM does not currently capture this information. According to taginfo there are only 116 occurrences of tower:construction=concealed in OpenStreetMap. Here is an example where what the tower mimics is included in the note field, from https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/567065909 .

In this case note=* would be simply be replaced with mimics=pine.

I have no connection with Cell Trees, Inc., but a list of suggested values might use their product offerings as a jumping off point – broadleaves, eucalyptus, saguaro, palm, pine, "water tower" – with the more generic values cactus and tree allowed, all to be extended as other real world examples surface.

Tagging

This proposal covers the use of mimics with either of man_made=tower or man_made=mast and tower:type=communication. The documented use of tower:construction=concealed when a mast or tower is tagged with mimics would be deprecated.

It seems mimics might be useful in other contexts but that is beyond the scope of this proposal.

Applies to

Masts are restricted to nodes. Towers may be nodes or areas.

Rendering

I don't believe distinctions afforded by mimics need to appear in standard OpenStreetMap renderings.

Features/Pages affected

External discussions

A brief exchange on the tagging list.

Comments

Please comment on the discussion page.

Voting

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{{vote|yes}} --~~~~
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{{vote|no}} reason --~~~~ Replace reason with your reason(s) for voting no.
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Note: The ~~~~ automatically inserts your name and the current date.

  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Erictheise (talk) 19:26, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Seems to not cause any problems and for something than can be mapped in OSM --Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 21:02, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. I like the tag, could be useful for different context/things as well (it’s a bit sad this has a very narrow focus and a concise generic description would have been welcomed, maybe this can evolve)—Dieterdreist (talk) 21:37, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. I was always searching how to map this. Thanks for the proposal! --Sommerluk (talk) 06:53, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I abstain from voting but have comments I have comments but abstain from voting on this proposal. I approve of this tag in general, however shouldn't the key be singular: mimic instead of mimics? On taginfo, the first 100 of the most popular keys are singular unless it is refering to building units/flats. --Bobwz (talk) 13:57, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Great one, thank you. It may be nice to document individual values with pictures in the future as to allow not knowledgable people to go on ground and use the tag Fanfouer (talk) 00:40, 3 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Gendy54 (talk) 00:59, 3 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. To make this tag useful for end users, it should be clearer how to name the values. The most helpful would be a predefined list of possibe values (with the possibility to extend it later). --SelfishSeahorse (talk) 10:43, 3 December 2019 (UTC)