Proposed features/Pumping proposal

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Water centrifugal pump.jpg
Pumping proposal
Status: Proposed (under way)
Proposed by: fanfouer
Tagging: man_made=pump
Applies to: node
Definition: Propose to improve many kind of pumps mapping and description with man_made=pump
Drafted on: 2020-02-29
RFC start: 2020-03-19


It is proposed to make three new tags approved to describe pumps used for any activity regarding liquids only :

  • New feature tag for nodes only: man_made=pump "A device in charge of raising level or move liquids only". Only applicable for liquid substance=*s.
  • flow=* "The nominal output flow a device or a pipe can deliver in m3/s"
  • motion_driver=* "The motion source powering a pump"
  • motion_driver:coupling=* "Motion source adaption and transformation equipment linking a driver and a pump device"

Change the definition of pump=*: "Specifies the pump device mechanism that directly moves gases or liquids". Applicable with any gas or liquid substance=*s.
List of 15 new approved values related to pump mechanisms is given below

pump=* is currenlty established in combination with man_made=water_well to state 1) that a pump exists and 2) how it is driven (powered or manual). We also need a terminology to define the pump technology as many sorts exist in industry.

It is proposed to discourage the use of

The proposed tagging scheme will also deprecate man_made=pumping_rig and propose to replace it with man_made=petroleum_well and pump=* (mainly with rotating driver and pumpjack coupling).

Dedicated devices used to drive pumps will be described with motion_driver=* instead of pump=*.

The tag handle=* is already approved for use with pipeline valves, and it will be approved for use with manual pumps or emergency usage with manual action when power isn't available.

By the way, this proposal focuses on pumps and then liquids but proposed pump=* values would be used the same way on gas compressors which will require a different man_made=* entry.


Pumps are mechanical devices to move liquids and are often involved in running industrial systems or water supplies. The have many shapes and functions. We can find them in many places, from households to heavy industries.
They differ from several other devices:

  • Fans: A machine intended to create a flow of gas (often air)
  • Compressors: An assembly including a pump intended to compress gases

As they cover many activities, several mechanisms exist and are adapted to field or fluids constraints and energy sources available.
Consumers may have interest to know their function, to which pipes they are connected to, from which source comes incoming fluid or their figures.

Note that pumps are usually powered by a driver. The driver is any assembly in charge of many sorts of energy conversion to mechanical force. A coupling is in charge of motion adapting and transmission by linking drivers and the pump mechanism.
Driver technology is different from pump mechanism: for instance the same reciprocating pump can be independently driven by hand or by an electric motor.
Driver coupling is different from motion source: for instance the same nodding donky coupling can independently adapt motion from electric motor, combustion engine or even manual power.

Wikipedia and other encyclopedias provide a complete classification of pumps with several considerations: principle, engineering, history and usecases (not to mention practical implementations). OSM will rely on Wikipedia's classification as to not create another classification but needs a ground-proof tagging which allows mappers to classify pumps with practical criteria.
Proposed pump=* values will allow mappers to determine which kind of pump they see on ground (see examples). Figures and capacities are got from public documentation or read in place. No import from any database is planed following this proposal, contributions are exptected from local surveys.

Tagging should cover:

  • Pump mechanism
  • Driver technology & rating
  • Pump and driver coupling
  • Maximum volume the pump can move (generally in m3/s or m3/h)

Mappers can't currently describe pumps with such details since pump=* actually merges pumps with their drivers and encourages a confusion between two independant devices.
Furthermore, proposed tagging will still enable consumers to make an important difference between powered pumping systems and manual ones, particularly on water wells where it's certainly an established usage.

Refining tagging model as proposed will improve knowledge of man made pneumatic and hydraulic systems like water wells in developing countries or more complex industrial facilities in developed areas.

Pumps have been mapped for years in OSM when installed on water wells only. Let's generalize this approach in many other activities.

This proposal focuses on tags to use if, and only if, data is available. It does not assume all data can be publicly known but provide a consistent model to add it to the map if possible, without any pipeline operator help. If you can't reach a particular device, then don't map it.

How to map

First of all, don't go inside private or restricted perimeters if you're not invited to do so please, some pumps may not be safely accessible and you may expose yourself to multiple hazards.

Public information or aerial imagery will help to see outdoor pipeline facilities safely.

On every pump device (not surrounding perimeter nor building) found, place a node and add man_made=pump (if no other man_made=* value prevent it like explained below).

Use location=* to give information about its position and pump=* to let us know about its mechanism.
High detailed information may be found on pumps themselves. A complete datasheet may be posted next to the pump which shows the device capabilities and mechanism.

Nevertheless, you may not be permited to take a photo of those plates and as a reminder : don't go inside restricted perimeters to get the one you couldn't unless invited

man_made=pump is only proposed for individual pump devices.


Proposed pump=* values can be used in combination with established man_made=water_well, man_made=petroleum_well or any other drilling.

The point is to complete existing features with more elaborated information about pumping capacities. Then a dedicated man_made=pump shouldn't be created beside if the pump is directly installed in the well or on the wellhead.


Proposed pump=* values can be used in combination with established man_made=windpump wich refer to an assemble of blades taking kinetic energy from wind and driving a pump on the ground.

As to maintain a difference with traditional man_made=windmill, a dedicated man_made=pump shouldn't be created beside if the pump is directly part of the windpump.


Key Value Comment Recommendation
man_made pump Pumps are usually mapped as node. This tags says it's a pump mandatory
windpump A windpump is a particular windmill driving a pump to extract water from ground. mandatory
water_well (or any well) A structural facility to access ground water, created by digging or drilling. Here with the help of a pump mandatory
pump <pump mechanism> The mechanical design of the pump recommended
motion_driver <driver technology> Motion source of the pump recommended
motion_driver:coupling <driver coupling> Motion adapting equipment linking driver and the pump. Defaults to direct recommended
handle <handle model> Does a handle is available on the pump to operate manually? See below for possible values optional
location <location> The physical location of the pump, such as indoor. See below for possible values. optional
operator <operator> Name of the company that operates the pump. optional
manufacturer <Manufacturing company> Name of the company that built the pump (and possibly its driver) optional
ref <reference> Abbreviation / number of the pump. optional
pressure <nominal output pressure in bar> Nominal output pressure the pump is designed to deliver optional
flow <nominal output flow in m3/s> Nominal output flow the pump can deliver. optional

Althought it is not usually recommended to add properties of incoming pipelines to accessory nodes, it is correct to add substance=* on pump nodes to state which substance is processed by a particular device, especially when pumps don't operates mixtures or change the state of the substance.

Pump technologies

List of possible pump=* values.
Key Classification Value Comment
pump Positive displacement gear Gear pump involves two or more wheels touching each other as to intake, effectively displace and then output processed fluid. It covers Lobe pump and Roots-type supercharger.
screw Screw pump involve a screw - with a continuous cavity - to move the fluid along its axis. It looks like an Archimedes' screw but have to raise the output fluid pressure to be qualified as a pump. It is not a progressive cavity pump.
progressive_cavity Progressive cavity pump is different from a screw pump as moving part is composed of discrete cavities moving around an axis. Cavities get the fluid during intake and displace it along the chamber to the output with a positive pressure.
diaphragm Diaphragm pump is often a double chamber pump than sequentially fill and empty due to a diaphragm action driven by electric or pneumatic cylinders.
peristaltic Peristaltic pump involves a flexible fluid chamber pushed by external roller which both intakes and outputs fluid outside the pump. It is most used in biomedical appliences which requires to let fluid untouched from external component.
rope Rope pump is built from a piece of rope whith disks or knots attached and matching the pump chamber diameter immerged in processed fluid. Moving the rope displaces the fluid out of pump chamber with a positive pressure.
rotary_vane Rotary vane pump is composed of a rotary wheel with vanes pushing the fluid out of pump chamber. Vanes dimension can change as to match orregular pump chamber diameter or shape. This includes radial piston or flexible impeller. Such impellers don't transmit kinetic energy to processed fluid until you find a centrifugal pump (see below)
piston Piston pump involves a reciprocating moving part that sequentially sucks fluid into the pump chamber and pushes it out. It covers Pluger pump and Beam engine. It is different than a Diaphragm pump as the diaphragm doesn't plunge into the fluid and doesn't move like a piston.
Velocity centrifugal Centrifugal pump involves a high speed rotating impeller transmitting kinetic energy to processed fluid that gets its direction changed often by 90° angle from intake. This speed may be converted latter into fluid pressure while it exits the pump in the discharge pipe.
axial_flow Axial flow pumps use a high speed rotating impeller directed in the axis of the processed fluid flow. Direction of the fluid remains unchanged and the speed may be converted latter into fluid pressure depending of the discharge pipe design.
eductor_jet Edutor jet pumps may be used in water wells to push out water with the help of pressurised air injection. Most commonly known as injector this value only regards usage as pump.
Gravity ram (Hydraulic) ram uses high flowrate hydropower to deliver fluid at a higher pressure but lower flowrate than intake. Hydropower energy is converted in mechanical form with the help of gravity.
siphon Siphons may be used as pumps to deliver a small amount of fluid at a higher level than reservoir with the help of most part of the fluid as gravity driver in a closed cycle. It is quite special and not so common actually.
Impulse pulser Pulser pump requires a constant flow of water running into a closed chamber, mainly comming from upper reservoir. Intake is placed just at the surface of the reservoir and sucks air as it goes down to the chamber. Air gets trapped in the chamber and pushes a part of the water out at a higher level than input reservoir.
airlift Airlift pump takes advantage of floating air to raise level of processed fluid. Air is inserted in the outlet pipe and pushes fluid higher toward the output.

Those pump mechanisms technologies are also suitable for compressors as you may see in the Wikipedia classification.


Drivers should be defined as mechanical energy converters and main source of power for pump mechanisms. They can work from many sources of energy: electricity, steam, wind, electromagnetic forces...
Drivers are only motion sources. See below about coupling how it is adapted prior to be transmitted to pump mechanism.

motion_driver=* new key shouldn't be confused with actuator=* which describe devices intended to mechanically control some processes and don't act as primary motion sources.

Possible moton_driver=* values
Key Value Comment
motion_driver manual Hands as the main way to drive the pump
electric_motor An electric motor or regular engine converts electricity or combustion to mechanical energy and drives pump with rotary motion
combustion_engine A combustion engine is a regular combustion motor fed by oil or gasoline to produce a rotary movement
reciprocating_solenoid A solenoïd can be used to produce reciprocating motion used to drive some kind of pumps. This video shows it in action
cylinder Pneumatic or hydraulic cylinders are used as drivers for pumps requiring reciprocating motion. See this double diaphragm pump.

In case of manual driver, existing handle=* will help to define how users are supposed to move the pump.


As motion often needs to be adapated, drivers can be more complex than a simple motion source and could include a motion adapter (gear reducer, nodding donkey...). Motion can be adapted in different ways from a single given electric motor for instance.
Couplings are passive equipment and not a motion source. They are particularly useful for pumps as they put impellers or pistons in motion and efficently move the processed fluid.

Possible motion_driver:coupling=* values
Key Value Comment
motion_driver:coupling direct The motion out of driver is directly transmitted to pump mechanism without any adaptation nor transformation
reducer A reducer adapts rotating motion to an appropriate rotating torke for the pump mechanism with help of gears to provide a static ratio
gearbox A gearbox adapts a rotating motion to an appropriate torke force with the ability to change ratio according to mechanical needs at a given time
nodding_donkey A nodding donkey converts the rotary movement of a motor/engine to a reciprocating motion used to drive some kind of pumps.

List can be completed with any additional value to cover situations we didn't include here.

Edition management

Keys to be replaced or completed

Obsolete tag Usage volumetry Used for ? New tag(s) to use
pump=manual 13 942 on 2020-03-18 A manual driven pump according pump=* + motion_driver=manual + handle=*
pump=powered 3 769 2020-03-18 A powered driven pump according pump=* + according motion_driver=* + according motion_driver:coupling=*
man_made=pumping_rig 2 495 2020-03-19 A piston pump used on oil wells (sometimes on water wells), powered by pumpjack driver pump=piston + motion_driver=combustion_engine + motion_driver:coupling=nodding_donkey
pump:type=beam_pump 1 580 2020-03-18 A piston pump used on oil wells (sometimes on water wells), powered by pumpjack driver pump=piston + motion_driver=combustion_engine + motion_driver:coupling=nodding_donkey
man_made=windpump 704 2020-03-19 A windpump composed of a windmill and a pump man_made=windpump + according pump=*

8 751 of pump=no will certainly remain in place for water wells that are not built with pumps while they are expected to.

Despite approximatly 20k objects need to be moved to new tagging, there are currently 100k occurences of man_made=water_well and 70k among them that lack a pump=* value.

Affected pages


Local supply

Photo Location Tagging Comments
Windpump in a farm USA


A windpump in a farm in USA involing a piston pump (apparently, on the ground) driven by a windmill and possibily actuated by hand with the help of a lever as well in case of lacking wind.
Manual piston pump on a well head Mali


A manual Piston pump installed on a waterwell head in Mali. Water well, piston pump and manual driver (with handle) are 3 independent objects
Well-bore submersible pump Africa


A standard electric submersible pump with electric motor to power a multi-stage centrifugal impeller. Intake is located on the pump body side and centrifuguation makes the water go out on top.
A hydraulic ram in situation England


A hydraulic ram converts high flow cinetic energy into a pressure for a smaller flow, allowing it to be actually pumped. It requires no driver and external power supply so motion_driver=* isn't applicable here.


Photo Location Tagging Comments
Water centrifugal pump.jpg France

(optional motion_driver:coupling=direct)

A common Wikipedia:Centrifugal_pump driven by an electric motor in a drinkable water production facility
Materieel op motorschip Margriet 02.jpg Nederland

(optional motion_driver:coupling=direct)

A common Wikipedia:Centrifugal_pump driven by an electric motor probably used for irigation or water reservoir feeding
Pumpjack 0154.jpg Wyoming, USA


A common Wikipedia:Pumpjack collecting oil from underground well. We know it is driven by an electric motor instead of an engine by looking at electric power supply on the right.
Membrane pump on oil tanker deck.jpg International sea


A common diaphragm pump driven by a pneumatic cylinder, installed here on a boat deck (so please don't map it in place). This example shows the diaphragm shape that can't be confused with any other mechanism.


Photo Location Tagging Comments
Pompe Veytaux 2.jpg Switzerland

(optional motion_driver:coupling=direct)

Hydropower generation sometimes involves pump for large scale water storage. Some power plants have pumps separated from turbines like in Veytaux, Switzerland where a 600 tons multi-stage centrifugal pump is located below a pelton turbine, linked by a direct coupling (see this chart). The pump is driven by the generator used as an electric motor with electricity coming from transmission grid. When the pump s running, the Pelton turbine runs empty without water.


Photo Location Tagging Comments
Peristaltic pump for medical appliences -


A common peristaltic pump often used for medical appliences

See also


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