Proposed features/electricity

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"electricity"
Status: Proposals without post-vote cleanup
Proposed by: Privatemajory, Luke
Tagging: electricity=yes, no, intermittent
Applies to: node, area, relation
Definition: Indicate the electricity source used in a public building or amenity.
Statistics:

Rendered as: no rendering
Drafted on: 2018-09-03
RFC start: 2020-10-15
Vote start: 2021-01-18
Vote end: 2021-02-01

Proposal

No approved tagging exists yet to tag electricity that is available in public buildings or at diverse amenities, such as campsites, charging stations, harbours, etc. This key, along with subkeys, aims to collect information on the availability and access to electricity in a modular way that can be expanded in the future.

It is proposed to redefine electricity from the old proposal. The values of electricity=yes and electricity=no should be used to tag the availability of electricity of any kind, with electricity=intermittent for irregular electricity.

It is proposed to discourage the use of electricity=none from the previous proposal and replace this with electricity=no, which is consistent with tagging as used in the rest of the database.

It is further recommended to deprecate power_supply as it is not defined well and the possible definitions overlap with both electricity and socket.

Finally, it is proposed to create the following sub-keys of electricity:

Access and payment for an electricity source can be tagged using the excisting access and fee keys. If there is ambiguity as to which feature is meant, please use electricity:access=* and electricity:fee=* to specify those restrictions relating solely to electricity availabilty.

The wording of the keys electricity:storage=* and electricity:storage=* is not final and would be adapted to be consistent with the current Proposed_features/Power_storage proposal if the wording there changes. Thus these tags are not part of this proposal, but solely listed for completeness at this time.

Tag transition

The previous electricity draft had already been adopted by some. To somewhat future-proof this proposal and to make it modular enough for meaningful use, it was unfortunately not possible to completely integrate these tags. However, the definitions were kept the same so that a 1:1 transition is possible in most cases. These could likely be semi-automatically edited, but as it is a relatively small amount, I would be in favor of deprecating the previous tagging and waiting for the features to be updated.

Overall, the redefinition would lead to approximately 5000 tags being obsolete and recommended for transition. Compared to the number of public buildings, amenities and charging stations where this tag could be useful (likely in the millions), this seems a manageable amount.

Deprecation of power_supply

The key power_supply was never proposed and simply added to the camp_site wiki. The tag power_supply is typically (>75%) used in combination with camp_site. The current definition of power_supply describes two parallel aims: 1. to describe the type of socket that is available and 2. to describe the availability of electricity.

The first definition is already covered by the well-defined and more frequently used socket. This key has the advantage of being able to handle multiple types of sockets and also specifes the number of available sockets.

The second definition is also already implemented by electricity, which this proposal seeks to redefine to be more modular and applicable in a wide range of cases. Furthermore, a power supply is defined as "an electrical device that supplies electric power to an electrical load." This does not capture the meaning of the tag and leads to confusion as evidenced by the multiple definitions provided.

Overall, power_supply has been used 13,000 times. Of these, 70% were with the value 'yes' and 22.5% with the value 'no'. These tags fit the definition of the electricity 'yes' and 'no' tags and could be transitioned to these. The remaining 7.5% of tags specify the socket type and these tags should then be transitioned to the socket type tagging. In contrast, the socket tagging has been used over 50,000 times and is considerably more modular.

Also, 77% of all tags are in combination with tourism=camp_site or caravan_site as these are the pages where power_supply is mentioned. Overall, less than 5% of all camp sites and caravans have been tagged using power_supply. Personally, in past years I had avoided the tag as the definition only mentioned socket types while I was looking to tag electricity.

Thus, compared to the total number of amenities with electricity, I think it is pertinent to deprecate the power_supply tag in favor of two other tags with clearer definitions and a more modular approach.

Rationale

Currently, the electricity tag is mostly used to specify the availability of electricity in hospitals in Africa. Particularly for travelers and tourists, however, it is increasingly important to know which amenities and buildings provide outlets or other charging facilities for smartphones, cars, bikes and other gadgets.

Tagging

The tag would be used on public buildings or amenities.

Topic Key
Availability electricity=*
Infrastructure electricity:grid=* or electricity:generator=* or electricity:storage=*
Schedule electricity:conditional=*

Availability

Always tag electricity=* when using the any of the electricity=*-subkeys to make it easier for data consumers to find.

Tag Description
electricity=yes There is electricity available, either continuously or on a set schedule, see schedule.
electricity=intermittent There is electricity available intermittently, i.e. irregular or not predictable.
electricity=no There is no electricity available at all.

Electricity is defined as intermittent if there are numerous unscheduled power outages so that there is a significant probability that it will be unavailable for use. To quantify significant, electricity is determined to be intermittent if "a maximum threshold of 12 [unscheduled] outages in a typical year for SAIFI and 12 hours of [unscheduled] power outage per year" is exceeded [1]. If outages are on a fixed schedule, this should instead be tagged following the guidelines outlined in Proposed_features/electricity#Schedule.

Infrastructure

An electrical grid is typically operated by some public or private company. This ususally includes multiple generators, substations, and transmission lines.

Electric generators encompass any device that converts energy from one primary energy form into a different energy form, including diesel generators, solar arrays, wind turbines, etc.

Energy storage devices are any devices, including mechanical and electrochemical devices, that capture energy produced either via grid or generator at one time for use at a later time. That is, they are secondary energy sources.

Image Tag Value Description
Power line to houses in Kirstead Ling - geograph.org.uk - 1570663.jpg electricity:grid=* electricity:grid=yes Electricity is coming, at least in part, from an electrical distribution grid.
electricity:grid=no This amenity is not connected to a grid at all.
Old generator.jpg
Solar Energy Roof Solar Power Generation 2666770 CC0
electricity:generator=* electricity:generator=yes The available electricity is produced, at least in part, by a nearby generator that is usually in use. The generator itself should be tagged with power=generator.
electricity:generator=backup There is a backup generator that is used to mitigate the damages of loss of primary electric power supply and not in daily/often use. The generator itself should be tagged with power=generator.
electricity:generator=no No generator is directly connected to the amenity or building.
TeslaPowerwall2
Datacenter Backup Batteries
electricity:storage=* electricity:storage=yes The available electricity is, at least in part, stored in a nearby battery that is usually in use.
electricity:storage=backup There is an energy storage system that is only used in case of loss of the primary electric power supply, i.e. not daily or often.
electricity:storage=no No energy storage system is directly connected to the amenity or building.

electricity:generator:input

For buildings or amenities connected directly to a generator, the nearby power=generator should also be tagged. The electricity:generator:input=* value should be identical with the generator's generator:source=* value.

See generator:source=* for possible tag values.

See examples below for specific tagging scenarios.

Schedule

For example, one could use electricity:conditional=yes @ (Mo 6:00-8:00) if electricity is only available from 6:00-8:00 on Mondays.

Similarly, the availability of electricity from specific infrastructure sources can also be tagged. For example, if electricity is only coming from the grid at specific times (e.g. weekdays from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.) but is always available from a generator:electricity=yes and electricity:grid:conditional=yes @ (Mo-Fr 17:00-22:00) and electricity:generator=yes.

For irregular electricity supply, use electricity=intermittent.

Rendering

This tag is not rendered.

Examples

Image Tags Scenario
Emergency backup diesel generator amenity=hospital
electricity=yes
electricity:grid=yes
electricity:generator=backup
electricity:generator:input=diesel
Hospital typically supplied by a grid with a diesel-powered backup generator.
Charging point bar in a café amenity=cafe
electricity=yes
electricity:grid=yes
socket:USB-A=4
A cafe has an area that allows people to charge their phones or other electronics.
USB charging station at Champoeg in the hiker - biker area. tourism=camp_site
electricity=yes
socket:USB-A=2
socket:nema_5_15=1
A camp site for hikers and bikers with a charging area.

For tagging scheduled power outages, see the example in Proposed_features/electricity#Schedule.

External discussions

Comments

Please comment on the discussion page.

Comments from previous voting rounds


Voting

  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. - Luke (talk) 19:21, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Well thought-out proposal -- would very much like to see this accepted --Gausserrorfunction (talk) 19:34, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Dr Centerline (talk) 20:52, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. as this encourages pointless electricity=yes spam in places where everything has electricity. Adding electricity=yes to hospitals and other buildings is pointless in many places.
(was abstain as I hoped that I missed this) "electricity=yes and electricity=no should be used to tag the availability of electricity of any kind" - I was looking for explicit request to not map it on things where it can be safely assumed (for example amenity=hospital in countries where one may assume that hospital has electricity). Have I missed it? (I am pretty sure that it appeared in some of earlier comments) Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 11:17, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
With "any kind" I meant either grid or generator. But I also thought there was a "significant" in there somewhere - perhaps only a comment and I forgot to add it to the main proposal? I would add something to that effect though as I agree that it makes sense to only tag those amenities where the availability is not a given. - Luke (talk) 13:00, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. There are many times when it is nice to be able to tag whether certain things have electricity.--Blendergeek (talk) 14:17, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Mar Mar (talk) 17:27, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I abstain from voting but have comments I have comments but abstain from voting on this proposal. I feel it is not well defined what electricity=yes actually means. Does it mean the building has electricity, or the electricity is available to a visitor/guest? Or putting it another way, what is the implied value of electricity:access=* if it isn't present? If it just means that the building has electricity, tagging electricity=yes is useless in most developed countries, as that should be implied. If it means the electricity is available to guests (like in the café/campsite example), that means the tagging doesn't make sense for third-world-hospitals. -- Jonathan Haas (talk) 08:13, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
The implied value is private, and I would add a note to pages like cafe and camp_site that sites should be tagged with electricity=yes + electricity:access=customers/permissive if outlets are publicly available. I took the detailed paragraph about this out since people said it was too long and overworked but apparently the one sentence at the top isn't clear enough, so I'll try rewording that after the vote to make it clearer. - Luke (talk) 17:33, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
Rereading it, I think the difficulty lies in the word 'availability' - I would change this to 'existence' to make the definition clear after the proposal. - Luke (talk) 18:37, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
Luke, that sounds like a good idea, but I think we should only tag availability. Existence alone isn't really provable on the ground and electricity is neither necessary nor sufficient for things like lighting or heating. Just tag them separately: electricity=yes means electricity is available to a visitor (using some socket that should be specified as well), lit=yes mean light is available to a visitor, heated=yes means heat is available to a visitor. Or something like that. -- Jonathan Haas (talk) 08:58, 4 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Norike (talk) 12:25, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Nanou (talk) 12:28, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Andraina (talk) 12:28, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. While I agree that current electricity=* is problematic, the proposal (as currently is) does not match its rationale which says "... know which amenities and buildings provide outlets or other charging facilities for smartphones, cars, bikes and other gadgets." - So, travelers/tourists need to know: if the electricity is available to THEM (electricity:access=*), at what price (electricity:fee=*), at what times electricity:conditional=*, and if it's compatible with their device (socket=*). (They theoretically could also be "green" and thus prefer some electricity sources as detailed in proposal). Given that electricity=yes is highly spammy in all non-3rd-world-countries (just remember natural=tree chaos) and not well defined, and that other values can be expressed using electricity:conditional=*, I think electricity=* should be completely deprecated in favor of remaining tags (in which case I'd vote yes). --mnalis (talk) 15:19, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
I completely agree that a sole electricity=yes tag in the developed world is nearly useless. The idea is to give detail using the subkeys that you mentioned. However, it was pointed out in the discussion that it is useful to have an overarching tag electricity=yes/no that signals if this information is provided. For example, in the case of a camp_site, electricity=no can be valuable information on its own, while electricity=yes would mean that a traveler would also like to have information as to fee/access/socket type. However some people might only tag electricity:access but not fee or vice versa so if searching using overpass turbo the general tag can help filter better. Overall though the proposal is mainly about the subkeys IMO and should obviously only be tagged when significant. - Luke (talk) 17:27, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
electricity=no is for all practical purposes means the same as electricity:access=no, so it is redundant - having it will only complicate and slow down overpass queries as you would have to search for both instead of only one (and you're going to have electricity:access=* anyway). Also, general note on changing the semantics of the existing tag: never reuse previous values, unless they mean exactly the same thing. As you should never mass-edit previous tags (unless all of them were made by you), and some users will never know of change and will continue using old semantics (remember building=* and building:use=*?) there will be both old and new tags present likely forever, and if new electricity=yes means something different than old electricity=yes (and you say above that they do mean different things - the new one by default implies private access, while old one did not) that will only make both the old and new value meaningless, as nobody could be sure which one is meant. --mnalis (talk)
It does not mean the same thing at all! Consider a campground with private electricity (i.e. lights, heating etc.) versus one without any at all. Also it is then consistent with the old proposal. The values have the same meaning as the previous tag where access was not specified, which is why it is necessary to include the access tag. We need an access key, so by defining it as implied private we stay on the safe side of rather harsher restrictions than may be the case. I've been very careful to consider the differences between the old and new tagging. BTW, so far electricity=yes has been used only 500 times. - Luke (talk) 16:28, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
But you can't conclude from electricity=yes, that there's heating or lighting available to customers. Maybe there's just a small, irrelevant lightbulb on the entrance, or maybe there's a private staffroom that has light and heating, but nothing else. Or on the opposite site, maybe there's no electricity, but they're heating using wood, oil, natural gas or coal. And to indicate if something is lit, you could just use lit=yes. -- Jonathan Haas (talk) 08:49, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Luke, if the access to electricity is private, then you'd obviously mark it with electricity:access=private, so there is no need for electricity=* in that case either. Also you cannot imply in this comment that this proposal is "consistent with old" (which did not imply private) and in other comment "The implied value is private". It is either one or the other - it seems more work is needed on proposal to better define it. As for the usefulness of the main tag, you have to ask yourself what extra information is conveyed by electricity=* than cannot be conveyed by other tags? To me, (electricity:access=* and electricity:conditional=* cover all specified values of electricity=* ("yes", "intermittent", "no"), so IMO electricity=* itself is thus redundant / unneeded, confusing, and allows for invalid combinations (like electricity=no + electricity:access=yes which would be handled differently depending on data consumer) and is as such a bad idea - even if that tag was never used before. And "was used only 500 times" makes things even much much worse than that when tag meaning changes, as it means at minimum that you need to resurvey 500 places around the globe, and also contact and convince all the mappers that used old syntax to stop doing what they were doing and do it the new way, and update all documents and recorded video presentations etc. on the web and elsewhere, in which electricity=yes means something different now - it is realistically impossible, so the best is really just to drop useless "main" electricity=* tag and concentrate on usefulness of subtags for this reform. Then, as it catches on, we mark electricity=* as deprecated while linking to those alternatives all the time. Also, everything that Jonathan Haas said above: electricity is not heat nor light, nor does it imply either. --mnalis (talk)
I never mentioned that electricity=yes/no has any connection in OSM to the tags for lighting or heat! Rather, there is a real world difference between electricity:access=no and electricity=no and so the two shouldn't be conflated as mappers may think something is mistagged. If you would take a look at the amenities tagged with electricity=yes, you would see that most would likely be electricity:access=private. I definitely wouldn't automatically tag these with an access tag, but I think it is reasonable to say that electricity has an implicit access value and that we then rather err on the side of caution. As the electricity=yes tag has been used previously, I need to somehow define it in the context of this proposal. Alternatively, one could define electricity=yes as only public-access as suggested above, but this would then definitely conflict with the old proposal. Thus, this seems a reasonable compromise. The number of mappers that have used the electricity=yes key is sufficiently finite and one could also include in JOSM at least a validation check for an access key if electricity=yes is used. And, as consistently noted, a parent tag for the various subtags is far from useless as it helps with filtering and quality control of the sub-tagging. -- Luke (talk) 18:31, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
Luke, I've broken this down is several chunks in talk page as it was getting quite unwieldy here, so please leave your answers and clarifications there. Just to summarize, it breaks down to 3 important parts (and several less important):
(1) new electricity=yes cannot mean different thing that old one did (it should be deprecated instead);
(2) electricity:access=no is same as electricity=no for all practical purposes, and both are different to electricity:access=private and
(3) electricity=* is superfluous (obsoleted by its own subtags) and also leads to problems with tagging and filtering, and should be avoided -- all of its meanings are well defined by subtags. --mnalis (talk)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. Fourth time voting? Still a no from me. The current tag is sufficient and much easier to use. --Riiga (talk) 21:04, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
Unfortunately this is a major tag about an amenity that is encountered in daily life so it needs careful consideration. Since most people only comment during voting, multiple voting rounds are necessary to get to a consistent tag definition. I hope this is not the sole reason for your opposing vote as it has nothing to do with the substance of the tag. The old tag is inconsistent (see wind vs solar vs generator https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Key:electricity&oldid=1804116) and not modular (tagging of grid-connected generators is impossible) and lacks key information (public vs private access) which is why a revision and expansion is necessary. - Luke (talk) 16:28, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
"Fourth time voting?" - if one adjusts proposal on feedback rather than trying to propose exactly the same one it is perfectly fine Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 08:33, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
I absolutely agree with Mateusz, this is how things should work - in incremental fixes! So I look forward to another round of corrections (getting rid of useless and problematic master tag and few smaller clarifications/changes on subtags) and 5th round of voting (where I'd hopefully be able to switch my vote to yes) --mnalis (talk)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. It is not obvious to which elements the tag is applicable. The tagging text refers to public buildings and amenities and the examples show the applicability to tourism=camp_site. Electricity should only be applicable to a few named elements. --Ibanez (talk) 17:11, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
Camp sites are one of amenities (with "amenity" used as word in English, not as OSM tag). And proposal explicitly mentions camp sites "No approved tagging exists yet to tag electricity that is available in public buildings or at diverse amenities, such as campsites, charging stations, harbours, etc." 08:32, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Privatemajory (talk) 08:05, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Shaun das Schaf (talk) 13:21, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Things shoud move forward, despite not perfect nor complete, this proposal brings useful tools we could use to build something even more robust later Fanfouer (talk) 22:46, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Fanfouer: yes things should move forward even when not perfect nor complete. But they should not move forward when they actually break existing things like this version of proposal does (and the fix is not that hard, see my comments associated with my vote=no. But unless fixed before going public, it would render this tag useless for consumers, and in addition it would break existing tag values! --mnalis (talk)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. While I would welcome tags that show how the general public can use electricity in certain places, mapping whether an individual building has electricity service is too generic to serve any specific purpose. The overlap with the amenity=charging_station tag is insufficiently addressed. 501ghost (talk) 00:55, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. I worry that adding this will mean we get a huge amount of unnecessary clutter tags on every building. While it's useful for some specific use-cases, the majority of the time it's not useful. --ForgottenHero (talk) 02:49, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
I agree but assumed that it was clear that not every tag needs to be specify that it should only be tagged when significant - most other tags don't have this disclaimer. If adding a sentence to that effect in the wiki documentation would be enough to change your vote, I'd be happy if you would reconsider your current vote.- Luke (talk) 13:03, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. for essentially the same reasons I opposed it before. I guess my original vote disappeared though. Maybe the proposal was pared down. Either way, I don't think it's a good idea because of the chance for over tagging things that shouldn't be. It might be useful in certain areas, I don't think it should be arbitrarily used everywhere, which will likely happen and there is no way to curb if it is approved. Adamant1 (talk) 05:42, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
Your vote didn't disappear - see comments from previous rounds. I reworked the proposal and removed the source tagging for now as it apparently needed more work. The tags are meant only for significant public buildings as mentioned. -- Luke (talk) 13:03, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I abstain from voting but have comments I have comments but abstain from voting on this proposal. This could be useful for some specific use cases such as public buildings (e.g. social facilities, ...) or remote mountain huts, but I believe this proposal and any followup (wiki) documentation created for this tagging scheme needs to add a lot more emphasis that this should NOT be spammed everywhere. --Woazboat (talk) 10:36, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
I agree but assumed that it was clear that not every tag needs to be specify that it should only be tagged when significant - most other tags don't have this disclaimer. If adding a sentence to that effect in the wiki documentation would be enough to change your vote, I'd be happy if you would reconsider your current vote. - Luke (talk) 13:03, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I abstain from voting but have comments I have comments but abstain from voting on this proposal. the proposal is not perfect, but it has the merit of working on a real problem (2x2 existing tags with the same meaning, in addition to possible missing tags). to avoid drowning here, I posted my "split" notice on the talk page. Marc marc (talk) 22:57, 31 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. There are not a ton on places where those tags will be useful, but it's still a good step forward. I would however put more emphasis on the necessity of electricity:access=* for camping and similar venues. --13:02, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. --Something B (talk) 13:54, 4 February 2021 (UTC)

References