Proposed features/holy well

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holy_well
Status: Approved (active)
Proposed by: b-unicycling
Tagging: place_of_worship=holy_well
Applies to: node
Definition: A holy well is a place where Catholics celebrate the well's patron saint with a mass once a year ("pattern"), collect "holy water", and sometimes leave votive offerings in the well (coins) or on a nearby wish tree. Some of those wells are also used by Neo-Pagans.
Drafted on: 2021-02-18
RFC start: 2021-02-18
Vote start: 2021-03-11
Vote end: 2021-03-25

Proposal

Even though holy wells are a very personal place, they are part of that community's heritage and as part of pilgrimages also tourist attractions in a way. There are efforts from local authorities to have them mapped and it would be useful to give them the opportunity to use OpenStreetMap.

Please pay attention to the section "Preservation and heritage" on the Wikipedia page about holy wells.

Rationale

Some holy wells are already mapped (Ireland on overpass) with natural=spring or man_made=well and their name, but it would be useful to have them differentiated from plain springs and wells where no veneration takes place.

Holy well are usually in use for centuries, however, the tag historic=* should not be used and instead their primary function for worship should be focussed on. There exist local names and official names, so they should both be mapped. The Wikidata entry for the worshipped entity (saint, pagan god) can be added for further reading. Only use historic=yes, if there is no longer veneration taking place at the well.

It would make sense to record the name of the venerated saint (saint:name=*) with their wikidata=* entry, so future users can for example see the distribution of wells associated with Saint Brigid. Additional tagging with the feast day/ Patron Day (feast_date=*), because it gives believers and non-believers reason to visit and will thus give useful information on what day to visit or avoid the site (for people who would like to have the site to themselves).

This proposal is written from an Irish perspective, please feel free to add relevant information for other Catholic countries.

Tagging

Caption text
Key=value Explanation Example
amenity=place_of_worship amenity=place_of_worship
place_of_worship=holy_well place_of_worship=holy_well
natural=spring/ man_made=water_well Depending on the circumstances. man_made=water_well
religion=* In the case of Ireland, this can be christian as well as pagan in some cases. religion=christian
denomination=* denomination=roman_catholic
name=* official name name=Saint Canice's Well
loc_name=* local name/ common name name=Kenny's Well
saint:name=* Name of the worshipped entity associated with the well, in case the well has a name referring to the townland/ locality. There can be several Saint Kierans, please use the full official name, if known. name=Cainnech of Aghaboe
saint:wikidata=* wikidata entry for that entity venerated here, use also for Pagan Gods Q1133742
patron_day=* Date of the annual Patron Day (pattern) in the MONTH DAY format August 15
wikipedia=* Add wikipedia article for the holy well, if available.
wikidata=* Add wikidata reference for the holy well, if available.

If there is a holy or wish tree nearby, please tag with at least natural=tree and species=*, if possible.

Examples

External links

Rendering

100 A blue drop of water with the symbol for the religion in it, for example.

Features/Pages affected


External discussions

Comments

Please comment on the discussion page.

Voting

Voting closed

Voting on this proposal has been closed.

The result is approved/rejected with 10 votes for, 1 vote against and 2 abstentions.


  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. It's great to see more work done to add heritage, and historical, features to OSM. It shows the strength of OSM. This looks like a sensible & rational way to map these, in keeping with OSM norms Rorym (talk) 21:07, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Komadinovic Vanja (talk) 22:07, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. —Sterling (talk) 01:53, 12 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Tadcan (talk) 22:59, 12 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I abstain from voting but have comments I have comments but abstain from voting on this proposal. most of the tags you suggest are fine, but I have trouble with the place of worship tag. There are other places where occasional worshipping takes place (e.g. sculptures of St. Mary) which we tag differently. Did you speak to a representative of the catholic church to ask about the status of these wells? --Dieterdreist (talk) 08:19, 13 March 2021 (UTC)
I sent an email to the parish that the example above is in a week ago and I'm still waiting for a reply.B-unicycling (talk) 13:31, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
I've now written to the bishop, lets see if he replies to his emails.B-unicycling (talk) 12:32, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal.I am glad to support this. Quite a lot of place-names in Ireland use the Tober- prefix, so having a specific tag to mark out the remaining physical evidence of their naming is an important heritage value for the map to inlcude --DeB1gC (talk) 22:57, 18 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --EneaSuper (talk) 12:45, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I abstain from voting but have comments I have comments but abstain from voting on this proposal. Places with holy mass once a year would not be tagged as amenity=place_of_worship in Poland --Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 13:31, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Severin (talk) 14:32, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. The definition specifically references Catholicism. These wells are common in many other religions too, religion=* should be used only for denomination, not the definition. "Holy" is common in relation to persons and relationship, "Sacred" in relation to objects, places or happenings, so I would prefer sacred_well. This proposal introduces a lot of undocumented keys: place_of_worship / saint / patron_day without detailing their meaning or necessity to document them in the wiki.--Bert Araali (talk) 14:36, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
I'm not in a position to research the use and naming of sacred wells globally, so I have to work with what I have at my disposal here in Ireland. And nobody here, no mere believer nor scholar, refers to them as "sacred wells", they are always referred to as "holy wells" in old maps, in research literature, orally etc. B-unicycling (talk) 13:35, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Reino Baptista (talk) 17:44, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Robybully (talk) 18:45, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. but I share the concern that this is very specific for one religion and could be expanded. --Hannes Röst (talk) 18:57, 21 March 2021 (UTC)