mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

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mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

Michael Booth

Hi,

I opened an issue on the rendering of man_made=communications_tower on the standard layer over on OSM-carto: https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/issues/3414 and think there should be a discussion about the tagging as well.

The Wiki definition is: "a huge tower for transmitting radio applications.... It is often made from concrete and usually a far visible landmark." https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:man%20made=communications%20tower

Looking at examples of this tag in OSM I would guess that out of the <4,000 objects worldwide most of them do not conform to that definition. Many of them are small mobile phone/cell site "masts", towers less than 100m, or very tall guyed masts.

I'd like to retag the structures near me to something more suitable - however the wiki pages aren't very clear in distinguishing between the various constructions and sizes for masts and towers.

Hopefully people can agree that the following should be tagged as man_made=mast or tower + tower:type=communication + tower:construction + height? Using TV transmitters in the UK as examples:

But how should these examples be tagged in OSM? All of them are self-supporting structures, so in engineering terms they are not masts.

  1. https://binged.it/2xILZO9
  2. https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2361955
  3. https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2337468
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charwelton_BT_Tower
  5. https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2053885
  6. https://binged.it/2xTxcQK
  7. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_hertzienne_de_Villeneuve-d%27Ascq
  8. https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2162874
Fortunately all three of the tags are now all displayed on the standard layer so there shouldn't be any tagging for the renderer. But it would be good to fix the definitions and make the wiki much clearer, especially with more example photos. Then also ensuring the tags are well supported in each editor's presets.

Cheers

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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

SelfishSeahorse
Hi

On Sat, 29 Sep 2018 at 00:29, Michael Booth <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> The Wiki definition is: "a huge tower for transmitting radio applications.... It is often made from concrete and usually a far visible landmark." https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:man%20made=communications%20tower
>
> Looking at examples of this tag in OSM I would guess that out of the <4,000 objects worldwide most of them do not conform to that definition. Many of them are small mobile phone/cell site "masts", towers less than 100m, or very tall guyed masts.

I fail to understand the difference between a
man_made=communications_tower and man_made=tower +
tower:type=communication. Aren't all towers far visible landmarks?
When is a tower huge? The wiki page also says that 'another indication
is, that a man_made=communications_tower has stairs and a lift inside,
whereas as man_made=tower, tower:type=communication has to be climbed
on the outside.' However this is contradictory with the definition of
man_made=tower: 'a tower is accessible and provides platforms, whereas
a mast only offers ladder steps to climb it.'

It might be better to discourage man_made=communications_tower and tag
them man_made=tower + tower:type=communication + height=*.

> I'd like to retag the structures near me to something more suitable - however the wiki pages aren't very clear in distinguishing between the various constructions and sizes for masts and towers.

I'm not an expert on this, but i think the distinction steps/lift
inside (= tower) vs latter outside (= mast) makes sense.

> Hopefully people can agree that the following should be tagged as man_made=mast or tower + tower:type=communication + tower:construction + height? Using TV transmitters in the UK as examples:
>
> * mast - guyed lattice, 306m: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durris_transmitting_station
> * mast - guyed tube, 351m: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belmont_transmitting_station
> * tower - lattice, 219m: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_Palace_transmitting_station
> * tower - freestanding, 330m: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emley_Moor_transmitting_station

I would have tagged them the same.

Why aren't 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 masts and 4 and 7 towers? Because the
structure itself is an antenna?

By the way, i'm wondering if poles with mounted antennas like in the
following image can also be called masts or if man_made=pole
(undocumented, but 2 047 uses so far) would be better?

https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/File:Mobilfunkmasten_auf_Wohnhaus_Gotzingerplatz_Muenchen.JPG

Regards
Markus

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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

Graeme Fitzpatrick


On Sun, 30 Sep 2018 at 00:54, SelfishSeahorse <[hidden email]> wrote:

On Sat, 29 Sep 2018 at 00:29, Michael Booth <[hidden email]> wrote:

I fail to understand the difference between a
man_made=communications_tower and man_made=tower +
tower:type=communication. Aren't all towers far visible landmarks?
When is a tower huge? The wiki page also says that 'another indication
is, that a man_made=communications_tower has stairs and a lift inside,
whereas as man_made=tower, tower:type=communication has to be climbed
on the outside.' However this is contradictory with the definition of
man_made=tower: 'a tower is accessible and provides platforms, whereas
a mast only offers ladder steps to climb it.'

It might be better to discourage man_made=communications_tower and tag
them man_made=tower + tower:type=communication + height=*.

> I'd like to retag the structures near me to something more suitable - however the wiki pages aren't very clear in distinguishing between the various constructions and sizes for masts and towers.

I'm not an expert on this, but i think the distinction steps/lift
inside (= tower) vs latter outside (= mast) makes sense.

Agree with you both that the definitions are contradictory :-(

"In structural engineering, mast is a vertical structure, supported by external guys and anchors.

This is the only existing definite feature that could be used to differentiate masts and towers."

but then shows an photo example of a "mast" with no guys.


> 1. https://binged.it/2xILZO9
> 2. https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2361955
> 3. https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2337468
> 4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charwelton_BT_Tower
> 5. https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2053885
> 6. https://binged.it/2xTxcQK
> 7. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_hertzienne_de_Villeneuve-d%27Ascq
> 8. https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2162874

Why aren't 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 masts and 4 and 7 towers? Because the
structure itself is an antenna?

Going by that definition, none of them are masts are they're not guyed? But this:
 
By the way, i'm wondering if poles with mounted antennas like in the
following image can also be called masts or if man_made=pole
(undocumented, but 2 047 uses so far) would be better?

Possibly so, but by your own question "When is a tower huge?", when does a pole become a mast / tower? :-)

Thanks

Graeme

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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

SelfishSeahorse
On Sun, 30 Sep 2018 at 03:13, Graeme Fitzpatrick <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:man_made%3Dmast says that
>
> "In structural engineering, mast is a vertical structure, supported by external guys and anchors.
>
> This is the only existing definite feature that could be used to differentiate masts and towers."
>
> but then shows an photo example of a "mast" with no guys.

Thanks for pointing to that definition -- i wasn't aware of it. The
confusion on the wiki seems to come from the fact that 'the terms
"mast" and "tower" are often used interchangeably', as noted on
Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_masts_and_towers#Mast_or_tower?

That is, we have two contradictory definitions on the wiki: the
engineering definition according to which a tower is freestanding and
mast guyed, and the other definition according to which 'a tower is
accessible and provides platforms, whereas a mast only offers ladder
steps to climb it'. (Where does this latter definition come from?)

To solve the contradiction we need to get rid of one of the two definitions.

Regards
Markus

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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

dieterdreist


sent from a phone

> On 30. Sep 2018, at 14:39, SelfishSeahorse <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> To solve the contradiction we need to get rid of one of the two definitions.


they could be combined: if it is intended to be accessed by people (not only for maintenance) and is not guyed it is a tower, otherwise it would be a mast.

cheers,
Martin
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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

SelfishSeahorse
On Sun, 30 Sep 2018 at 14:45, Martin Koppenhoefer
<[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > To solve the contradiction we need to get rid of one of the two definitions.
>
> they could be combined: if it is intended to be accessed by people (not only for maintenance) and is not guyed it is a tower, otherwise it would be a mast.

I think it's better to stick to either a common or a technical
definition. OSM-specific definitions are prone to create confusion and
tagging mistakes.

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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

SelfishSeahorse
On Sun, 30 Sep 2018 at 17:24, SelfishSeahorse <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On Sun, 30 Sep 2018 at 14:45, Martin Koppenhoefer
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > To solve the contradiction we need to get rid of one of the two definitions.
> >
> > they could be combined: if it is intended to be accessed by people (not only for maintenance) and is not guyed it is a tower, otherwise it would be a mast.
>
> I think it's better to stick to either a common or a technical
> definition. OSM-specific definitions are prone to create confusion and
> tagging mistakes.

PS: Except if this appears to be a common definition.

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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

Lionel Giard
Looking at the definition on the wikiproject telecom https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/WikiProject_Telecoms (in the part "Antennas / Masts / Towers", there is a section to indicate how to tag the mast, tower ...: 

From my understandings, the three (four) cases are currently : 
- a vertical structure supported by anchors for a mast;
- a free-standing structure for a tower (it can be a tower of 10 meters or 150 meters !);
- and the communication_tower is only a sub-category of a tower, for the ones with an height > 100 meters (i suppose it is an historic method to get big tower rendered differently without knowing the height exactly - for the towers that are a clear landscape reference). 
(- And for antenna (alone) on buildings,  there is "telecom=antenna".)

Probably most of the mast are only accessible via ladder, and most of the big tower have a platform (i don't know if all of them does), but does it really matter ?

The question i could see is : do we really need the communication_tower tag or should it be a secondary tag of the tower itself (like tower_type=*) ? I think it is useful to distinguish them somehow as it is useful as a landmark on the map, but am i alone to think that ?

Le dim. 30 sept. 2018 à 18:04, SelfishSeahorse <[hidden email]> a écrit :
On Sun, 30 Sep 2018 at 17:24, SelfishSeahorse <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On Sun, 30 Sep 2018 at 14:45, Martin Koppenhoefer
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > To solve the contradiction we need to get rid of one of the two definitions.
> >
> > they could be combined: if it is intended to be accessed by people (not only for maintenance) and is not guyed it is a tower, otherwise it would be a mast.
>
> I think it's better to stick to either a common or a technical
> definition. OSM-specific definitions are prone to create confusion and
> tagging mistakes.

PS: Except if this appears to be a common definition.

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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

dieterdreist
In reply to this post by SelfishSeahorse


sent from a phone

> On 30. Sep 2018, at 17:24, SelfishSeahorse <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I think it's better to stick to either a common or a technical
> definition.


it doesn’t have to be the British definition of terms, has it?

Cheers,
Martin
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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

SelfishSeahorse
On Sun, 30 Sep 2018 at 19:34, Martin Koppenhoefer
<[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > I think it's better to stick to either a common or a technical
> > definition.
>
>
> it doesn’t have to be the British definition of terms, has it?

It would already be helpful if there actually were a common definition
to distinguish masts from towers.

By the way, i've written a message to the person who added the
definition to the wiki that 'a tower is accessible and provides
platforms, whereas a mast only offers ladder steps to climb it' [1]
and asked him where this definition comes from and what 'accessible'
exactly means (a ladder also provides access).

[1]: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Tag:man_made%3Dmast&diff=next&oldid=795248

Regards
Markus

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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

dieterdreist


sent from a phone

> On 30. Sep 2018, at 20:19, SelfishSeahorse <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> a tower is accessible and provides
> platforms, whereas a mast only offers ladder steps to climb it' [1]
> and asked him where this definition comes from and what 'accessible'
> exactly means (a ladder also provides access).


while a ladder is clearly intended for access, there is a difference to a staircase or elevator, I guess you can also see it?

I agree the wiki definitions / wording can be improved.

cheers,
Martin



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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

Mark Wagner
In reply to this post by SelfishSeahorse
On Sun, 30 Sep 2018 20:19:58 +0200
SelfishSeahorse <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sun, 30 Sep 2018 at 19:34, Martin Koppenhoefer
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >  
> > > I think it's better to stick to either a common or a technical
> > > definition.  
> >
> >
> > it doesn’t have to be the British definition of terms, has it?  
>
> It would already be helpful if there actually were a common definition
> to distinguish masts from towers.
>
> By the way, i've written a message to the person who added the
> definition to the wiki that 'a tower is accessible and provides
> platforms, whereas a mast only offers ladder steps to climb it' [1]
> and asked him where this definition comes from and what 'accessible'
> exactly means (a ladder also provides access).

I suspect it comes from observing European-style radio towers (for
example, Fernsehturm Berlin[1]).  The confusion comes from the fact
that these are virtually unknown outside of Europe and Asia -- there's
only one in the Western Hemisphere, and none in Africa.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernsehturm_Berlin

--
Mark

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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

Bill Ricker

only one in the Western Hemisphere,

I presume you're thinking of Toronto's CN Tower, but the Space Needle in Seattle though listed as an Observation Tower has a transmitter spike on top, so serves the same dual purposes as Fernsehturms in Germany, as TV transmitter and tourist trap. 

There are a goodly number of smaller hilltop closed, cylindrical concrete microwave towers in USA, with protected interior stairs, built initially for a survivable phone and classified networks, by AT&T and WHCA. Concrete, tower, for antennae. But no public observation gallery.


--

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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

dieterdreist
In reply to this post by Mark Wagner


sent from a phone

On 1. Oct 2018, at 06:07, Mark Wagner <[hidden email]> wrote:

I suspect it comes from observing European-style radio towers (for
example, Fernsehturm Berlin[1]).


For the record: the mother of all these towers with a shaft in reinforced concrete is actually in Stuttgart: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernsehturm_Stuttgart

Cheers,
Martin 

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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

Andrew Harvey-3
In reply to this post by Michael Booth
The rule of thumb I've been using is a mast being a simple pole (same
width at base and top), and a tower being anything else that has more
supports.

I do think we need something simple to distinguish simple mobile phone
towers like (1) and larger television/radio broadcast towers like (2)
and it seems like mast/tower is it.

(1) https://www.mapillary.com/app/?focus=photo&lat=-33.93286508330576&lng=151.18355422222226&z=17&pKey=LDefrZ_M7MJDsLuLEdJgbw&x=0.7464902074345785&y=0.45923282717222375&zoom=1.4281437125748506

(2) https://www.mapillary.com/app/?focus=photo&lat=-33.82031388888889&lng=151.18473611108334&z=17&pKey=9HZD5c2vDjDBTmz-LwKuCA&x=0.6698933374381035&y=0.29396379693325986&zoom=0
On Sat, 29 Sep 2018 at 08:29, Michael Booth <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hi,
>
> I opened an issue on the rendering of man_made=communications_tower on the standard layer over on OSM-carto: https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/issues/3414 and think there should be a discussion about the tagging as well.
>
> The Wiki definition is: "a huge tower for transmitting radio applications.... It is often made from concrete and usually a far visible landmark." https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:man%20made=communications%20tower
>
> Looking at examples of this tag in OSM I would guess that out of the <4,000 objects worldwide most of them do not conform to that definition. Many of them are small mobile phone/cell site "masts", towers less than 100m, or very tall guyed masts.
>
> I'd like to retag the structures near me to something more suitable - however the wiki pages aren't very clear in distinguishing between the various constructions and sizes for masts and towers.
>
> Hopefully people can agree that the following should be tagged as man_made=mast or tower + tower:type=communication + tower:construction + height? Using TV transmitters in the UK as examples:
>
> mast - guyed lattice, 306m: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durris_transmitting_station
> mast - guyed tube, 351m: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belmont_transmitting_station
> tower - lattice, 219m: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_Palace_transmitting_station
> tower - freestanding, 330m: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emley_Moor_transmitting_station
>
> But how should these examples be tagged in OSM? All of them are self-supporting structures, so in engineering terms they are not masts.
>
> https://binged.it/2xILZO9
> https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2361955
> https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2337468
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charwelton_BT_Tower
> https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2053885
> https://binged.it/2xTxcQK
> https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_hertzienne_de_Villeneuve-d%27Ascq
> https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2162874
>
> Fortunately all three of the tags are now all displayed on the standard layer so there shouldn't be any tagging for the renderer. But it would be good to fix the definitions and make the wiki much clearer, especially with more example photos. Then also ensuring the tags are well supported in each editor's presets.
>
> Cheers
>
> _______________________________________________
> Tagging mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/tagging

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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

dieterdreist


Am Mo., 1. Okt. 2018 um 16:06 Uhr schrieb Andrew Harvey <[hidden email]>:
The rule of thumb I've been using is a mast being a simple pole (same
width at base and top), and a tower being anything else that has more
supports.


I would not negate that a mast can be tapered.

 

I do think we need something simple to distinguish simple mobile phone
towers like (1) and larger television/radio broadcast towers like (2)
and it seems like mast/tower is it.


If this is the reason why we need a distinction, I'd rather use tags that state it, then rely on some indirect fuzzy mast/tower distinction.
man_made=broadcast_tower vs. man_made=cellphone_tower (for example).
Certainly, choosing "communication tower" for both types but under different keys wasn't  a solution that satisfies our requirements (reduce confusion and be easily applicable while allowing to distinguish what people want to distinguish).

Cheers,
Martin

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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

José G Moya Y.
Michael Booth says that this is not a tower, but it seems to have stairs inside, and even windows. 

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_hertzien
ne_de_Villeneuve-d%27Ascq

WP says it is over 100m tall, too.

I don't have a telecomm background, but I think the "seems to be a building, is hollow inside and has normal stairs instead of outer ladder" is a good hint for casual mappers.


El lun., 1 oct. 2018 16:24, Martin Koppenhoefer <[hidden email]> escribió:


Am Mo., 1. Okt. 2018 um 16:06 Uhr schrieb Andrew Harvey <[hidden email]>:
The rule of thumb I've been using is a mast being a simple pole (same
width at base and top), and a tower being anything else that has more
supports.


I would not negate that a mast can be tapered.

 

I do think we need something simple to distinguish simple mobile phone
towers like (1) and larger television/radio broadcast towers like (2)
and it seems like mast/tower is it.


If this is the reason why we need a distinction, I'd rather use tags that state it, then rely on some indirect fuzzy mast/tower distinction.
man_made=broadcast_tower vs. man_made=cellphone_tower (for example).
Certainly, choosing "communication tower" for both types but under different keys wasn't  a solution that satisfies our requirements (reduce confusion and be easily applicable while allowing to distinguish what people want to distinguish).

Cheers,
Martin
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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

François Lacombe-2
Hi,

Le lun. 1 oct. 2018 à 17:19, José G Moya Y. <[hidden email]> a écrit :
Michael Booth says that this is not a tower, but it seems to have stairs inside, and even windows. 

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_hertzien
ne_de_Villeneuve-d%27Ascq

It's definitely a tower.
In French it's called a "Tour" which literally stands for tower.

More globally, man_made should not have any "telecom" or "telecommunication" values.
man_made=tower is enough and then telecom=* and eventually usage=* may be used to complete.

All the best

François


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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

Graeme Fitzpatrick
In reply to this post by dieterdreist


On Tue, 2 Oct 2018 at 00:24, Martin Koppenhoefer <[hidden email]> wrote:
If this is the reason why we need a distinction, I'd rather use tags that state it, then rely on some indirect fuzzy mast/tower distinction.
man_made=broadcast_tower vs. man_made=cellphone_tower (for example).
Certainly, choosing "communication tower" for both types but under different keys wasn't  a solution that satisfies our requirements (reduce confusion and be easily applicable while allowing to distinguish what people want to distinguish)

 Then you get other "fuzzy" ones :-), such as this one that I found yesterday: 

I was in this area last week & went in yesterday to check & if necessary update some map features. I found that this tower is currently mapped as a water_tower https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/740880328#map=19/-28.21438/152.86816. Well, yes, it is as it has a water tank on top, but it also supports various mobile phone & TV antennae, so what should it be?

Thanks

Graeme

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Re: mast / tower / communication_tower (again)

Paul Allen
On Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 10:16 PM Graeme Fitzpatrick <[hidden email]> wrote:

I was in this area last week & went in yesterday to check & if necessary update some map features. I found that this tower is currently mapped as a water_tower https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/740880328#map=19/-28.21438/152.86816. Well, yes, it is as it has a water tank on top, but it also supports various mobile phone & TV antennae, so what should it be?

Given that it has a lattice structure, it is (according to the wiki definition) a water mast. :)

--
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