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I would like, starting sometime later this summer, to add locations of and information about the public fountains in Rome. Before I go hacking away, is there an expert who could guide me a bit?

I see that some "fountains" have been marked. The scare quotes mean I'm confused over the use of the tags on them. There seem to be 2 types: Amenity Fountain (icon fountain) and drinking water (icon faucet & glass). In Rome, these overlap considerably. Almost all the fountains, which I would mark with a Fountain, because they are decorative, are also potable.

The drinking water designation seems to me more suitable for the nasoni: utilitarian little hydrants. Of which there are a thousand, at least! Not mapping them!

So which is more relevant: decorative Fountain or potable drinking water? And is there a way to give the proper historical names to them? Or add other historical details? Link to Wikipedia? Etc?

Please advise on the best way to go. Thanks!

Bucky Edgett

asked 24 May '13, 19:28

BuckyE's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

There is an app for the nasoni called i nasoni di roma which maps the nasoni all over the city and helps you find the nearest to where you are. I think it is a wonderful idea to map the fountains!

(08 Mar '22, 16:36) baroquerome

The OpenStreetMap database consists of objects with attached tags. Objects can have more than one tag, in fact, most objects do have more than one.

The tag for a fountain is amenity=fountain and the tag for drinking water is amenity=drinking_water. As they both belong to the same category (amenity), you can't apply both (except if you use the semi-colon as a separator). But you don't have to, because the wiki page of amenity=fountain clearly shows that there is also the drinkable=* tag.

So whenever you want to map a fountain which also contains drinkable water you apply both tags (amenity=fountain and drinkable=yes). Your editor might have a preset for the tags but if not then you can usually add them manually (for example in Potlatch 2 via the advanced tab). If you want to map a fountain which has no drinkable water you can also add the tag drinkable=no so that other users will see that this information has been surveyed.

There is also the historic tag for historic information. If the information you are searching for is not in the wiki you can also have a look at other values for historic=* on taginfo because not everything is documented in our wiki. Additionally taginfo also shows commonly used tag combinations.

Names can of course be added with the name tag. There are also several name categories like old_name for historic names and loc_name for local names which differ from the official name. And of course names for localization.

If you know the build date of the fountain you can use the tag start_date. It is even possible to specify the civilization, period or era.

Links to wikipedia are possible as well.

And there is more. Just search the wiki or taginfo if you are looking for a specific information you want to enter to find the appropriate tags. Not every tag has a preset in your editor and the less often used ones have to be entered manually until someone creates a preset for them.

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answered 24 May '13, 19:54

scai's gravatar image

scai ♦
accept rate: 23%

edited 25 May '13, 11:53


Thank you, scai. I see I have a lot to learn, and your answer is certainly as complete as I could wish!

Does the community mind/would it mind, if I changed tags that are currently "amenity=drinking_water" to "amenity=fountain," adding the "drinkable=" tags as appropriate? I don't want to step on toes or undo work that is considered useful.

Is there any consensus on which tag (one which highlights the historic/artistic aspect, one which highlights the utilitarian aspect) might be considered more useful to more map users? Sorry if I'm causing more trouble than the work will be worth!

(24 May '13, 22:18) BuckyE

Of course you can change the tags if you think it will improve the data. Sometimes it is a good idea to contact the original user and to tell him why you changed those tags. This prevents edit wars and the other user might learn something from you.

(25 May '13, 11:56) scai ♦

Amenity=drinking_water could just be a drinking fountain, such as this

I think it would be wrong to change all amenity=drinking water to amenity=fountain without surveying each.

A map user how expects to find a fountain would have a wasted journey if all they find when they get there is a drinking fountain.

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answered 27 May '13, 17:05

trigpoint's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%


Thank you, trig. I will not "change all amenity=drinking water to amenity=fountain"! I will survey what's there. The difference is important.

(28 May '13, 15:34) BuckyE

Hi Bucky,

Great idea - approx 2-3 dozen people will do that already end of April 2020. Maybe we could join forces?

see also


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answered 26 Jan '20, 08:52

ralfhauser's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

You have noticed the date of Bucky's enquiry, haven't you?

(26 Jan '20, 14:52) TZorn

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question asked: 24 May '13, 19:28

question was seen: 8,446 times

last updated: 08 Mar '22, 16:36

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum