Systematic tributary names from PASDA import

A couple years ago, @Mateusz_Konieczny spotted a number of systematic names on tributaries of Darby Creek near Philadelphia, such as “Trib 00808 To Darby Creek”. These waterways were imported from PASDA, a statewide GIS dataset. These names seem too unwieldy to use as common names for these streams, if they even have common names. Then again, not many people would have a reason to refer to such obscure creeks by name anyways; whatever the field scientists use might be fine to put on a map, as long as we expand the abbreviations.

There wasn’t much feedback in Slack or this note about how to deal with these systematic names, but @dannmer resolved Way: ‪Trib 00808‬ (‪28347307‬) | OpenStreetMap by splitting it up into ref=Trib 00808 and destination=Darby Creek. Does this seem like a reasonable tagging style that can be applied across the rest of the import? It’s unclear to me whether 00808 is a standalone reference number or whether it needs to be combined with “Darby Creek” to be unique. As far as I can tell, these reference numbers aren’t posted anywhere, so it might be misleading to use the main ref key versus something like ref:pasda.


I would consider removing them completely unless we understand how, if ever, these codes are used. And which part is a code.

For me it looks like debris from poorly done import.

(but I have not actually removed them as I never even visited USA).

Are those reference numbers used in any current dataset? I.e. could they be used to link to anything or is it true cruft?

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As far as I can tell, the PASDA networked streams dataset considers it to be the name of the tributary:

NAME: Trib 00808 To Darby Creek

It isn’t totally unheard of for names to have cryptic numbers in them, especially for obscure irrigation canals, peaks, bridges, on-ramps, and boundaries. It’s slightly more surprising here because the creeks are natural and run through a built-up area, but I guess either no one has managed to find out a more natural name for the creek or there was never an effort to name them all in the old days.