[Tagging] on the name of a tag for landcover

Johan Jönsson johan.j at goteborg.cc
Tue Jul 31 19:39:11 BST 2012


There are several ways to tag landcover with existing tags but if we where to 
define a new tag for grass along the lines of 
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/landcover
I would think it could look something like this:

I like to take up the possibility to use a landcover-key for grasslands and 
other areas of low vegetation that are not shrubs. I am influenced by the FAO-
landcover scheme and in short they suggest that one determines the dominating 
lifeform (tree/shrub/herbaceous). If the trees are more than sparse it is some 
kind of forest, if not and there are more than a sparse layer of shrubs it is 
some kind of shrubland and if not one of those it is herbaceous. (then they 
use a lot of more attributes to narrow it down)

landcover=herbaceous

Herbaceous is a bad word as it is rather hard to spell right. My guess is that 
it is a fancy latin word for herb-like, so maybe I can use landcover=herb or 
landcover=herbs instead. I relate herbs mostly to flowers and herbal spices 
and not soo much of grass. Apparently FAO means low growing vegetation that 
you could walk through, typically a kind of grasland. Herbs are vegetation 
that isn´t woody (another biology term) Shrubs and heather are defined as 
woody.
Another approach would be to replace herbs with something more common like 
grass. landcover grass should then cover all herbaceous vegetation. That might 
be hard for people to reconcile with in special nature where there are mostly 
non-grass herbs.

Another issue is that FAO makes a difference between managed or cultivated 
vegetated landcover and other "natural or semi-natural" vegetated landcovers. 
One of the big good things brought forward in the landcover discussion have 
been the possibility to get rid of landuse=grass, especially for big managed 
lawns in urban areas.  The reason FAO give for separating them is that the 
finer granularity of the classification follows different schemes depending on 
if it is managed, cultivated or if it is more like in the nature.

Not that there are missing tags to use for herbaceous areas, look at 
[[vegetation]], there are especially one broad and general tag

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:natural%3Dgrassland has a nice 
definition: 
"Natural areas 
where the vegetation is dominated by grasses (Poaceae) and other herbaceous 
(non-woody) plants. 
Excludes cultivated areas and wetlands."

I would like to have a similar landcover-tag that does not care if it is 
natural or not and includes what FAO calls managed lands (lawns, parks as 
opposed to cultivated lands like farms that are harvested)




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