[Tagging] Tagging Digest, Vol 42, Issue 26 Historic huts

Steve Bennett stevagewp at gmail.com
Thu Mar 28 06:03:06 UTC 2013

On Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 12:14 AM, St Niklaas <st.niklaas at live.nl> wrote:
> Since the hut is situated in Australia, why name it Alpine hut ? I always
> thought the Alps to be a European mountain range. In rural uninhabited areas
> there will be shelters like it all over the world.

Yeah, that's a bit messy. In Australia "Alps" means the Australian
Alps, and "alpine" generally means anything above a certain elevation
(maybe 1300m or so). It has a much stronger association with geography
and ecology than in Europe, where the association is cultural more
than anything. So I think in Europe, "alpine hut" means "a hut managed
in the Alpine style" (just like "Alpine style mountaineering").
Whereas in Australia, "alpine hut" means "a hut found in the elevated
Alpine region".

You might be amused to know that in Victoria (the southeastern state I
live in), we also have "Pyrenees", but we don't use this term as much.

> I would rather name it neutral, fi (mountain) hut, cabin or lodge. Despite
> of the former use, for cattle, hunting or just for emergency like Alpine
> shelters in remote areas.

In general I don't have a problem with using existing tags, even if
the semantics in different regions vary.

> If it’s not maintained I would use abandoned instead of ruins. And yes
> without maintenance it would graduatedly become a ruin but that’s mainly the
> climate.

Depends what you mean by "maintained". I think they're generally
"maintained" to their current, basic standard - if a wall fell down it
would probably be put back up (but I don't know by whom). When huts
burn down, they're even sometimes re-built.

I should mention for completeness that we do also have genuine, modern
huts that are intended for sleeping and eating in, which are
weatherproof and have fireplaces, both in the Alpine region and in
Tasmania. I'm not talking about those here, though. But I guess
tagging the historic ones as amenity=shelter and the modern ones as
amenity=wilderness_hut, shelter_type=basic_hut would cover the
distinction. (We don't, afaik, have any staffed huts that provide hot
meals - our hiking culture is about self-reliance etc.)


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