[Tagging] cleanup of the key natural

Dan S danstowell+osm at gmail.com
Tue Oct 7 17:40:37 UTC 2014

Hi Martin,

OK, well since you requested comments: Firstly, I find it difficult to
understand what makes your proposed split more "coherent" or "easy to
learn" than thewiki- grouping that you propose to revert! By the way
please don't start a revert battle without first talking to that

Secondly, these tags are used so widely that I think you may have
missed your chance. For example it's not clear to me whether you would
accept natural=tree (see my first point), but since there are more
than 4 million of them, I think you are going to have to accept them.

If you want to make a change to the tagging of a massive number of
objects, you're going to need a _really_ persuasive argument. Not to
persuade me, but to persuade the "crowd"...

Just my 2p


2014-10-07 14:42 GMT+01:00 Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com>:
> According to the wiki, the natural key is currently a mixture of different
> aspects of something. The wiki states that it covers a selection of
> "geological" and "landcover" features.
> My suggestion is to keep only geological/geographical features in "natural"
> (all three, point features like peak and spring as well as linear features
> like natural=cliff or coastline and areas like
> natural=fell/wetland/beach/heath/bay/scrub/...) and to move the landcover
> features (those describing material rather than features, e.g. "mud" and
> "sand") to a different key (my suggestion is "landcover" but there are also
> mappers advocating "surface").
> A more coherent scheme would have a lot of advantages (easier to learn and
> understand because of more inherent logics, easier to maintain and extend
> and would allow to elaborate on different aspects for the same area object
> (i.e. will lead to more detailed data in the end)).
> ---
> Additionally I have spotted that recently a user has decided to group the
> features according to his interpretation:
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Template:Map_Features:natural&action=history
> I believe that this new grouping is disputable and propose to revert this
> change.
> ---
> Please comment.
> cheers,
> Martin
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