[Tagging] landcover=trees definition

Daniel Koć daniel at xn--ko-wla.pl
Mon Aug 10 09:35:53 UTC 2015

W dniu 03.08.2015 11:59, Tom Pfeifer napisał(a):
> christian.pietzsch at googlemail.com wrote on 2015-08-03 09:20:
>> landcover=trees has it's origins in this proposal: 
>> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/landcover
>> The proposal wanted to seperate the phsyical landscape (landcover) 
>> from the cultural landscape (landuse).
>> But the proposal never got the support it needed to get established.
> 17000 x landcover in the database, by 748 different users, of which
> 9300 are trees, is definitely support. Probably the key should be 
> refined and
> documented more precisely.

That's exactly why I think we should at least make specific proposition 
page for trees (9 299 uses), so it can evolve and be more precise. The 
same for the grass (4 053). These are not big numbers comparing to other 
landuse/natural tags of course, but it's clear they are established in 
terms of usage and still significant numbers (especially considering the 
fact they are only mentioned in one place on the Wiki).

I wonder what the landcover=garden (1 389) could really mean and what 
other tagging could be used instead, but even trees+grass alone are 
perfect good reason to use this namespace. Important effect of this will 
be better quality of currently used tags, because now forest/wood are 
tainted by too much of blind guessing - we don't even know to what 
extent! Natural=wood tag is probably hit harder by this, because it's 
commonly used in two different meanings and it lost a lot of its 
credibility, but natural=forest is also affected.

There are however some unresolved questions how many users really use 
trees tag now (it was the discussion on default map style):


> Martin Koppenhoefer wrote on 2015-08-03 10:00:
>> it is an orthogonal tagging scheme to map physical landcover as 
>> opposed to landuse
>> and abstract geographic entities like natural ...
> Which makes a lot of sense. I often have cases that a commercial or 
> residential
> plot of land (which boundaries are now mappable from open land registry 
> data)
> which is covered in parts by certain vegetation or surface (which is 
> visible in
> aerial photography).
> Being able to combine these different sources will bring out the
> strengths of OSM.
> The tag also helps to solve the issue that nature claims back land that 
> is not
> used by humans anymore, with arbitrary vegetation, and no land_use_ tag 
> fits.

Big +1 for all above.

Being orthogonal here is the key for micromapping places like parks for 

"The train is always on time / The trick is to be ready to put your bags 
down" [A. Cohen]

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