[Tagging] landcover=trees definition

John Willis johnw at mac.com
Mon Aug 17 21:35:23 UTC 2015

Then we can create some biome tags to handle more complex tagging, but being able to define commonly encountered landcovers is necessary. 

My city has huge flood control embankmnets along the natural river in certain places. There is abandoned sections of asphalt and concrete in patches in odd places (abandoned places)

There are also huge expanses of (planted) grass kept on other sections of the flood control levees which are just there - not a park, not a meadow - just grass. There are natural=scrub sections too. 

I know this issue started with forest/wood/trees, but there are other simple tags that can benefit from just "landcover" - and we can figure out more complicated "biome" tags as we go. Sometimes it is just cedar trees, pine trees, bamboo, eucalyptus, or California Oak,  - and the ground level biome is sparse/not interesting/not worthy enough to bother mapping. 

Maybe that can be extended with simple subtags (like forests) or some "OpenBotanyMap" kind of additional tags. 


> On Aug 18, 2015, at 1:50 AM, Friedrich Volkmann <bsd at volki.at> wrote:
>> On 17.08.2015 00:29, John Willis wrote:
>> This is the crux of the landcover argument. 
>> Because landuse=* implies what the land is used for - therefore man-altered and decided usefulness.  natural=* was then interpreted by taggers to be the opposite - the "natural" state of the land which was heavily influenced by the landuse=forest /natural=wood debacle. 
>> Landcover=* just says "this is here" , without adding implications as to its use or origin.
> I know what you mean, but you are missing the point that landcover is
> layered. "This his here" applies to bedrock, ground water, soil, surface
> water, vegetation (root layer, moss layer, herb layer, shrubs layer, tree
> layer), and air. So we need multiple keys to specify them all. Or we just
> consider one of these layers, but this needs to be clearly defined.
> We already have tags for certain layers, such as surface=*. Unfortunately,
> that key is spoiled by surface=grass which means another layer. This would
> better go to a vegetation related tag. The most common tag for vegetation is
> natural=* - which in turn is even less clean because it covers surface,
> water and landforms as well.
> Let's not make the same mistake again with landcover=*.
> One solution could be a landcover:* scheme instead of a single key. Say,
> landcover:surface=* for earth/sand/mud/rock/concrete/asphalt/etc. Then some
> vegetation tags:
> landcover:vegetation:moss=yes/no/percentage
> landcover:vegetation:herbs=yes/no/percentage
> landcover:vegetation:herbs=yes/no/percentage
> landcover:vegetation:shrubs:=yes/no/percentage
> landcover:vegetation:trees=yes/no/percentage
> (with percentage = 100 * covered area / total area, so the sum of the
> percentages possibly exceeds 100)
> as well as
> landcover:vegetation:herbs:height=0.2
> landcover:vegetation:shrubs:height=1.5
> landcover:vegetation:trees:height=10
> This would enable nice 3D rendering.
>> This also would allow for some man-made landcovers; as several times i am dealing with a place where concrete or asphalt is covering the ground, but not as road or path or building. This is a weaker use case, but it would be nice to say "here is 2000sqm of concrete. It is the remnant of an old airport. The airport is gone, it is not a road, a building or a structure. It is now a (currently) purposeless expanse of concrete. Currently I have to map it as the negative space surrounded by other things (meadow) to leave the impression something is there (NAS Alameda in San Francisco is a perfect example: https://www.google.com/maps/@37.7813303,-122.3170894,16z/data=!3m1!1e3 part of it is now roads, tracks, or other facilities, but it is an abandoned airport where most of the feature has no use nor is natural).
> We can map the area of a highway as either highway=xxx + area=yes, or
> area:highway=xxx. If it is no more in use, we can add disused=yes or
> abandoned=yes. We can use a similar approach for abandoned airports. I've
> also seen some abandoned primary highways tagged as highway=track, because
> they can still be used as tracks. This would also work for abandoned airport
> runways. All in all, we've got plenty of possibilities.
> Of course, if you just want to store the information that there is an area
> sealed with a layer of concrete, some simple surface=concrete would be more
> to the point.
>> Grass along the sides of manicured roads (like on a cutting or separation for safety or noise control), which are part of the roadway's land, but not part of the road - nearby residential houses, but not part of a residence nor used as a park - its there just to be grass.
> We've got landuse=grass for that.
>> Landcover=iceplant would be brilliant for southern California freeway mapping.
>> Its not used for anything other than being "iceplant"- occasionally a car will go in it, but it's job os just to be "there" so the ground isn't dirt or dead meadow grass. Sounds like a landcover to me.
> Or landuse=flowerbed and possibly species=Mesembryanthemum crystallinum.
>> If I had landcover=trees with a boundary  line like nature reserve, I wouldn't have to decide between wood and forest, when it is a bit of both.
> I agree that the forest/wood distinction causes headaches, yet both are more
> than just a cluster of trees. I wouldn't oppose landcover=* as much if the
> suggested tag für forests/woods were landcover=wood.
> -- 
> Friedrich K. Volkmann       http://www.volki.at/
> Adr.: Davidgasse 76-80/14/10, 1100 Wien, Austria
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