[Tagging] Tagging established, unofficial and wild campings

Jan van Bekkum jan.vanbekkum at gmail.com
Tue Feb 24 13:58:53 UTC 2015

*Camping categories*
>From this discussion I propose to maintain three categories, but name them
as listed below. I give examples from own experience from our overland trip
from the Netherlands to South Africa in an attempt to answer the question
why we would want them on the map:

   - Designated: everything that has been designated to accommodate
   campers: (a) commercial campsites, with hot showers, swimming pool, etc.,
   (b) locations in a town where you are allowed to put your camper. You don't
   pay but have few or no amenities. France has many of such places, (c) the
   "camping" in a N.P. It is the only place in the park where you can camp,
   you don't pay on top of the park entrance fee, there are no amenities. We
   had one like this in Akagera N.P. in Rwanda, (d)... see more examples from
   the previous mail. Additional tags (fee=*) and nodes (amenity=shower, ...)
   tell more about the services level of the camping;
   - Opportunistic (?): camping facilities that are opportunistic (from the
   point of view of the provider): hotels/hostels etc. that allow campers to
   park at their premises and offer access to their amenities (key of a hotel
   room to take a shower, access to shared ablutions, etc.). You find this a
   lot in countries without and established camping culture. In a city like
   Axum in Ethiopia you may find 15 hotels of which 3 provide this service
   - Informal: to be used in areas where you are allowed to camp anywhere
   except...like in Sweden) or where no rules exist (like in many countries in
   African and the Middle East (except the rules invented on the spot by local
   policemen :-))), but where a place is much more appropriate to camp than
   other places in the environment. Some examples: (1) we had a hard time
   finding a good spot in Dubai with its high building density. Few people in
   Dubai will object if you just put your camper on the parking lot of a
   shopping mall, but it is not really nice. We eventually found a spot near
   the kite club at a tiny stretch of public beach with public toilets and
   beach showers, (2) for safety reasons it is in general not recommended to
   camp wild in Tanzania. In one area of the country, far away from any
   designated campsite, we found a mission station that offered us shelter,
   but no amenities, (3) in Tabriz in Iran is one location almost all
   overlanders go to: a guarded parking near one of the city parks with public
   toilets nearby, (4) in the Kaluts desert in Iran is one stretch of road of
   some 5 km with breathtaking countryside. It does not really matter where
   you camp within the 5 km stretch, but it should be within that area.

*No camping areas*
By its nature OSM is not complete, certainly in developing countries: if a
camping opportunity in Kenya is not on OSM I do not automatically assume
there is no camping. Therefore if a camping is discontinued (we had for
example one camping in Meknes, Morocco that was closed by the municipality
and a hotel in Ethiopia that had offered camper facilities, but stopped
doing so - the hotel itself continued business) it should not just be
removed from OSM, because if I find the camping in other, older sources I
just assume that nobody has mapped it in OSM. So I would like to have it on
the map with some marking that it no longer operational.

In countries like the Netherlands where you are not allowed to camp
anywhere except in designated areas a "no camping" warning is not needed.
In countries that allow for camping anywhere except... there is a tri
state: positive exceptions like described above neutral place (anywhere is
ok, nothing is special) and negative exceptions (police chases you away
like we had in one place in Iran, history of robbery of earlier campers,
protected area, etc.). As a traveler I want to be warned. I don't think the
main tag should be tourism=camp_site, with subtagging explaining why the
place should *not *be used: general renderers like OsmAnd will still show
the spot with a regular camping symbol, sending exactly the opposite
message of what you want. You can find out from the "small print" of the
details of a node, but you lose it in the overview. Perhaps we should
introduce a tag tourism=no_camp_site.



On Tue Feb 24 2015 at 11:47:47 AM Paul Johnson <baloo at ursamundi.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 3:59 AM, Martin Koppenhoefer <
> dieterdreist at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 2015-02-24 5:23 GMT+01:00 Paul Johnson <baloo at ursamundi.org>:
>>> they're just there because enough people have camped in the same spot.
>> +0,9
>> actually people (if not completely ignorant) tend to camp in spots that
>> are suitable to do so. Those will not be the only possibility, naturally,
>> but they will typically provide good conditions (view, even terrain, enough
>> space, protected from wind and weather, sunny / shady, accessible, ...), so
>> even if those spots are not designated for camping but only put into
>> existence by usage, knowing their location might still be useful.
> Especially since low-impact campers will usually try to pick a spot that
> has already been impacted in an effort to reduce increasing a manmade
> impact footprint (assuming we're not talking Tre Arrow
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tre_Arrow> types), knowing where these are
> in advance can be handy.  Such a spot can be found at the hook end of NFD
> 4420 in the MHNF near http://osm.org/go/WILBqCsE--?m= (which,
> coincidentally, someone should check to see who is deleting vast shitloads
> of tracks in that forest, since I know there was far, far, far more NFD
> routes in there than appear on OSM now, and I know NFD 44 is littered with
> all kinds of four-digit branches, largely ungated and open.  I suspect some
> vandalism or a potentially accidental deletion may have been in play.
> BTW, I based on local knowledge, I recommend* not* attempting to ground
> survey this until June or July as Dufur Valley Road (NFD 44) is not plowed
> by the Forest Service at all, full length.  The Boy Scouts of America do
> plow from Heimrich Street in Dufur, Oregon to NFD 4460 (Camp Baldwin's
> driveway) for the livability of their camp ranger, who is there
> year-round.  The ~11 mile segment west of 4460 to OR 35 is impassable until
> the thaw, often well into June assuming the BSA doesn't plow open the west
> end to avoid a  lengthy detour for summer camp troops around on I 84 to
> loop back to Dufur and come up from the other side in years with a long
> winter.  (Can you tell I've spent way too long on 44?)
>> We could be using the "informal" modifier for places like this, which I
>> use on paths as well.
>> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:informal
>> Just "informal=yes" together with tourism=camp_site doesn't sound right
>> though, I'd probably use something different as main tag to stronger
>> distinguish these features, e.g. leisure=camp_spot or tourism=camp_spot to
>> make clear it is a smaller place. When there is a recognizable and
>> reasonably secure spot to light a fire you could add additional feature
>> like http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:leisure%3Dfirepit
> I think a freestanding campsite using the established tag (but not within
> a campground or caravan site) should suffice.
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