[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - register

Dudley Ibbett dudleyibbett at hotmail.com
Fri Mar 6 20:03:11 UTC 2015

The Dartmoor Letter Box dates back 50 years.   It was setup as a letter box.  i.e. you would leave a card or letter and the next person to visit would take the latter and the put it in an "proper" letter box.  My experience dates backs 35 years.  If they are still used in this way then perhaps they should be tagged as amenity=post_box, operator="next person to visit!"

From: bryce2 at obviously.com
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2015 11:00:13 -0800
To: tagging at openstreetmap.org; bsd at volki.at
Subject: Re: [Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - register

On Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 3:09 AM, Paul Johnson <baloo at ursamundi.org> wrote:

 May be related to the United States Department of Agriculture's National Forest Service use permits.  Typically a small wooden box with some pencils and waterproof application cards inside, on which you are either strongly encouraged or legally obligated to spell out where you're going, who's with you...

There are various types in the USA:

A "trail register" is at the trail head (start of a trail) or a wilderness entrance.  It's used to track visitor counts for statistics purposes, and for gaining hints about lost people after they are reported lost.  It's left by an official agency (official=yes).

A "log book" or "peak register" is a social creation, unrelated to the above.  These are placed at peaks, in caves, or or at nice destinations.  Visitors are encouraged to flip through past responses and leave their own.  People revisit old sites, perhaps with kids, and show off their entries.  These are typically kept in an old jar and hidden under a rock (official=no).
Some of the hardest to get to peaks in California have registers from 50 or more years back, which are still readable.  In some cases the registers, especially those signed by famous people like John Muir, have been archived elsewhere.  These are a social creation, not an official register.  In the USA the official land managers rarely if ever place a true log book, though they occasionally read them.

A "letterbox" and "geocache" are related extensions of the idea, developed later.  There are well developed sites outside of OSM for locating geocaches, in particular.  They are not the same as as "peak register", and appeal to different use cases. 

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