[Tagging] How to tag: public lands that are accessed by permit?

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Tue Jul 19 18:41:49 UTC 2016

On 2016-07-19 20:21, Kevin Kenny wrote:

> Gentlebeings,
> In a discussion today on 'imports,' Martin Koppenhoefer raised a
> concern that appears to have no answer in current tagging practice. I
> suspect that it's yet another case where a fairly common case in the
> US violates a hidden cultural assumption in OSM's data model.
> The case in question is government-owned lands that are open to the
> public but require a permit to access. In a great many cases the
> permits are free of charge and granted routinely to all who apply.
> In my work, this first came up with an import I did this spring of the
> New York City watershed recreation land boundaries. These are not
> located in New York City. Rather, they are land in the Catskill
> Mountains and in the Croton watershed, purchased by New York City to
> protect its water supply from development. Many of these lands require
> a permit to access, http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/424230670 is
> typical. The permit is obtained simply by filling out a Web form,
> submitting it, and printing out the PDF that is sent back, so it's
> effectively never denied.
> Someone on one of the lists proposed using the little-used
> 'access=permit' (or in this case, 'foot=permit') to tag this case.
> 'access=private' feels entirely wrong: it's not 'private land; keep
> out', but rather 'there are a few formalities to comply with.' I
> stated that agreed with 'access=permit', and the issue passed with
> little or no further comment.

If you need explicit permission, it's access=private, even if there are
loads of people with that explicit permission. 

To gain access to private property, you have to ask the landowner (or
their agent). If you want to cross my back yard, you can't - it's
private. But I can give you explicit permission. 

If the land is privately owned but the landowner makes no attempt to
keep you out, then it's access=permissive. But in this case, you are not
allowed in without *explicit* permission, so it's private. Unless (in
the UK anyway) it is a Public Right of Way - then the landowner has no
rights to keep you out, so the path may be access=yes even though the
land it crosses may be access=no/private. 

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