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

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny+osm at gmail.com
Wed Jul 27 19:01:33 UTC 2016

On Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 5:15 AM, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com
> wrote:

> yes, it fits well if you know what the situation is, but without
> documentation you don't know whether this is only supposed to be used for
> places where permits are generally granted, or if it is also used for
> places where you need very good reasons to ever get a permission to set
> your feet there (e.g. strict nature reserves where access is only granted
> to scientists).

That's a great point, and is the reason I asked about what the process is
for initiating a new tag (beyond just using it and possibly wikifying it).

What I'd propose informally:


Access is allowed to the general public provided that certain formalities
are observed in advance. By distinction, access=private and access=no refer
to cases where access must actually be negotiated and justified on an
individual basis, or access is reserved to certain classes of people, for
example, residents, club members, members of a given profession, or
adherents of a given religion). The access=permit tag does not address the
method by which permits may be obtained. Permits may be available for the
asking, may require reservation of a specific date, be awarded by lottery,
require payment of a fee, and so on.

At a minimum, access=permit should be paired with some sort of contact
where further information may be maintained. This may or may not be the
main contact associated with a feature. If it is a secondary contact, it
should be identified with permit:website=*, permit:phone=*, permit::fax=*,
permit:email=*, etc. If a fee is charged for the permit, the tagging may
include permit:fee=yes or permit:fee=<number> <currency>.


     New York City-owned watershed lands on which foot traffic is permitted
on condition of agreeing to terms and conditions and securing a permit.
(Permits are granted pretty much automatically on request.)

    Yosemite National Park. Permits are on a lottery system, and only a few
per cent of requests are granted. Nevertheless, the access is not limited
to specific classes of people.

permit:phone=+1(845) 985-2291 ext. 217
permit:email=naturalresources at frostvalley.org
permit:fee=55 USD per annum
    An example of a privately-owned camp that offers for-fee access to
members of the general public. The fee listed is the lowest fee without
invoking discounts for children, senior citizens, or local residents, or
surcharges for hunters and fishermen. The permit also requires a criminal
background check, which is disclosed on the website.

    The Eastern Zone of the High Peaks Wilderness Area requires a
self-issuing permit, obtainable at trailheads in that zone and at ranger
stations. (Acquiring the permit consists of filling out a carbon-paper
form, dropping the top copy in the letter box and taking the bottom copy
with you.)

Encoding all the endless variations on the theme is Out Of Scope: they can
be incorporated by reference using the contact information. The key is that
the landowner has a uniform policy allowing access by the general public as
long as formalities are observed, rather than restricting access to
particular classes of people. I do not envision using access=permit to
document "strict nature reserve accessible only to scientists", "monastic
community accessible only to certain male members of the Eastern churches",
"country club accessible only to members", "gated community accessible only
to residents," or even "the farmer's pretty friendly and will likely let
you cross his land if you ask politely."

For me, the boundary case would probably be New York's ASK program
http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/askperm.pdf - where a landowner can
voluntarily post contact information and indicate that permission may be
granted to strangers. There's a standard permission card that the state
provides http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/ask.pdf . Since the
landowner can still refuse permission for any reason or no reason, I'd
incline toward access=private, but most landowners that participate in the
program are delighted to have responsible visitors who monitor their
property for hazardous conditions, poachers, vandalism and encroachments.
The visitors that ask permission are likely also to clean up other people's
litter, clear deadfall from paths, and otherwise help the landowner keep
the land in good condition. Most landowners wouldn't participate if they
weren't prepared to welcome visitors, so I'd be even happier with
access=permit, to be able to include contact information.

So: does this sound like a reasonable proposal? How does one proceed with
actually proposing it as a feature?
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