[Tagging] Landuse for vacant lots

Greg Troxel gdt at lexort.com
Tue Mar 14 14:58:25 UTC 2017

Tom Pfeifer <t.pfeifer at computer.org> writes:

> On 13.03.2017 15:55, Nelson A. de Oliveira wrote:
>> "landuse" says that a specific piece of land is being used for something.
>> Then "disused" says that it's being used for nothing.
> Yes that is a form of troll tagging, negating the key. Thus I'd prefer
> brownfield as above.

I disagree about calling it troll.  I think landuse should have a set of
values such that exactly one value is used for any particular land.
Therefore there will be at least oen value that indicate that the land
isn't really being used.  The underlying negation issue actually does
exist in the world, and it's better to represent it straightforwardly as
an exceptional case than to insist on a different key because the
implied semantics of landuse are uncomfortable with disused.

Part of the reaason I advocate for a mutually exclusive jointly
exhaustive set of landuse tags is that this seems to be the tradition in
human geography.  The other part is that such structure seems to make it
easier for data consumers.

> I agree that landcover=* can describe what has grown there.

I also agree.  But even further, landcover and landuse should be
independent tags, and each location should have both.   If there is a
lot that is currently covered with grass, landcover=grass is
appropriate.  But there should also be a landuse.

I have been unclear on brownfield/greenfield, but would look it up in
the wiki if needed :-) While OSM uses standard British English, I as an
en_US speaker perceive brownfield/greenfield to be relatively recent
politically-inspired terms rather than terms of longer standing and thus
more likely to be understood by en_(not-GB) speakers.

I would also agree that a vacant house would be landuse=residential

It may be that if brownfield just means "was used, and now more or less
has structures/etc. from the previous use removed" and not "slated for
development", then all cases where I would want to use landuse=disused
would be served by brownfield.
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