[Tagging] Park vs national park

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny+osm at gmail.com
Mon Nov 13 06:18:29 UTC 2017

On Sun, Nov 12, 2017 at 7:40 PM, Daniel Koć <daniel at koć.pl> wrote:
> It looks like some people tag national parks and similar natural protection
> areas as parks. There are some examples, like few parks in the north
> California:
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=10/41.2097/-123.9581
> What do you think about it - is it a proper tagging, people are just plain
> wrong or we have a problem with definitions?

It does look strange to me, but I suppose it could be a case where
conventions in California differ from here; local mappers do somewhat
different things in different places.

Speaking as someone who's imported hundreds of natural protection
areas in New York, what I do:

All such areas get boundary=protected_area, and some protect_class
(also a human-readable protection_object).

In addition, I use 'leisure=park' for ones with many developed facilities
(swimming beaches, sports fields, concessions, and so on.) For ones
that are largely left to nature with facilities only for passive recreations
such as hiking, primitive camping, birding, hunting, fishing, I use
'leisure=nature_reserve' unapologetically. ('Nature reserve' encompasses
a lot of things, and I'm not holding my breath waiting for hstore support
in the renderer!)

I do not use 'boundary=national_park' for the areas that I've mapped
because they are not National Parks. I simply am shunning the controversy.

I've made a specific exception for the Adirondack and Catskill Parks.
These are actually protected more strongly than any National Park.
They're enshrined in the state constitution, which means that the
easiest way to weaken their protections would be a majority vote
of both houses of the legislature in two consecutive sessions, followed
by a popular referendum. Moreover, they're enormous parks that
have complex regulatory regimes inside them, best modeled as
further boundary=protected_area objects.

There are a few more special cases that I made for state historic
sites, state forests (managed for timber as well as conservation),
state wildlife management areas, and so on. I detailed all the
decisions on Wiki pages when I did the imports.

I left only a couple of 'leisure=park' areas that I disagreed with;
they were areas that I had to conflate when importing, and where
either the original mapper disagreed with the proposed tagging
or the original mapper did not respond to queries.

All the imports I've done of these areas have been discussed
fairly extensively here, in talk-us, and in imports, so I'm reasonably
confident that I've got it at least mostly right.


were two relevant import proposals.

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