[Tagging] RFC - landcover clearing

Warin 61sundowner at gmail.com
Mon Aug 6 00:11:26 UTC 2018

I have been looking at the values used with the landuse key to try and 
stop land covers becoming regarded as a legitimate use of the key landuse.

One strange value I came across was 'clearing'. No OSM wiki document.

I resolved this to mean a change in land cover usually from trees to a 
'clear' area.

Most of these look to be from HOT mapping.

Other instances of the value 'clearing' are natural=clearing 

So I am thinking that these would best combined into the one tag 

A proposal page is ready for comments - link - 

The basics are :

Definition: An area where surrounding larger vegetation, such as trees, 
are not present. This provides more light than the surrounding area. It 
may have lower vegetation growing, or it may be an outcrop of rock.

Defines use of already existing value and suggest better ways of mapping 
these features. It is meant to encourage better mapping and suggest that 
this tag is a last resort.

The key landcover is use as the 'best fit' as it marks the lack of a 
surrounding land cover, so it is directly related to a land cover.
The area could all ready have a land use - part of a forestry area for 
example. The area could have been made by man or nature so neither of 
the keys natural or man_made would suit all situations.

How to map
The section on 'how to map' gives 4 options of how to map a clearing; 
map what is there, map what is surrounding, map both what is there and 
surrounding or map with landcover=clearing.
Asking a mapper not to map this feature is not a good idea, mappers 
should be encouraged to map not discouraged. If a mapper has found this 
tag page then it is best to document better ways to tag the feature with 
this tag being the lest desirable result that maps the information 
rather than not mapping the information.
The listed order is a compromise. The better mapping ones come before 
landcover=clearing to discourage it use. The simplest option first - map 
what is there - as that is the easiest option. If they cannot determine 
what is there then the next option - map the surrounds. Then the 
combination of the first two. Then finally the last option and least 
desirable. Hopefully this causes some though on what they are mapping, 
rather than just using the tag.

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