[Tagging] RFC - landcover clearing

Warin 61sundowner at gmail.com
Wed Aug 8 22:27:29 UTC 2018

There are some who would then say that a 'clearing' that is made by man 
should not be in the key 'natural' but in the key 'man_made'.

A 'clearing' may not have ever had the surrounding vegetation - an area 
of rock for example.

The 'clearing' is about a change in the land cover, not about an 
absence, an absence would be 'space' - a vacuum ...there will be 
something there, but arm chair mappers may not be able to identify 
either the surrounding vegetation nor the areas vegetation.

On 09/08/18 02:04, Martin Koppenhoefer wrote:
> what about natural=clearing? I don’t see “clearing” as a landcover 
> value that suits. Landcover is about what is there physically, 
> “clearing” is about the absence of what was there before.
> Cheers,
> Martin
> sent from a phone
> On 6. Aug 2018, at 02:11, Warin <61sundowner at gmail.com 
> <mailto:61sundowner at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> 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 
>> andwood=clearing.
>> So I am thinking that these would best combined into the one tag  
>> landcover=clearing
>> A proposal page is ready for comments - link - 
>> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Landcover%3Dclearing
>> 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.
>> Rationale:
>> 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.
>> Key
>> 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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