[Tagging] The endless debate about "landcover" as a top-level tag (was: Re: British term for municipal greenery?)

Peter Elderson pelderson at gmail.com
Wed Jun 6 13:15:52 UTC 2018

You have implemented rendering of landcover alongside landuse? Is it a
major technical thing?

It's not a question of replacing, I think, but rendering both?

Landcover would basically always be over another landuse. At the moment,
landuse-over-landuse is rendered according to some logic?

2018-06-06 14:37 GMT+02:00 Andy Townsend <ajt1047 at gmail.com>:

> On 06/06/2018 11:48, Peter Elderson wrote:
> This issue has a long history... seems to me tagging awaits rendering, and
> rendering awaits tagging. In such cases, you need a commitment from both
> sides, with enough support to fuel trust. Then things can get rolling.
> Speaking as someone who both adds things to the map and maintains a map
> style, only the second of those is really true - rendering does
> (thankfully) follow tagging, rather than whatever someone happens to have
> changed a wiki page to recently.  Tagging absolutely _does not_ follow
> rendering - as I've found out many times when looking through taginfo.
> Very often someone wants to say "here's this thing that's important to
> record, but OSM doesn't really have a concept for it yet".  When people
> wanting to record the same thing search taginfo the "new tag" gains
> acceptance and when that happens renderers start to take notice.  Lots of
> what this* map renders was found by looking to see what values people
> actually use for keys (see e.g. much of what is in here**).  Many of the
> tags that people use aren't rendered anywhere (think of address detail) but
> they're still really useful to add.
> The problem with e.g. landcover=grass is that it's recording _exactly the
> same information_ as a more widely used tag conbination (landuse=grass).
> You might argue that landuse=grass _should_ mean something different, but
> as used in OSM right now it just says "there is some grass here".  That's
> the one of the reasons why the OSM's "standard style" doesn't render it -
> the "feedback" bit of https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-
> carto/blob/master/CARTOGRAPHY.md has been changed recently, but the style
> always intended to focus on the "normal" way to express a particular
> concept (you wouldn't invent a tag "highway=my_special_road" for an
> existing concept, you'd pick the best value in common use and use other
> tags to indicate what makes your road different).  The wiki page
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:landuse%3Dgrass says "It is
> typical that landuse <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:landuse>=
> grass is misused and should be changed to landcover
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:landcover>=grass
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:landcover%3Dgrass> ".  I'd argue
> that that's wrong; it's the majority usage of a tag by thousands of people
> that determines what is "correct", not a wiki page edited by 1 or 2.
> In the case of the use of "landcover" as a top-level tag, at least in the
> areas that I'm interested in rendering, landcover really hasn't troubled
> the scorers (see http://taginfo.openstreetmap.org.uk/tags/landcover=grass
> as compared to
> http://taginfo.openstreetmap.org.uk/tags/landuse=grass ).   I've actually
> added support in my style at https://github.com/
> SomeoneElseOSM/SomeoneElse-style/blob/master/style.lua#L1076 because I'm
> not worried about providing feedback in the way that the OSM Carto style
> is, but it's only in there as a little-used synonym for a concept in OSM
> that most people express a different way.
> The tagging list does occasionally fall into the wiki-hole of trying to
> tell people how to map rather than communally deciding the best way to map
> something (including by looking at how people already do).  In any
> situation where you're trying to suggest that "everybody else is wrong" you
> need to get over it, and OSM in particular has thrived where other similar
> projects failed simply because people can always find a way of expressing a
> particular concept - they can create a way of representing it themselves
> without a "domain expert" creating it for them first.  There may well be a
> concept out there waiting to be mapped that needs a "landcover" tag (and it
> might be "municipal greenery"), but it's not grass or trees.
> Best Regards,
> Andy
> * https://map.atownsend.org.uk/maps/map/map.html
> ** https://github.com/SomeoneElseOSM/SomeoneElse-
> style/blob/master/style.lua
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Vr gr Peter Elderson
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