[Tagging] The endless debate about "landcover" as a top-level tag

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny+osm at gmail.com
Thu Jun 7 17:43:10 UTC 2018

On Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 10:11 AM, Peter Elderson <pelderson at gmail.com> wrote:

> Rendering landcover=trees is not the same as deprecating landuse=forest.
> It just offers the option to tag tree-covered areas on a different landuse
> such as industrial, military, residential or commercial.
> I do expect a shift from landuse=forest to landcover=trees, as soon as it
> would be rendered.

I know that I would at least remove redundant tagging in that case. I have
at least a handful of polygons that are tagged both 'landcover=trees' (what
I meant) and 'natural=wood' (for the renderer). It verges on 'tagging for
the renderer.'  Nevertheless, there is no good definition of a 'natural'
wood, so I'd defend the choice at least weakly. The trees weren't planted
by human intervention - Mother Nature put them there..

'landuse=forest' is NOT tagged on those polygons because they are wooded
areas that overlap or even coincide with polygons of other land use
(residential, industrial, ...). To me, tagging 'landuse=forest;residential'
seems nonsensical, even if there is a house on a densely wooded lot.
Moreover, the existing renderers for the most part render nothing if a
single polygon has a multiple landuse value like that - there's the
assumption that each land feature has at most one use.

My workplace is one of these; it has a few acres of woodland that are
fairly well-preserved old growth. They exist simply because some of the
land is on the face of cliffs overlooking a river gorge, and is simply too
steep ever to develop profitably.
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