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

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Tue Jun 12 12:14:54 UTC 2018

2018-06-12 11:37 GMT+02:00 Paul Allen <pla16021 at gmail.com>:

> > On 9. Jun 2018, at 15:53, Paul Allen <pla16021 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Landuse=forest could mean a group of trees which are not
>> > consistently used by a single organization for anything (and often
>> called "Xyz Forest"
>> interesting, can you give a real world example where a group of trees has
>> actually the name “... forest”? I always thought a forest would require
>> more trees.
>> Either one of us is completely misunderstanding what the other wrote or
> you're quibbling about the size of a group.

I didn't want to quibble and am seriously trying to understand you. To me,
a "group of trees" means a few trees, say starting from 3 to maybe 20 or
maybe even 50 on the extreme end, usually something lower than 10.

> Sherwood Forest is 450 acres of trees.

I've looked this up, and seems it is like 1.8 sqkm which are the same as
180 hectars. Typically a forest has between 400 and 1000 trees per hectar.
Now 72000 - 180000 trees for me are not anywhere near a "group", and I
don't think this is "quibbling". I only asked to be sure about usage of the
term "forest" in names in the UK, as I suppose you are a native, and also
about the term "group".

> It is a nature reserve and so it is not used for forestry (aka logging).
> There may
> be occasional felling of diseased trees but it is not systematically
> logged on a wide scale.

indeed, the name belongs to a nature reserve. This is not about landuse or
landcover, it is about something legally defined. What we could have and
don't have yet, is a systematic approach for nature reserves/protected
areas about what the name is, e.g. "forest", "lagoon", "archipelago",
"island", "hills", etc. It wouldn't mean all the area is a "forest", it
only indicates what the name is about (in a formalized tag in English).

> This is why landuse=forest is problematical.  Sherwood Forest is not land
> used for forestry, but it is called Sherwood
> Forest so landuse=forest may seem like the correct tag to use (because it
> says "forest").
> That's why abandoning landuse=forest in favour of landcover=trees or
> landuse=forestry (as appropriate) is a good
> idea.

inside the forest there will usually/often also be areas where landcover is
not trees, e.g. lakes, meadows, etc., but which are contained in the
legally protected area. These areas should not be mixed up (IMHO) with
landcover or landuse, as their boundaries are not depending on each other.

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