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

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Tue Jun 12 12:59:01 UTC 2018

On Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 1:14 PM, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com
> wrote:

> 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.

A group is an unspecified, and possibly indeterminate, number.  You're
thinking of small groups. :)

Come up with a better term if you think it necessary.  I was trying to
convey that this was a tag that applied to
anything from a copse to a forest.  What we're trying to come up with a
suitable name for is a tag to use
when trees are too closely spaced *or trees which are not closely spaced
but cover a very large area) that
tagging individual trees would be far too much effort.

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".

Again, I was trying to use a word describing anything from a copse to a
forest.  And possibly even a large roundabout near
me which has several trees on it that are too closely-spaced to map
individually.  Mathematically, groups can be infinite
in size, although I don't think we have any forests that large.

indeed, the name belongs to a nature reserve. This is not about landuse or
> landcover, it is about something legally defined.

Nope, you've diverted onto a sidetrack.  This was about whether it is
sensible to continue to use landuse=forest both for
unlogged areas/groups/clusters of trees (better as landcover=trees) and for
logged areas/groups/clusters of trees.  There
will be other copses/woods/forests/groups/areas of trees which are not
nature reserves and are not grown for logging.

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).

You're on that sidetrack again.  The tag landuse=forest is documented about
marking areas where trees are grown
to be logged, and which are periodically cut down, yet it is being used for
places like Sherwood Forest which are
largely landcover=trees.  The introduction of landuse=forestry and
deprecation of landuse=forest would help
resolve that.

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.

Now you appear to have diverted to a sidetrack of your sidetrack.

A protected area may contain areas of trees that are not logged and areas
of water, amongst other things.  Landcover=trees
explains where there are trees not grown for logging better than
landuse=forest (which is supposedly about logging, and
doesn't apply to an area that is called a forest even though it has lakes
in it).

1) Outer area (however we tag it) has name Sherwood Forest.

2) Inside Sherwood Forest are one or more areas tagged landcover=trees and
possibly lakes, streams and meadows.

How we deal with that is (possibly) a different problem.  Right now, it's
about deprecating landuse=forest because it's
being used two different ways.  And we ended up on this massive diversion
because I happened to mention that one
reason people misuse landuse=forest because they encounter groups of trees
that aren't being grown for logging in
an area named (for example) Sherwood Forest.  The mention of Sherwood
Forest was to underline why landuse=forest
is a bad way of tagging things.  The fact that Sherwood Forest is a nature
reserve is a side issue.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/tagging/attachments/20180612/1e008002/attachment.html>

More information about the Tagging mailing list