[Tagging] Feature Proposal - Voting - boundary=aboriginal_lands

Alan McConchie alan.mcconchie at gmail.com
Sun Nov 25 00:38:51 UTC 2018

The tag boundary=aboriginal_lands has been discussed on-and-off for a long time in OSM. I'd like to raise the topic one last time and hopefully come to some consensus about it.

The tag proposal on the wiki dates from 2008, but the original proposal was from the user Sam Vekemans (username acrosscanadatrails) who is no longer participating in OpenStreetMap, as far as I can tell. He never moved the proposal to a vote, so the page has remained in the proposal state all this time.

Here's the proposal: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Tag:boundary%3Daboriginal_lands

(I've tried to updated the wiki page somewhat, but leaving the discussion intact)

In the following years, some people have started using that proposed tag, mostly in Canada and somewhat in the United States. 

Here's the overpass query for boundary=aboriginal_lands: http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/DV4

There has also been extensive discussion over the years on the boundary=aboriginal_lands page, and it seems like the consensus is that the tag is necessary and better than any alternatives. But it was never voted on as a proposal.

In the intervening years, tagging native reservations with boundary=protected_area + protect_class=24 has also gained popularity. This tag combination seems to be popular in South America, Australia, and also in parts of the United States. I can't find any evidence for why people chose this tag combination instead of boundary=aboriginal_lands. It appears that the tags are pretty much interchangeable. Most of the features in Brazil however are tagged incorrectly for the renderer, mixing leisure=nature_reserve with protect_class=24, so that the areas show up on the default renderer with the nature reserve green style.

Here's the overpass query for protect_class=24: http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/DV5

Wiki page for boundary=protected_area: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:boundary%3Dprotected_area

In 2014, there were three messages on the tagging mailing list, from Paul Johnson and Clifford Snow. https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/tagging/2014-November/020160.html But at that time, we didn't come any answers.

There seems to be no argument about whether or not aboriginal areas are important features that should be mapped. The only question is how to tag them.

So the question is:

Should we use the single tag boundary=aboriginal_lands for these areas? Or should we deprecate that tag (in other words, reject the proposal) and instead use boundary=protected_area + protect_class=24?

I'd like to officially open the voting period now, so we can once and for all come to a conclusion on this 10-year-long discussion. Please review the discussion on the wiki page and cast your vote at the bottom: 



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