[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - Topographic Prominence

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Tue Sep 25 00:15:19 UTC 2018

The page for natural=peak lists natural=hill as a tagging error:

But https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:natural%3Dhill says:
"Many natural <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:natural>=peak
<https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:natural%3Dpeak> should probably be
natural <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:natural>=hill, but
differentiating these might be difficult."

This is why we have the Proposal process for new features.
If natural=hill is proposed and accepted, it would certainly be important
to tag hills with prominence.

But if we include prominence and elevation tags on all peaks, database
users can set their own preferred prominence and elevation cut-off to
define peaks.

For example, the South Summit of Mount Everest is higher than any peak in
the world except the main summit of Everest, but it only has 11 meters of
So it is usually considered a sub-summit of Everest, rather than an
independent peak.

A database user can request a list of all natural=peak with elevation>600
and prominence>100 (or 200 or 600) to get a list of all mountain peaks.
To find hills, look for natural=peak with elevation<600 and prominence>10
or 50 or whatever?


On Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 5:09 AM Andy Townsend <ajt1047 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 24/09/18 20:24, Fredrik wrote:
> > Ref prominence, there is
> > https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:natural=hill.
> >
> > There is an attempt to document what a hill is and how its separated
> > from a (natural=)peak by separating them on prominence.
> Are you trying to create a new term there, are you trying to reflect
> existing English language usage or existing OSM usage?
> In OSM there are a bunch of "natural=hill" already, and the current
> usage near me https://overpass-turbo.eu/s/CcO seems to be "the highest
> place around, but not very high, and certainly not high enough to be
> worth tagging as a natural=peak".
> In British English a hill is just something that's not as big as a
> mountain; there's no special prominence requirement.  The actual size
> varies depending on who you talk to (see e.g. the different sizes quoted
> at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill and
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain ).
> Neither of those seems to match that wiki page.  There _are_ lists of
> mountains and hills based on prominence (see e.g.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_(geography) - I'm sure other
> regions have similar lists).
> It'd be great to map prominence, provided that the source used was
> "clean" licence-wise.  I'm not sure that current usage is - it'd be nice
> to think that https://overpass-turbo.eu/s/CcU was all based on survey or
> calculation based on suitable elevation sources, but I somehow doubt that.
> Best Regards,
> Andy
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