[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - protection_class=* (Words, not numeric codes)

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com
Thu Aug 29 15:30:12 UTC 2019

On Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 9:17 AM Paul Allen <pla16021 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Here are some other UK types that occur to me.  Some already have other ways of
> being mapped.  Some may fit in with categories/classes/whatevers you already
> have.  I don't insist  that your proposal deals with all of them right now (you
> already have enough to be going on with) but it would be nice if your proposal
> doesn't make it impossible to add them, cleanly, at a later date.  Don't paint
> yourself into any corners if you can avoid it. :)

> Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Does that actually specify what sort of protection the site enjoys?
This might have to be handled case by case. I can think of similar
things near me, and they range from 'strict nature reserve' (the
Rosendale bat caves, and one or two of the 'Estuarine Reserach
Reserves' and 'Biological Research Stations') to 'area with
sustainable use of natural resources' ( the title,'Demonstration
Forest' is one example.)

> Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
protection_class(or protection_category per the earlier discussion)=landscape?

>  World Heritage
> Site and World Heritage Site Arcs of View.  Registered Historic Landscape.  Protected
> Wreck.  There are also scheduled monuments, but they're generally man-made and
> dealt with by heritage=*.

Most of these would fall under 'cultural', I think - they're not
protecting a natural condition of the site but rather its cultural

Since the values are keywords, they should be endlessly expandable.
Constraining ourselves to the IUCN numeric codes is one of the things
that got us into this particular mess in the first place. I intend the
set of keywords to be open-ended, but urge discipline so that data
consumers don't need to deal with hundreds of variants for the details
of each jurisdiction's law. This categorization should give the 'broad

We also have 'protection_title' and 'related_law' available to let us
link to finer details. I already use those in New York. For example,we
have 'Wilderness Area', 'Wild Forest', 'Canoe Area' and 'Primitive
Area' (plus an anomalous 'Forest Preserve Detached Parcel') that are
all effectively 'wilderness'-level protection but with various subtle
differences in the regulations and management strategy that concern me
as an off-trail hiker, sometime trail maintainer, and protection
advocate but would be lost on most users.

For instance, 'Wild Forest' allows some 'highway=track', generally
'tracktype=grade3' and worse, and there's a 'Motor Access Program for
Persons With Disabilities'. I handle that by tagging the tracks
'motor_vehicle=official;disabled'. It also generally allows trail
crews to work with power tools such as chainsaws, while in Wilderness,
trail maintenance is ordinarily done with hand tools only, and any
motor, even a chainsaw, brush hog, or weed whacker, requires special
permission. I don't find that distinction to be worth calling out at
this level of detail.

Similarly, 'Primitive Area' translates to 'the management intention is
wilderness-level protection, but there is some nonconformant fixed
asset for which no definitive timetable can be set for removal.' I can
discourse endlessly on the politics of specific Primitive Areas, and
very few people would care.

I also stretch 'wilderness' to include a few things like 'Primitive
Bicycle Corridor' (a narrow strip carved out of a wilderness area that
effectively has the same management except that it's permissible to
harden a trail sufficiently to accommodate a mountain bike rider).

To the level of granularity contemplated here, all of these are
'wilderness'. I have the protection title and legal citation available
if I need them.

73 de ke9tv/2, Kevin

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