[Tagging] Mapping deforestation

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Mon Mar 11 18:27:30 UTC 2019

On Monday 11 March 2019, Lorenzo Stucchi wrote:
> [...]
> The idea was to map: bareland, artificial surface and forest.

As a general principle in OSM we map positively what verifiably exists, 
not the lack of something.  What you call "bareland" is at odds with 
that because it is essentially negatively defined (as land lacking 
vegetation).  So in terms of choosing tags i would recommend you focus 
on positively characterizing what you observe.

In areas of deforestation large areas of bare ground is typically a 
transient state that will overgrow again rather quickly (within months 
or a few years) with some form of vegetation, ob become regularly 
maintained by humans in some form (like farmland).

We also do not have any established tagging for what you 
call "artificial surface" because artificial surfaces are created 
usually for specific purposes and we typically map them depending on 
this purpose.  

Whatever tagging concept you choose you should document your plans and 
discuss them with the local community beforehand to make sure your 
plans are compatible with the mapping and tagging habits of the local 

Christoph Hormann

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