[Tagging] Mapping deforestation wikipage proposal

Peter Elderson pelderson at gmail.com
Tue Mar 19 06:53:34 UTC 2019

I like the project to map deforestation over time, and I think OSM can be
used. I also think OSM can profit from the data. However, as I have said
before, OSM mappers have a different viewpoint: mapping whats's there now,
as seen on the ground, as detailed as possible. And they have made a mess
of tagging, using landuse, natural, and other keys to tag what's on the
ground and what the land is used for, and landcover has been added but is
not rendered.

I repeat, the best way is to use a different key for this purpose
(landcover as seen from above).  You can then use an existing
classification, no compromise, with a clear meaning.

You will have to create your own rendering to get it mapped. I'm told that
is not difficult, but you'll need some resources and expertise.

You will have to store a copy of the OSM database (or an extract) after
each mapping stint, to feed a history-flow rendering tool. There are
existing GIS tools for that, I have given one example and someone else gave
an OSM-based one.

The actual data in the current OSM map may help mappers to enter, update or
verify the mapping of landcover in the regular OSM tags. If I were you, I
would leave that up to them. I for one would be very interested to compare
your data against the current landcover mapping of The Netherlands. For
deforestation, sure, but more so for urbanization.

If you push different use of current tags, mappers will turn against it,
revert your changes, and your project will fail.

Fr gr Peter Elderson

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