[Tagging] tourism=caravan_site versus tourism=camp_site: camping with a tent

Hidde Wieringa hidde at hiddewieringa.nl
Fri Aug 14 18:49:47 UTC 2020

Good day,

I am having trouble with the tourism tags caravan_site and camp_site, 
specifically for the use case of finding a place to camp with a tent (so 
not a caravan or a camper van).

My goal is to differentiate the two tags. Both tags allow tents, and 
both allow camper vans and caravans. Both tags may or may not provide 
facilities such as toilets, water, electricity, et cetera. In practice, 
the only thing that differentiates a pitch for a tent versus a pitch for 
a caravan or camper van, is the ground underneath (tents require some 
sort of soft material like grass). This differentiating property is not 
mentioned at all in the Wiki.

- The tag tents=yes/no (only listed in the camp_site Wiki) would be a 
good way to find a place to camp with a tent, but almost none of the 
caravan_site have this tag. All camp_sites in OSM I have camped on, 
allowed tents.
- Some of the caravan_site have been tagged with amenity=parking or even 
surface=asphalt and this would mean that camping with a tent is 
definitely not possible.
- I noticed that both of the tags have status 'de facto', and no 
proposals have been made for the definition of said tags. I found an 
abandoned proposal [1] that has a good discussion about camping [2].
- Some camp_sites have a 'nested' polygon with a caravan_site. This 
seems logical, and the caravan_site can be ignored, and the camp_site 
can be used for camping with a tent.

Statistics from TagInfo: camp_site has ~100,000 uses, and caravan_site 
has ~30,000 uses.

I ran a quick Overpass query for a small number of caravan sites (~15) 
[3]. Some of them note on their website that camping with a tent is 
possible, and the surface of the pitches seems to be grass. I am 
wondering if these should be re-tagged as camp_site, or if I am missing 

My opinion would be that a camp_site should allow staying overnight with 
many types of vehicles/tents, indicated by the tags listed clearly on 
the wiki of camp_site. A caravan_site would allow staying overnight with 
vehicles only, and not allow camping with a tent. Concretely the 
sentence "They may also have some space for tents." on [4] is the 
problem. Replacing the sentence on the wiki with "Camping with a tent is 
not possible." would remove any ambiguity differentiating these tags.

Any comments are welcome. I am willing to update the wiki or draft a 
proposal for differentiating these two tags, if necessary.

Kind regards,
/Hidde Wieringa/

[1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Extend_camp_site

[3] https://tyrasd.github.io/overpass-turbo 
[4] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:tourism%3Dcaravan_site

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