[Tagging] From the Australian fires (still burning unfortunately) how to map burnt areas

Warin 61sundowner at gmail.com
Mon Jan 27 02:10:52 UTC 2020

On 27/1/20 12:47 pm, Joseph Eisenberg wrote:
> For woods the problem is that there are 3 different levels of fire
> impact, and only the most severe is clearly visible in aerial imagery
> or from a distance - but this is also quite dangerous to survey in
> person.

Many areas and roads are closed due to the hazards. However press reports are avalible if somewhat breif and tend to show the worst.

> ) 1A "crown fire" (US English) burns the tallest trees which comprise
> the canopy or "crown" of the woodland.

Many of the fires here have been of this type - the word 'unfightable' may be applied.

> In the Northwest USA, this
> would be the tall Ponderosa pines, Douglas firs or similar very tall
> trees. This sort of fire leaves standing stags with no needles or
> leaves and the ground is usually scorched black - very obvious.
> 2) But most forest fires rarely reach the crown:

Depends on conditions, hot, dry for months and windy ... crown fire is a high probability.
And that is what we have had.
Many fire fighters have said they have never had fires so numerous and so ferocious.


> So if it reasonable to map this? If you do map it, you had best be
> prepared to remap the area in 12 months and again after a couple of
> years, or the data will be quickly incorrect.

I am not mapping it. Someone from Germany is, some of it from images on facebook. And I don't think they will be back.

>   I would also think it is pretty necessary to have the current natural
> vegetation mapped at the same time for surrounding areas, or the
> extent of the burned area will lack context.

I don't think they are interested in mapping that.

I am inclined to tell them that;
A) the tagging in inappropriate
B) the is no OSM appropriate tagging
c) the data will become out of date fairly quickly

And then ask them to remove their data for the above reasons.

However some may want to map this kind of data. In that case there should be a tagging system for it.
Is there anyone who wants this data in OSM?

> - Joseph Eisenberg
> On 1/27/20, Alan Mackie <aamackie at gmail.com> wrote:
>> There are some tags documented on the Russian wiki page for key:wood [1]
>> that describe various types of damage to wooded areas, one of which is
>> wood:damage=burnt. I don't think it's been used much outside of Russia, but
>> it seems fairly reasonable for areas likely to regenerate.
>> There have been other disaster tagging schemes that seem to be used on
>> occasion, but they always seem to be listed under a particular disaster's
>> wiki page rather than in some centralised location.
>> It would be nice to get some more consistency here, but I think the problem
>> with this sort of tagging is that these tend to be the sort of thing that
>> should be locally surveyed and updating OSM generally isn't the priority
>> unless it is somehow part of a specific organisation's workflow.
>> [1]: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/RU:Key:wood
>> On Sun, 26 Jan 2020 at 22:27, Warin <61sundowner at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I have come across a German mapper who has used 'landuse=brownfield' to
>>> map some recently burnt areas in Australia.
>>> I know this is not appropriate as it is not a land use, nor does it meet
>>> the OSM meaning of 'brownfield' in all situations.
>>> Note: this is done in areas, no matter if it is a farm field, recreation
>>> ground, residential areas etc.
>>> Tagging buildings and other OSM features is easy where they are wholly
>>> burnt using the life cycle tagging.
>>> Should this data be entered in OSM?
>>> Are flooded damaged areas mapped? Earthquake damaged areas?
>>> If entered how should they be tagged?
>>> The keys 'landuse', 'landcover', 'natural' don't look usable to me.
>>> It may not be possible to use a sub key as the burnt areas do not
>>> conform to the presently mapped features.
>>> If mapped then the tagging should be inclusive of other disasters
>>> (natural or not).
>>> Thoughts?
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Tagging mailing list
>>> Tagging at openstreetmap.org
>>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/tagging
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