[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - (Ground)

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 10 13:04:44 UTC 2020

On Fri, 10 Jul 2020 at 13:19, Warin <61sundowner at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 10/7/20 9:30 pm, Peter Elderson wrote:
> Looks like humus is a component of soil. So I think soil covers it, being
> a top layer consisting of mixed organic and mineral matter.
> To me it is hard to imagine an area as permanently natural=bare_soil.
> Wouldn't there always be some kind of vegetation within a year?
> Sorry to say but some soils have been so polluted combined with the
> resulting soil erosion vegetation has taken some decades to come back.
> See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queenstown,_Tasmania#Ecology

I don't see how an area that has suffered soil erosion can be mapped as
bare soil,
I see from the Wikipedia article you cite that "[...] the erosion of the
shallow horizon
topsoil back to the harder rock profile [...]" so we'd map that as bare
wouldn't we?

I'll take this opportunity to mention that some (not you) have suggested
that bare soil might happen through lack of rainfall, which is possible.
Others have then suggested that such cases could be mapped as
desert.  Desert is an incredibly bad tag because it is not a surface,
or a land cover, or even a natural (as used in OSM), it's a CLIMATE.
Desert means a lack of precipitation (which usually results in
the land being barren.  The Sahara (hot and sandy) is a desert, but so is
arctic tundra.  Whatever we settle on for this (if we settle on something),
desert should not be the tag.

I've just realized what prompted the back of my mind into writing the
preceding paragraph.  landcover=barren (or natural=barren) seems
to handle things nicely without worrying about soil/clay/humus

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