[Tagging] landuse meadow getting the right description emphases

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Mon Mar 16 05:44:45 UTC 2020


In American English, especially in the west, the word “meadow” is used for
areas in the high mountains which grow grasses, sedges, annual wildflowers
etc in the summer months after the snow melts. They might occasionally be
used to graze cattle as rangeland, but usually are only graced by elk.

I think these would be called a “fell” in parts of Britain, but they are
somewhat similar to alpine meadows / pastures in the Swiss/Austrian alps,
where dairy cattle graze in the summer. Those really are pastures or hay
meadows, so perhaps Americans we got that usage from Swiss and Austrian
immigrants, and applied it to mountain grasslands?

I agree that alpine “meadows” should be tagged natural=grassland, but don’t
be surprised to find some mapped as “landuse=meadow” in the mountains of
California and Colorado.

- Joseph Eisenberg

On Mon, Mar 16, 2020 at 2:20 PM Warin <61sundowner at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 16/3/20 2:46 pm, brad wrote:
> >
> >
> > On 3/15/20 6:31 PM, Warin wrote:
> >> On 16/3/20 11:02 am, brad wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>> Perhaps we should deprecate landuse=meadow
> >>>
> >>> I think there could be a distinction between a meadow (something
> >>> that may have more 'other stuff' than grass), and grassland.
> >>
> >>
> >> What 'other stuff'?
> >>
> >>
> >> Grass covers a lot more than the domestic stuff most are thinking of.
> >> Some grasses get to over 2 metres (6 foot) tall.
> >>
> >>
> > There are a lot of native species in a mountain, or riparian meadow
> > that are not grasses.
>
>
> So .. what makes 'it' a 'meadow'? Genuine question.
>
> Not a land use?
>
> Not a land cover? Possibly low growing plants (less than 0.5 metres,
> includes grasses and similar plants)?
>
> A land form?
>
>
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