[Tagging] [Talk-us] Large fire perimeter tagging?

Warin 61sundowner at gmail.com
Tue Sep 29 09:08:19 UTC 2020

On 27/9/20 5:51 pm, Mateusz Konieczny via Tagging wrote:
> I am a bit dubious about value of updating fire=perimeter
> It is something that changes extremely quickly, we should
> not encourage people to survey perimeter of ACTIVE fire,
> OSM is doomed to be strictly worse source of fire perimeter
> than alternative sources....
> > fire has absolutely enormous impact to what we do and might map here,
> both present and future. The aftermath of this fire (>85,000 acres 
> this fire alone)
> will last for decades, and for OSM to not reflect this in the map

The Australian fires have less long term significance as most of the 
flora has mechanisms to cope with fire, some even needs fire to propagate.

> Obviously, we should (try to) update map where situation changed.

We don't mapped parked vehicles unless they are 'permanent', same should 
be adopted for fires, floods, earth quakes and volcanic eruptions.

If there is no permanent effect then mapping it is at best a temporary 

> Delete building that will not be rebuild (mark them as 
> destroyed:building=*
> until aerial imagery will update)
> [deleting buildings and remapping them as they get reconstructed may
> be viable in cases of heavy mapper presence]
> Delete other permanently destroyed objects and so on.
> > Do we have landcover tags which could replace landuse=forest
> or natural=wood with something like natural=fire_scarred?
> AFAIK nothing established, see
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/tagging/2018-March/035435.html
> for related discussion about wind damage.


While you state "landuse=forest is used to tag tree covered area, not 
for how land is used" others disagree with this statement and use the 
tag to indicate how the land is used as would be indicated by the key 

There is already a tag for a tree covered area "natural=wood" and that 
is a better tag to use for tree covered areas.

Continued use of the key 'landuse' for things other than true land use 
will simply result in the continued denigration of the key with things 
like landuse=sand, landuse=scrub, landuse=mud and so on.

> Sep 24, 2020, 23:30 by steveaOSM at softworkers.com:
>     I didn't get a single reply on this (see below), which I find
>     surprising, especially as there are currently even larger fires
>     that are more widespread all across the Western United States.
>     I now ask if there are additional, appropriate polygons with tags
>     I'm not familiar with regarding landcover that might be added to
>     the map (as "landuse=forest" might be strictly true now only in a
>     'zoning' sense, as many of the actual trees that MAKE these
>     forests have sadly burned down, or substantially so).
>     Considering that there are literally millions and millions of
>     acres of (newly) burned areas (forest, scrub, grassland,
>     residential, commercial, industrial, public, private...), I'm
>     surprised that OSM doesn't have some well-pondered and actual tags
>     that reflect this situation. My initial tagging of this (simply
>     tagged, but enormous) polygon as "fire=perimeter" was coined on my
>     part, but as I search wiki, taginfo and Overpass Turbo queries for
>     similar data in the map, I come up empty.
>     First, do others think it is important that we map these? I say
>     yes, as this fire has absolutely enormous impact to what we do and
>     might map here, both present and future. The aftermath of this
>     fire (>85,000 acres this fire alone) will last for decades, and
>     for OSM to not reflect this in the map (somehow, better bolstered
>     than a simple, though huge, polygon tagged with fire=perimeter,
>     start_date and end_date) seems OSM "cartographically misses
>     something." I know that HOT mappers map the "present- and
>     aftermath-" of humanitarian disasters, I've HOT-participated
>     myself. So, considering the thousands of structures that burned
>     (most of them homes), tens of thousands of acres which are
>     burn-scarred and distinctly different than their landcover,
>     millions of trees (yes, really) and even landuse is now currently
>     tagged, I look for guidance — beyond the simple tag of
>     fire=perimeter on a large polygon.
>     Second, if we do choose to "better" map these incidents and
>     results (they are life- and planet-altering on a grand scale) how
>     might we choose to do that? Do we have landcover tags which could
>     replace landuse=forest or natural=wood with something like
>     natural=fire_scarred? (I'm making that up, but it or something
>     like it could work). How and when might we replace these with
>     something less severe? On the other hand, if it isn't appropriate
>     that we map any of this, please say so.
>     Thank you, especially any guidance offered from HOT contributors
>     who have worked on post-fire humanitarian disasters,
>     SteveA
>     California (who has returned home after evacuation, relatively
>     safe now that this fire is 100% contained)
>     On Aug 29, 2020, at 7:20 PM, stevea <steveaOSM at softworkers.com> wrote:
>         Not sure if crossposting to talk-us is correct, but it is a
>         "home list" for me.
>         I've created a large fire perimeter in OSM from public
>         sources, http://www.osm.org/way/842280873 . This is a huge
>         fire (sadly, there are larger ones right now, too), over 130
>         square miles, and caused the evacuation of every third person
>         in my county (yes). There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of
>         structures, mostly residential homes, which have burned down
>         and the event has "completely changed" giant redwoods in and
>         the character of California's oldest state park (Big Basin).
>         This perimeter significantly affects landuse, landcover and
>         human patterns of movement and activity in this part of the
>         world for a significant time to come.

The effect will depend on what was there before the fire and what is 
there now, it will not be consistent as one stone building may burn down 
while another timber church may survive (my examples are actual - stone 
building was my uncles home and the church was the church he attended 
... surrounded by trees and spared).

>         It is a "major disaster." I'm curious how HOT teams might
>         delineate such a thing (and I've participated in a HOT fire
>         team, mapping barns, water sources for helicopter dips and
>         other human structures during a large fire near me), I've
>         simply made a polygon tagged fire=perimeter, a name=* tag and
>         a start_date. I don't expect rendering, it's meant to be an
>         "up to right about here" (inside the polygon is/was a burning
>         fire, outside was no fire). I wouldn't say it is more accurate
>         than 20 to 50 meters on any edge, an "across a wide street"
>         distance to be "off" is OK with me, considering this fire's
>         size, but if a slight skew jiggles the whole thing into place
>         better, feel free to nudge. It's the tagging I'm interested in
>         getting right, and perhaps wondering if or even that people
>         enter gigantic fires that will significantly change landscape
>         for some time into OSM, as I have done. This will affect my
>         local mapping, as a great much has burned. Even after starting
>         almost two weeks ago, as of 20 minutes ago this fire is 33%
>         contained, with good, steady progress. These men and women are
>         heroes.
>         To me, this is a significant polygon in my local mapping: it
>         is a "huge thing" that is a major feature on a map, especially
>         right now. I firmly believe it belongs in OSM for many reasons
>         and want it tagged "correctly." Yes, there are other maps that
>         show this, I believe OSM should have these data, too, as this
>         perimeter will affect much (in the real world) and much newer,
>         updated mapping in OSM going forward.

Of what use is the data to mappers and/or data consumers?

For mappers it may help to know what areas require remapping (buildings 

Data consumers? I would think the local authorities already have the 
fire area well mapped form more current information than OSM has.

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