[Talk-GB] Mass edits of landuse /natural tags

Tom Chance tom at acrewoods.net
Fri Apr 26 09:12:53 UTC 2013


On 25 April 2013 19:57, Brian Prangle <bprangle at gmail.com> wrote:

> Just to take take the conversation into another orbit simultaneously, I'd
> like to clarify Tom's remarks about natural=wood and landuse=forest being
>  interchangeable in the UK. I always tag landuse=forest where aerial
> imagery shows a regular pattern of tree spacing which is a good indicator
> of planting following the wiki guideline for forest as being "Managed
> forest or woodland plantation" to differentiate from naturally spaced
> trees. Without surveying it's difficult to ascertain the "managed" bit
> though
>

My point was really that if you download an extract of all the forests and
woods, and check the aerial imagery, you'll find the usage might as well be
random. The same goes for lots of other tags where the difference isn't
clearly explained on the wiki and isn't consistently applied in editor
presets.

I worry a bit about the view put across by Chris Hill, among others, that
we should always assume every tag has been put in place with the greatest
of care and so shouldn't be changed; that little-used tags are probably
valuable, rather than being accidental or unknowing variations on a more
appropriate tag.

Such a position shows little regard for data users, who have to deal with
the resulting mess and inconsistency. As with the wood/forest example, it
means you really can't rely on the difference so you just have to treat
them as interchangeable, all meaning "some trees here". The building key is
treated by most, at the moment, as a catch-all. There are so many pointless
variations on similar meanings that people treat it as "everything under
the building key is basically a building". Without a lengthy translation
matrix drawn up from manually inspecting TagInfo you can't say much more.

I routinely change tagging I find that looks inappropriate in an effort to
make the data more useful. I'm happy to see John Baker trying to do this. I
only wish he had discussed his plans on this list first, as doing otherwise
always raises hackles, and that he took care to inspect each individual
case rather than processing batches of objects en masse.

Regards,
Tom

-- 
http://tom.acrewoods.net   http://twitter.com/tom_chance
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