[Talk-GB] walls versus landuse=field

sk53.osm sk53.osm at gmail.com
Tue Apr 30 10:13:06 UTC 2013

Well I'm definitely in favour of mapping the boundary ways: hedges, fences,

I do not see any general value in mapping fields one by one, unless there
are particular cultural reasons (for instance the Cheshire Cheese in Hope,
Derbyshire, has maps showing all the historical field names on the wall - I
think I've got photos of these). I think the area you linked to has been
mapped by Mike Collinson, whose interest was based on old tithe maps and
local knowledge, so this may be such an example.

This is also an area where older field boundaries are fairly intact.

The obvious reasons for mapping the barriers include orientation, copying
the look-and-feel of OSGB 1:25k maps, making sense of stiles etc. Less
obvious ones are: habitat (hedgerows are important habitat and their loss
has affected many farmland birds, dry stone walls are good for lichens, and
mosses on a type of wall which has almost disappeared in the Thames Valley
(ref. not to hand)), cultural (dry-stone, slate walls), boundaries (often
alignment along walls suggest long cultural history of the linear feature).

Certainly mapping individual fields seems to produce nicer looking output
from mapnik than whole swathes of farmland.


On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 10:24 AM, Tom Chance <tom at acrewoods.net> wrote:

> On 30 April 2013 09:38, Henry Gomersall <heng at cantab.net> wrote:
>> Am I the only one that has been drawing walls and not fields? It's nice
>> to have fields as individual logical units, but they're defined by the
>> walls, so it strikes me the wall should be the defining characteristic.
>> Is this a software problem in that the areas and the features are
>> defined independently?
> This has come up quite a few times in recent years. Some people map
> boundaries, some people map fields, and some (myself included) do both. It
> seems to be one of many occasions when personal preference and what you
> find useful governs what you map.
> The only thing I noticed about your example is the use of landuse=field,
> which seems a pretty pointless tag to me. Much better to be using
> landuse=farmland, landuse=meadow, natural=meadow, etc. to describe more
> precisely what sort of land use the field has.
> Regards,
> Tom
> --
> http://tom.acrewoods.net   http://twitter.com/tom_chance
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