[Talk-GB] Landuse Farm

SK53 sk53.osm at gmail.com
Fri May 19 11:22:54 UTC 2017

Seems my earlier email was a timely reminder, We seem to be down to over
4,500 <http://taginfo.openstreetmap.org.uk/search?q=farm#values> now. I
know I can't have done more than a couple of thousand of these.

We still have a very large number of place=farm, but I suspect these are
much harder to resolve as many will be former farms which are now
residential. Many, perhaps the bulk, of these have been added from OS
OpenStreetView data.

One last note:

 The history of the landuse=farm tag is probably a good example of how OSM
tags get revised, changed and disappear through a gradual process involving
evolution of mappers consensus.

I think the realisation that landuse=farm was ambiguous for mappers came
even before I joined OSM in late 2008. I remember Harry Wood creating the
photo showing differences in tagging back in 2009
Many mappers slowly moved over to landuse=farmyard & landuse=farmland, but
obviously there were older objects which did not get retagged and some
mappers will have continued the earlier usage. Only when it was clear that
landuse=farm was a less widely used tag was the decision taken to remove
rendering of the tag in the standard CartoCSS map, and it is this which is
driving the current "NoFarm" project so as to minimise the appearance once
that revision goes live.

This may have been a relatively uncontentious change in tagging, but even
so it shows that for any widely used set of tags achieving a revision in
how they are used takes time. There is always a perception that doing
things in OSM is a race against time, but I think in most cases this is
erroneous, and particularly because OSM itself is not commercial. Most
stuff added to OSM is immediately useful to someone even if data is
incomplete or tagging is inconsistent.

We should recognise that patience is a virtue in the resolution of the many
outstanding tagging issues we have today (forest/wood, grassy places,
residential roads in USA etc). That patience may be expressed by careful
advocacy of different tagging approaches, small scale chiselling away at
daunting quantities of confusingly tagged elements, revising rendering
rules and so on.

Patience is important because OSM is not a monolithic curated database, but
rather a pool of data from 100,000s of different sources (mainly mappers
but also imports) each with slightly different 'business logic'. Closing
the loop requires that these sources be included rather than simply
replacing values directly in OSM, which can only happen very late in the
process as with landuse=farm.


On 16 May 2017 at 13:30, SK53 <sk53.osm at gmail.com> wrote:

> I just happened to notice on the Wiki (https://wiki.openstreetmap.
> org/wiki/NoFarm_cleanup_efforts) that the UK is still rather high up the
> laggards board for fixing landuse=farm to something more appropriate. Some
> areas look good (East & West Mids), but there tend to be strong
> concentrations of the older tag dotted around elsewhere.
> My experience is that roughly 5-10% of the polygons will be
> landuse=farmyard, and the vast majority landuse=farmland. Watch for farm
> buildings tagged with landuse though.
> Jerry
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