[Talk-us] misuse of the landuse=forest tag for national forests
Torsten.Karzig at web.de
Sat May 11 22:43:51 UTC 2013
Thanks a lot for your reply. I really appreciate you work for updating
the national forests in southern California.
Before posting I already read the wiki pages you mentioned. For me it
seemed that there is still some dispute about how the tag landuse=forest
is used and there exist different approaches. What I only learned now is
that US National Forests are indeed used for timber harvesting (and not
only for forest protection) so I now fully agree that the natural=wood
tag is inappropriate.
However, one thing which I still find strange is to tag large areas of
scrub (bushes without any trees) as landuse=forest. Somebody using the
map may be surprised when not finding any trees in a region mapped as a
forest. [The parts of the Angeles National forest that I have seen so
far are dominated by scrub] For me using the landuse=forest tag in this
case seems to contradict the fact that landuse=forest is supposed to
In an ideally detailed map those parts would be marked as scrub. For me
it seems that what to do in the current situation is a question of what
to take as a default. Your point of view is marking everything as
landuse=forest and manually excluding scrub land. I thought it would be
better to only mark parts as forest which clearly are woodland. Since
your point of view seems to be the standard practice right now, I agree
that it is probably the best to stick to it (although this means, imho,
ignoring the conflicting definitions of scrub and forest).
Buy the way, what is rendered when a region is landuse=forest and
natural=scrub at the same time?
On 05/11/2013 01:59 PM, stevea wrote:
> Hello Torsten:
> Please see our wiki page regarding these data (USFS imported data for
> national forests and wildernesses) at
> Please see our wiki pages at
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:landuse%3Dforest and
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:natural%3Dwood regarding the
> differences between forest (actively managed forests where timber
> harvesting can and does take place, whether publicly or privately
> owned), and wood, which is "for ancient or virgin woodland, with no
> forestry use."
> Quite arguably, all national forests ARE landuse=forest: in my mind
> there is no clearer example of a landuse tag as "forest" matching so
> well as exactly those of the boundaries of national forests. Also
> arguably, there are NO natural=wood polygons which would be appropriate
> in any national forest, as they are managed forests, not "ancient or
> virgin woodland, with no forestry use." These two categories are
> mutually exclusive.
> The protected_area tags are correct, on that we seem to agree. However,
> if there are other natural areas in such protected areas as national
> forests, which are correctly tagged landuse=forest (managed timber)
> which have other natural coverings, such as scrub or heath, you are
> perfectly welcome to add a natural=scrub tag (or whatever) where those
> natural landcovers are found, as appropriate. Landcover is an emerging
> edge of OSM semantics, and there is much discussion about it:
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Landcover is a good introduction, and
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/landcover discusses
> a major proposal now under way.
> Also, http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Protected_Area_Rendering shows
> that protected_area=6 (as national forests are/should be tagged) has
> specific polyline and dashing rules, but this (these rules) is/are
> proposals for the Kosmos renderer only.
> No, natural=wood is not a "better" tag (whether in replacement or as an
> additional tag) to the tag of landuse=forest for national forests. There
> is no interpretation here: as described above, natural=wood and
> landuse=forest are quite mutually exclusive.
> (who recently uploaded the southern California national forests, with
> careful tagging and discussion both here and in the first wiki page
> mentioned above before doing so)
>> I am relatively new to the talk-us list and have a question concerning
>> the landuse tags of national forests. Right now (at least in southern
>> california) all national forests are landuse=forest which leads to
>> large green areas on the map which look like they originate from a
>> very old video game with giant pixels. The boundaries of the national
>> forest often have nothing to do with the actual
>> landuse=forest/natural=wood boundaries. I would therefore vote for
>> deleting the landuse tag [and map it separately] leaving the national
>> forests only as protected_areas.
>> Before doing this change I would like to have your input/opinion on
>> the topic.
>> I know that this should actually not be a concern but does anybody
>> know whether protected areas of level 6 (like national forests) are
>> rendered? (if not this might be a reason for the initial
>> landuse=forest tag, although this is clearly mapping for the renderer)
>> One more thing: When I look at the definition of the OSM map features
>> it seems that natural=wood seems to be a better tag. But this depends
>> a bit on the interpretation whether landuse=forest is used for land
>> that is primarily managed for timber production or for woodland that
>> is in some way maintained by humans.
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