[Talk-us] misuse of the landuse=forest tag for national forests

Greg Troxel gdt at ir.bbn.com
Sun May 12 12:04:14 UTC 2013

  I do agree with Mike Thompson's statement:  "If neither of the two
  tags being discussed (landuse=forest, natural=wood) are appropriate
  for tagging a generic area covered by trees (regardless if it is
  "virgin", "managed"), it would be really helpful to have a tag that
  could be used for this (i.e. indicate what the *landcover* is).  This
  information is useful when navigating the back country."  Yet, I

I feel that

  landuse cannot be made to mean landcover (because that concept doesn't
  make sense)

  natural= can perhaps be a subset of landcover, but it's awkward
  because of landuse

So, I'd like to see a


tag, and to have a set of definitions based on a landcover schema that
has been established via peer review in professional geography.

Given that, one can define 'natural=wood' to be a shorthand for
landcover=trees or whatever it turns out to be.

In landuse=retail and residential, we use buildings, parking lots,
roads, ball fields, etc. to show landcover, sort of.

Somewhat separately, there's a related tension in the default render.
USGS topo maps (that I often look to for example), show landcover with
tints, basically.   The default mapnik render (and mkgmap versions)
shows landuse with tints.  That's ok, but I think it's at best very
challenging to get a render that shows both landuse and landcover in a
way that makes everyone happy.   Perhaps crosshatcing for use, and color
for cover, at least in the conservation/forestry and
rock/grass/scrub/trees/water axes.
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