[Talk-us] National Forest "nature_reserve"?

stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Thu Jun 4 01:00:27 UTC 2015

On not-so-long-ago USFS polygons, I tagged BOTH 
boundary=protected_area, leaving older landuse=forest and 
leisure=nature_reserve tags as they are.  When protected Wilderness, 
on initial creation, my tagging "soups up" to reflect that 
Wilderness/Forest distinction:  a protect_class 6 and a 1b are 
distinct.  Leaving existing tagging alone seems best unless it is 
clear a newer method is a better method, as now extant semantics can 
be easily lost.  OSM editors are good hearted, wishing to improve as 
we edit.  I go along with new tagging schema as I learn them and 
become smarter at using them, as we should.

Wholesale removal of landuse or leisure tags?  Well, now slow down. 
I don't think I heard THAT.  Something about old and new styles are 
out there, yes, I agree.  So, it is historical and it is emerging. 
I've been around in OSM to see it happen and participate in it over 
the years.  Older tags getting deprecated might speed up that very 
decay cycle (even as I hit Send).  Yet, leaving them (abandoned 
railroads anybody? no scratch that as rhetorical) largely as tagged 
now satisfies a current need.  Co-existence and peace through 
conversation, what do you know?!  (Elliott Plack says we see both, I 

We have a decent early-21st-century fix on more than a few USFS 
boundaries with landuse and leisure tags.  I see no reason to go out 
of our way to remove those tags (in favor of protect_class tag) as 
they co-exist just fine.  Sure, protect_class is a fine way to mean a 
certain semantic.  Yet, too, "this is a forest boundary."  What we 
(the USA, OSM's wiki...) say a forest is, after all.  That has a 
certain standing to remain as is:  these are forests.  Well, as of 
3.6 years ago, maybe.

We get smarter as we get older, right?!


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