[Talk-us] Blue Ridge Parkway

Greg Troxel gdt at lexort.com
Tue Jan 31 11:29:42 UTC 2017

To me the biggest point is that having a tag "boundary=national_park" in
OSM that is somehow tied to exactly which flavor of park administered by
exactly which government *in the US* seems broken.  The general OSM
model is to have tags that have some meaning that can reasonably be
applied everywhere.

So if we define "national park" to be

  an area of land that is
    - managed by a fairly large-sized element of government with
      authority to make law
    - managed to preserve the land (and sometimes contents) indefinitely
      into the future, and intended to provide access to that land for
    - considered within the country it is in to be of high significance,
      (perhaps on the order of 1 park per million people, but really
      that's not right)

then things are probably fine.  This does not leave room for saying that
of the ~500 entities managed by the US National Park Service, only ~50
use the wordds "National Park".  Other countries surely do not use the
same (arbitrary) distinctions among National Park, National Historic
Park, National Seashore, National Monument, etc.  I would fully expect
each country to have a slightly different (arbritary) set of naming

Around me (amusingly as we discuss British influence on tagging) is
"Minuteman National Historic Park".  This is not a "National Park", but
it has the same kind rangers in the same uniforms, the same kinds of
rules, and is managed to preserve the historic landscape of the start of
the American Revolution for future generations while providing access to
visit it.  It is hugely significant in the US; just not as big as
Yellowstone.  (It's not just a "works of humans vs works of nature"
distinction; Mesa Verde National Park, unarguably a 1st-class "National
Park" is preserving cliff dwellings from ~1000 years ago.)

So I think it's fine to tag all the NPS units as
boundary=national_park.  Perhaps we should have some national-specific
subtagging, like


and then data consumers that care can make fine distinctions, and people
can avoid worrying about where the edge is.

In many ways this is much like highway=primary/secondary.

As Kevin points out, the real problem is rendering support for a
reasonable tagging mode, and I think we should be totally ok with
good-faith close-enough-for-now tagging until that's fixed.

Part of the rendering problem is that "landuse=consersation", used in
Massachusetts, was deprecated and not rendered, rather than being
promoted.  Every bit of land (at the level parcel or similarly large
chunk or groups of similar parcels) should have exactly one landuse tag,
and eventually there should also be a (different) tiling with exactly
one landcover tag.  Generally for these "national park"-like entities we
are discussing, landuse=conservation is appropriate.  A city park,
however, perhaps should be more like landuse=leisure, but that can be a
tough call (which I suggest should not matter much in edge cases).
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