[Talk-us] Potential vandalism in Northern California (Pokémon Go?)

OSM Volunteer stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Wed Jan 3 21:11:38 UTC 2018

On Jan 3, 2018, at 4:00 AM, Andy Townsend <ajt1047 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Currently the wiki page https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:leisure%3Dpark defines an OSM "leisure=park" using a few words, and illustrates it with a picture of part of Central Park in New York.  It then goes on to say that "leisure=park" shouldn't be used for national parks.  It uses Yosemite at http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=10/37.8230/-119.5060 as an example national park ( http://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/1643367 for info ).
> I'd suggest that the state and county parks in CA such as for example Joseph D Grant https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/3003169 are less like Central Park than they are like Yosemite.   They might not be close enough to warrant a "boundary=national_park" tag, and some other tag (some sort of protected_area?) might be more appropriate, but they're definitely not an OSM "leisure=park" in a "does it quack like a duck" sense as per https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Duck_tagging.  On Joseph D Grant someone has added a "park:type=county_park" tag to try and help data consumers distinguish it from other "leisure=park"s, but that doesn't really say anything about what it's like, just who looks after it.

While this is talk-us and not argue-us, I don't want an argument; it is dialog that allows us to reach consensus.  I quote exactly those "few words" in our wiki to define a park:  "A park is an area of open space provided for recreational use, usually designed and in semi-natural state with grassy areas, trees and bushes. Parks are often but not always municipal."  (There is a bit more about being fenced and/or closed at night, not germane here).  I think we both can agree that Joseph D Grant Park (JDG) in California meets that definition.  The photo of Central Park in NYC is something we can also agree is exemplary of what is meant by a park, but any such example will necessarily be different in many ways from every other park, large or small, municipal or otherwise.  I emphasize our wiki says "parks are not always municipal."  This is the case with JDG, so I re-affirm here and now its leisure=park tag as correct.  Having "Park" in its name seems an obvious companion to this statement.

Yes, there is an additional section about "National Parks."  It says "Parks in isolated, rural locations (namely areas called "National Parks") are (different)."  While I cannot disagree that National Parks ARE "different" than the implied definition above (they have a national operator instead of municipal, they offer outstanding, world-class opportunities to recreate and enjoy natural beauty...) the contradiction implied is not exclusionary.  In other words, just because national parks are implied as different from "municipal" parks (those might be state, county, city, neighborhood, religious and/or private) it does not mean that a large municipal park that might "more resemble" a national park isn't a park.  A major issue I have with your approach is that "in isolated rural locations" is a slightly fuzzy definition, so we might never agree on where a "hard disambiguation" between these two (rather arbitrary, in fact) categories bifurcates.

Having seriously scratched my head about this for almost 9 years, I noticed that problem/ambiguities seem to stem from this rather artificial bifurcation into exactly TWO categories of park:  "national" and "otherwise, not national."  This is clearly over-simplistic given the world's myriad parks and their administration.  It is destined to fail both in the minds of OSM volunteers who "want to do the right thing" (tag parks properly) as well as renderers trying to shoehorn all parks into "park" or "national park," when there are so many other park-like or actual park-like entities.  In 2009, (along with Apo42's useful habit of tagging with "park_type=county_park" (et al)), I posited the idea that park boundary rendering could benefit from different colors of dashing depending on the jurisdiction of the park.  Quoting from my wiki user page,

"This would be similar to how boundary=national_park creates a dashed-green boundary, but with different colored dashing for different levels of jurisdiction, from local playgrounds to national parks, or even UN World Heritage sites. There are many complex overlapping park boundaries of various levels of jurisdiction in California, especially in very far northern California. The intent is to communicate these in a way that the OSM community both accepts and finds pleasing to the eye so that even map consumers uninitiated with the sometimes subtle semiotics of cartographic jurisdiction can visually parse complex park boundaries with ease."

As that strays a LONG way from Pokémon Go Vandalism (PGV), I acknowledge it may be time to break out this discussion of how to tag JDG into another (titled) thread.

We agree that additional tags of protected_area are likely appropriate on JDG and parks similar to it.  This is a much larger issue (and task) which might be applied to all parks of whatever "level" or jurisdiction/administration, but we have not fully addressed it.  Perhaps we start to do so here and now.  Another topic and thread.

I agree with Duck_tagging, and say we should leave the leisure=park tag on JDG and parks like it:  it is named Park, it "quacks like a park."  I do not agree with what seems to be an overly strict interpretation of the leisure=park tag where Andy says "state and county parks...are definitely not an OSM leisure=park."  They are.  I believe Andy's interpretation stems from the artificially strict limitation that we have only two types of parks in the world (and hence OSM):  national and "otherwise."  Again, please note that the definition of park explicitly states that "parks are not always municipal."  Ipso facto, JDG is a park.

>> 2)  Landuse is not landcover and vice versa.
> Indeed (and OSM is confusing about how it tags both of those) but that's not really relevant to the current discussion.  Bits of a state park may be covered with trees, and some of those trees might be primarily there for future logging (or not) but that is a separate issue to the legal status of the state park and who owns and operates the land.  There may be rules about uses that people can't use the land in a state or national park for, but that's normally different what it is currently used for.  OSM has tags that start "landuse=", "natural=" and to a lesser extent "landcover=", but those landuse tags aren't just about land use and not all "natural" things are truly natural.

Right, I agree it is only tangentially germane here (if that), and largely to remind us that this is an example of the root of much misunderstanding giving rise to potential or actual tagging disputes.  Unclear, ambiguous or overly-simplistic definitions (in our wiki) also give rise such disputes.  It seems the solution here is to address the specific issue of whether there are two (and only two) kinds of parks in OSM.  I think not, but our wiki seems to have implied this for quite a while and it continues to give rise to misunderstandings and tagging disputes.  Also, let's agree that "parks are not always municipal" (as we explicitly say so) and that seems to largely settle JDG and parks like it (a subsequent paragraph on National Parks notwithstanding).  And (much lower temperature) we can do BETTER than "solve" these issues by reducing or eliminating ambiguity by taking the extra step of bolstering those firm definitions with beautiful renderings (as I suggested almost a decade ago).  This could make OSM a BETTER map than most (perhaps all) others, and there isn't anything wrong with efforts to do that!


More information about the Talk-us mailing list