[Talk-us] Parks in the USA, leisure=park, park:type

OSM Volunteer stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Sat May 4 21:10:51 UTC 2019

(I'll try that again, without the link syntax that got scrubbed).

Apologies for length, yet this is long and requires words.

> brad <bradhaack at fastmail.com> wrote:
> I like this
> (what Joseph Eisenberg wrote)
> better than calling a state park a national park.  Tagging them state parks with the national park tag is an abstract concept that will just result in confusion.

Brad, I "like it," too (what Joseph wrote, as it correctly meets present-day OSM conventions), but I won't (right now) go so far as to say I like it "better."  We have both, as both definitions and tagging are messy; we have multiple tagging methods for meaning the same thing.  I say this partly because the concept OSM defines as "national_park" seems (to me) to directly fit onto state parks.  I am not alone, as I look at how we tag in the USA:  hundreds of "parks" (park-like things) are tagged boundary=national_park when they are not "National Parks" as administered by the National Park Service.  Try this OT query (which geocodes in randomly-chosen Oregon, searching for boundary=national_park there):  overpass-turbo.eu/s/IHx .  You get 20 megabytes:  hundreds of results representing dozens of "parks," some of them national monuments, national recreation areas, national forests, national historic parks, a national grassland and yes, even a national_park (as you'd expect), Crater Lake NP.

However, note there are also numerous STATE parks, STATE forests, STATE recreation areas and things like STATE recreation site, STATE scenic viewpoint and STATE natural area.  See:  in one randomly selected state alone, several STATE parks NOW TAGGED boundary=national_park!  I am being descriptive (what is) as I report these data, not prescriptive (what should be), as I don't say how we OUGHT to tag.  I observe that there appear to be few or no consistent tagging standards on "parks" in the USA (where I spend time looking, this may be true more widely in OSM).  That was my point as I initiated this thread:  so we might achieve both better understanding of parks and better (more consistent) tagging on parks.

"Tagging them state parks with the national park tag" is NOT "an abstract concept," it is correct.  I don't want to get overtly political, but the 50 states are sovereign.  Period, full stop.  Including how states define parks.  Please see the US constitution's 10th amendment, and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_divisions_of_the_United_States, which states "According to numerous decisions of the United States Supreme Court, the 50 individual states and the United States as a whole are each sovereign jurisdictions," with cite.  This is settled, well established US legal doctrine.  I hope OSM can agree with the US Supreme Court along with centuries of decisions by US jurists and citizens (and I think we largely do).

>   If the consensus is to tag them the same then I suggest depracting the national park tag and coming up with something else so it isn't confusing.

I hear you as you say you are confused.  I hope this post has helped w.r.t. state sovereignty and the fact that many others in the USA both understand state sovereignty and continue to tag "true" (NPS) national parks, national-park-like (but aren't) federal areas AND state parks and state-park-like areas with boundary=national_park.  (Understandably, and I believe correctly, given our wiki definitions and the USA's legal/political realities).  I observe I am simply describing and not prescribing (thou shalt tag like this...).  I observe this appears messy to many and that untangling it has been, is and likely will be difficult.  IMO, Joseph's observations are similar positive-contribution suggestions.  I speak for myself, but this thread in talk-us seem a proper forum for this dialog.  If, after reading this, you have similar forward-looking observations and suggestions of your own, I wish to hear those.  Including deprecating the national_park tag, while I listen as you might suggest with what we might replace it, and how.  These might align perfectly with Joseph's suggestions (though he doesn't appear to advocate for deprecation of national_park), or they might not.  I listen.


> (what Joseph Eisenberg wrote):
>> I would recommend starting to use boundary=protected_area for State
>> parks, and other parks that are large natural areas that are designed
>> for a balance of tourism and protection of the natural environment but
>> are not actually National Parks.
>> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:boundary%3Dprotected_area
>> You can tag state parks like this:
>> boundary=protected_area + protect_class=2 + protection_title="State Park"
>> Protect Class 2 is the same type as National Parks, and will be
>> rendered and interpreted the same by most database users, but the
>> protection title makes it clear that it's actually a State Park, not a
>> National Park.
>> For county parks: many of these are small parks that are similar to a
>> usual urban park, with gardens, playgrounds, sports fields etc, and
>> can be tagged with leisure=park. Others are natural areas or nature
>> reserves, and could use boundary=protected_area + protect_class=5 +
>> protection_title="County Park".
>> State and National Forests, which are used for logging and grazing as
>> well as recreation, can be tagged as:
>> boundary=protected_area + protect_class=6 + protection_title="National
>> Forest" or "State Forest".
>> These features will all be rendered the same as boundary=national_park
>> and leisure=nature_reserve in many renderings styles, but it's nice to
>> be a little more specific.

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