[OSM-talk] landcover=trees [was Re: OpenStreetMap Carto v2.33.0 release]

Daniel Koć daniel at xn--ko-wla.pl
Sat Aug 15 12:58:51 UTC 2015

W dniu 15.08.2015 13:50, Christoph Hormann napisał(a):

> The suggestion of using landcover=trees is generally based on the idea
> that both landuse=forest and natural=wood have a distinct meaning and
> there are tree covered areas which are neither of these.  But in
> reality this is not the case and due to the widespread use of these
> tags it is likely this will never happen, it would require a systematic
> re-assessment of millions of features.

In my opinion suggestion of using landcover=trees is based on the lack 
of clarity of these tags. Forest suggests it is curated somehow 
("landuse"), wood suggests it is not ("natural"), but nobody is sure 
anymore what they really mean (see their current definitions!). This is 
a major problem when widespread tags are source of confusion.

However landcover=trees is not a solution for this problem as a whole. 
It is a generic tagging scheme which holds its position even if we have 
both major tags clearly defined, because it is for the mappers to tell 
"I don't know what kind of tree area is this exactly" and that's why 
it's really needed. I may even think, that if we have used it from the 
beginning, we wouldn't have the problem of forest/wood at all.

Generic values are important to be as precise as it's possible and 
prevent people from cheating (especially tagging for renderer). That's 
why building=yes is so popular and why we have natural=water.

I like Dave F. proposition of having cascading tag scheme for all the 
tree areas very much:


I hope one day we will have something this elegant. Choosing landuse 
would overload the meaning of this tag ("Land use is the human use of 
land.") in general, while landcover could be understatement in some 
cases, so maybe we should use natural (as in water), but let's not get 
distracted by such nuances in this moment.

The message is: it would be very good to have something general for tree 
areas and whether it would be based on landcover=trees or not, it is the 
most proper tag to use when in doubt.

"The train is always on time / The trick is to be ready to put your bags 
down" [A. Cohen]

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