[OSM-talk] Abuse of natural=cliff tag

Vladimir Vyskocil vladimir.vyskocil at gmail.com
Fri Sep 6 12:42:06 UTC 2019

Hi !

Around this area : https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=16/50.9034/14.2763 <https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=16/50.9034/14.2763> there is a flagrant misuse and abuse of the usage of the natural=cliff tag. It is used to map the iso altitude lines and not real cliff as stated in the WIKI :

A cliff <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/en:cliff> is a vertical or almost vertical natural drop in terrain topography as it occurs for example in form of coastal cliffs or escarpments. The face of the cliff usually consists of bare solid rock but can occasionally also consist of clay, compacted sand, ice or other solid materials.  

When not to use

natural <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:natural>=cliff <> should not be used for ridges, i.e. crests where there is a significant drop in terrain to both sides and neither of them is close to vertical. Use natural <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:natural>=ridge <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:natural%3Dridge> or natural <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:natural>=arete <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:natural%3Darete> instead. Also do not usenatural <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:natural>=cliff <> just for mapping an inclined bare rock surface, use natural <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:natural>=bare_rock <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:natural%3Dbare_rock> instead. 

I already removed the natural=cliff ways mapped by MichaOSM after asking him to fix this but without response the changeset comment was : 

"Felsen, Riffe, Topografie nach GeoSachsen digitale Geländemodellhoehenlinien 2.5m, digitales Geländereliefmodell, DTK10, topografische Karte”

For example this changeset : https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/66373825#map=15/50.9016/14.3093 <https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/66373825#map=15/50.9016/14.3093>

It say that it used a 2.5m topographic map to map all these false cliffs in this area, he was mapping the topography (MNT) and this is forbidden in OSM.

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