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#1 2019-07-10 08:40:57

henke54
Member
Registered: 2015-03-17
Posts: 683

Landcover-Natural-Surface ... Confusing !

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#2 2019-07-10 15:49:25

SomeoneElse
Member
Registered: 2010-10-13
Posts: 1,091

Re: Landcover-Natural-Surface ... Confusing !

The way that you've worded your question sounds like you're just trolling here.  There are lots of good questions to be asked about "how did OSM tagging evolve to how it is now" and "how (if we can) do we change it in some way" but asking the question in such a way that it looks like you're trying to stir up a heated argument won't actually get us any closer to answering them.

What I'd suggest you do first is have a look through previous discussions about the use of different top-level tags, and then add _your own_ answer to that question - say "it looks like people use the 'surface' tag because..." (also "natural", "landuse" and "landcover").

That will allow you to discuss it here in a non-confrontational way, because by that stage you're actually familiar with the discussions that have gone before.

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#3 2019-07-10 16:38:59

henke54
Member
Registered: 2015-03-17
Posts: 683

Re: Landcover-Natural-Surface ... Confusing !

SomeoneElse wrote:

The way that you've worded your question sounds like you're just trolling here.  There are lots of good questions to be asked about "how did OSM tagging evolve to how it is now" and "how (if we can) do we change it in some way" but asking the question in such a way that it looks like you're trying to stir up a heated argument won't actually get us any closer to answering them.

What I'd suggest you do first is have a look through previous discussions about the use of different top-level tags, and then add _your own_ answer to that question - say "it looks like people use the 'surface' tag because..." (also "natural", "landuse" and "landcover").

That will allow you to discuss it here in a non-confrontational way, because by that stage you're actually familiar with the discussions that have gone before.

i am not 'trolling' , it was a simple question, and from what i can understand is , that people are free to use landcover=* .... so, 'the more the merrier' i'd say, so that that 'proposed landcover' finally would be 'approved'  .  wink

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#4 2019-07-10 17:51:03

n76
Member
Registered: 2013-05-22
Posts: 233

Re: Landcover-Natural-Surface ... Confusing !

Just my opinion: “Approved” simply means that a handful of people on the tagging list eventually stopped “bike shedding” a proposal and actually voted on it. I follow the tagging list but mostly find it a waste of time and a huge source of noise. For me the true approval of a form of tagging is first the number of mappers using it and second the support for it by editors and data consumers (renderers, etc.).

Also my opinion: Tags like “surface” are most used for things like roads and long preceded the landcover tag. I am unaware of wide spread use of “surface” outside of the highway tagging schema. OTOH I haven't really looked for uses outside of highway tagging so I could be wrong on that. About the only surface values I use are “asphalt”, “concrete”, “paved” and “unpaved”.

Likewise, the “natural” tag preceded the landcover tag. If you are attempting to map vegetation then there is a mess of tags that have grown over time and the “landcover” tag was an attempt to simplify the situation. Is a group of trees growing “naturally” or planted by humans (“natural=wood”)? Is it being grown for wood products (“landuse=forest”)? Or is it/was it an orchard (“landuse=orchard”)? Don't know? Can't tell? Maybe just describing the area as having trees on it (“landcover=trees”) is a good idea.

Personally, I use the “landcover” tagging for vegetation. But in deference to many of the currently existing renderers I’ll also tag with “natural” and/or “landuse” if it makes sense (I much prefer to use “landuse=*” for things like “residential”, “industrial”, etc.)

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#5 2019-07-11 13:17:44

henke54
Member
Registered: 2015-03-17
Posts: 683

Re: Landcover-Natural-Surface ... Confusing !

n76 wrote:

Just my opinion: “Approved” simply means that a handful of people on the tagging list eventually stopped “bike shedding” a proposal and actually voted on it. I follow the tagging list but mostly find it a waste of time and a huge source of noise. For me the true approval of a form of tagging is first the number of mappers using it and second the support for it by editors and data consumers (renderers, etc.).

It is a 'vicious circle' ...many mappers map something that is 'visible on the map' (meaning rendered), and because 'landcover=*' is not (yet) rendered(=visible) on OSM, there are only a few people that map such things...
For example ; if you tag 'landcover=trees', it is not rendered(=visible), that is why there are several, simply because it is rendered, MIStagging it with 'natural=wood' ... also 'village green' is widely MISused, should be 'landcover=greenery', but, because it is not rendered (yet), there may be not much 'enthusiasm' to do that, but in my opinion , it is maybe the best 'solution' to map a 'landcover=greenery'(=mixture of plants) into  for example an area of 'landuse=residential', because ->

Land use is distinct from 'Landcover' - land cover describes the physical thing/surface covering the land. The two concepts are complementary and can be used together. The land use might be 'military' but the land cover might be 'heathland' or the land use might be 'leisure' but the land cover might be 'grass'.

... that is why i recommend at those, which map trees/forest/wood, to also add a tag landcover=trees

Last edited by henke54 (2019-07-11 13:38:41)

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#6 2019-07-11 13:28:44

goedegazelle
Member
Registered: 2017-07-19
Posts: 349

Re: Landcover-Natural-Surface ... Confusing !

n76 wrote:

Personally, I use the “landcover” tagging for vegetation.

That is non-functional mapping.

All primary keys describe a function, roughly:
- landuse describes the use by humans
- natural describes the use by nature
- amenity describes places that make something possible
- leisure describes places to have fun or to relax
- tourism is for travellers
- man-made is for structures and equipment
- building is for concealed space
- highway is for traffic flows
- waterway is for water flows
and so on...

If we draw a line than we want to describe whether it depicts a road or something else. Then we want to describe, for example, the importance of the transport route. After that come the tags that describe its physical features.

Tagging with landcover is the opposite way, we would start with the physical features and probably never reach its function.


OpenStreetMap: de wereldkaart die bol staat van gegevens.

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#7 2019-07-11 16:57:08

alester
Member
Registered: 2011-09-21
Posts: 231

Re: Landcover-Natural-Surface ... Confusing !

goedegazelle wrote:
n76 wrote:

Personally, I use the “landcover” tagging for vegetation.

That is non-functional mapping.

All primary keys describe a function, roughly:
- landuse describes the use by humans
- natural describes the use by nature
- amenity describes places that make something possible
- leisure describes places to have fun or to relax
- tourism is for travellers
- man-made is for structures and equipment
- building is for concealed space
- highway is for traffic flows
- waterway is for water flows
and so on...

Nope, all the tags do is describe what an object is. The "primary keys" are nothing more than a convenient categorization of the most commonly-used tags, not descriptions of some kind of function. "Natural describes the use by nature" doesn't make sense. If I tag an object with natural=water, that doesn't say that "nature uses this area as water". All it says is that there's a body of water there. Likewise, building=yes says "this object is a building", highway=motorway says "there's a high-speed road here", and leisure=park says "this area is a park". If one tags an area with landcover=trees, they're simply saying "here be trees". If one wants to add a known functional value to that area of trees, like if it's managed, then additional tags like managed=yes can be used to extend the object's definition.

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#8 2019-07-11 20:16:48

goedegazelle
Member
Registered: 2017-07-19
Posts: 349

Re: Landcover-Natural-Surface ... Confusing !

alester wrote:

Nope, all the tags do is describe what an object is

So it is pure coincidental that, lets say, the land uses are grouped under landuse.

And water isn't natural? Then were is it made?

alester wrote:

"Natural describes the use by nature" doesn't make sense.

Well, nature uses those areas for living, growing and breathing. Never noticed?

alester wrote:

Likewise, building=yes says "this object is a building"

But only concealed buildings for human activities. Coincidence?

alester wrote:

leisure=park says "this area is a park"

And we use parks for...

There is really a reason why there are words like "garden," "park," "meadow" or "tundra" and not just "grass."


OpenStreetMap: de wereldkaart die bol staat van gegevens.

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#9 2019-07-12 04:46:49

escada
Moderator
Registered: 2011-08-13
Posts: 1,542

Re: Landcover-Natural-Surface ... Confusing !

I see no problem with tagging an area with just landcover, in case you do not know for which purpose it is used by nature or humans.
Another mapper can later always add that information. So I do not understand why you write "non-functional" mapping.

This is the same as mapping highway=road from aerial imagery when you do not know the importance of the street. There is a street and another mapper can later add more detail.

I'm with Alester, the top level tags are just classifications. Not every amenity is really an amenity (prison and bank), not everything under natural is untouched by humans (tree row), not everything that is made by humans is under man-made (otherwise most objects just have a man-made tag), not every landuse describes how the area is used by humans (grass ? forest ?) Why is a restaurant not under tourism ? etc.

Do not try to get too much information from the "top"-level tag. BTW, what is a top-level tag ? Why is building a top-level tag ? shouldn't it be man_made=building; building=... ?

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#10 2019-07-12 12:16:51

SomeoneElse
Member
Registered: 2010-10-13
Posts: 1,091

Re: Landcover-Natural-Surface ... Confusing !

escada wrote:

I'm with Alester, the top level tags are just classifications.

Exactly.  They're just tags.  They might offer a bit of guidance as to roughly want sort of thing the thing being tagged is, but at the end of the day it's just a tag - it doesn't matter if OSM had chosen the tag "landcover", "landuse" "1234" or "fintlewoodlewix", as long as OSMers understand that when they tag something as "foo"="bar" that they're describing the same thing.

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