State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

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State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

Kevin Kenny-4
The immediate question: I have the boundary multipolygon for a large state park. The park has several stretches of waterfront. In some places the boundary of the park follows the high tide line. In others, it's set back from the shore (and the waterfront may have another owner). And in other cases the boundary extends far offshore (which may have implications for boaters). How best to divide and tag it so that the park exists as a unified entity, but does not result in rendering land or trees in the water?

----

Now from some gratuitous ranting, because I'm getting discouraged:


ACCESS RESTRICTIONS

My last question here, regarding how to tag public lands for which permission is required (but routinely granted) got answers that left me in a deeper state of confusion. The general consensus seemed to be "there is no difference between those and private lands other than the personality of the landowner, and they therefore must be tagged alike: access=private". That answer did not satisfy - I want a map that renders those cases differently, and things tagged alike cannot be rendered differently." Moreover, I don't hold out much hope that a formal proposal, wikified and voted, would end any differently; the voters are mostly on this list. (Also, nobody answered my question about how to initiate such a proposal.) I'm leaving Long Island mistagged with "access=yes" and not touching the "access=permit" on the New York City watershed parcels that I imported a few months ago (without a peep on "imports" about that detail of the proposal).

So that particular aspect of the project is "on hold" for now.

FOREST BOUNDARIES

I'm also trying hard not to resurrect the argument about "forests." The general consensus is that there simply is no way to tag the case, important in the US, of "a tract of land legally managed for wild-land resource production (wood and other products)." In this community, that idea simply cannot be separated from "land covered with trees". There are also other confusing ideas such as a "natural wood". The last, it appears, means either also "covered with trees" or else "virgin stands of old-growth forest", and also appears to connote "unmanaged" - which is a contradiction, since our few remaining tracts of wilderness are managed intensively to keep them that way. I've come to accept that any correct tagging will not render, and most nearly correct taggings will suffer from rendering gaffes like trees in water. (The concept of "a pond in the forest" apparently is sufficiently foreign that the phrase, on this forum, is nonsensical to the point of being meaningless: "surely you mean a pond SURROUNDED BY the forest?") So I do the best I can to tell as few lies as possible while still choosing a tagging that will be visible on the renderer, recalling that "boundary=protected_area" does not render. I don't expect, given the amount of progress toward rendering it in the last two or three years, that I'm going to see rendering of protected areas on any maps I don't produce.

That's fine, I can live with doing my own rendering, although it increasingly means that I have to keep my own data on the side because there's no way to represent it semantically in OSM's tagging structure. It's at worst an inconvenience.

STATE PARKS (and many other types of public land)

New York, like many US States, has a system of "State Parks," which are land managed primarily for the purpose of public outdoor recreation. (Some of them have secondary purposes such as resource conservation. In particular, the large parks near the New York-New Jersey border exist at least in part to protect watershed for the cities of New Jersey.)

Many, if not most of these parks, particularly the larger ones, are multiple-use areas. They correspond roughly with "national park" in the IUCN system - but I'm reluctant to use that terminology, since they are not administered at the Federal level. "National Park" is a specific term in the US, and it does not apply to State Parks. In any case, "boundary=protected_area protect_class=2" seems made for them, and IUCN appears to allow for the case where a government other than the national one could designate such a thing. (On the other hand, on their site, they accord New York's wilderness areas a protection class of VI - while they enjoy virtually the strictest protection of any wilderness areas in the country, and in my opinion are class Ib, and I tagged them thus.) So, I'll accept that "state park" <=> "protected area". That doesn't help me with rendering, of course. It'll just be a blank spot on the map.

So, what do to to make them show? "leisure=park" doesn't feel right. The state parks I'm working on aren't small green spots in the city. Some have large tracts of backcountry. A typical trekker will spend 2-3 nights in the woods on a trip from Greenwood Lake to the Bear Mountain Bridge through the parks. "landuse=forest" sort of works, except that every documented meaning of that tag is a lie. The land is not managed to harvest forest products; in fact, the taking of trees is forbidden. Nor is the land, in most places, entirely covered by trees; the parks encompass lakes, marshes, scrublands, and even developed sections.

But all right. I'll settle for either "landuse=forest" or "leisure=nature_reserve" as something that at least does not misrender horribly, and note that such tagging is retained for the benefit of legacy renderers.

PARKS AT THE SHORELINE

But now I trip over another issue. A fair number of state parks lie on the shoreline, be it the ocean front, the Hudson River, one of the Great Lakes, or any number of smaller waterways. In many cases, their legal boundaries extend for quite some distance offshore. This is significant - it has implications for boaters, for instance - and so we want to keep the boundary (which militates for leisure=nature_reserve, which at least shows SOMETHING).

If we were to tag landuse=forest or leisure=park or most such things, we would run afoul of the fact that the current renderer will render such areas as land or at least overprint patterns such as trees on them.

The argument could be advanced that the "human" perspective of the park is that it consists of the land portions, plus some offshore regulated area that's a different animal. And I suppose that I could therefore carefully carve out water from the legal boundary, and create two different multipolygons that share most of the ways, one to carry the "protected area" designation and the other to carry the "landuse". That's starting to get into some really detailed work for what I hoped would be an initial sketch (but see below for some philosophy discussion).

SO THE IMMEDIATE QUESTION ABOVE: "How would other people divide and tag a state park whose property line extends offshore?" (The particular case I have in mind is fairly complex; there are places where the park's boundary is coterminuous with the high tide line, other places where it's set back some distance from the water, and yet other places where it extends far down the foreshore or out into permanent open water.)

TOP-DOWN vs BOTTOM-UP MAPPING

It gets tremendously more complicated if detailed land use and land cover are needed. Then there will be complex webs of multipolygons, sharing some but not all of the ways. As a matter of fact, I have a strong preference for NOT sharing ways among, say, preserve boundaries and things such as "natural=wood" because they make editing really complicated and seldom describe the situation in the field. Trees grow where they will unless humans remove them. They are no respecters of property lines.

Is that what everyone else does? Do even the roughest sketches (drawing the boundaries of parks, for instance) with webs of multipolygons sharing many of the ways, so that one set of multipolygons can be tagged for the protected area, another for the land use, and still another the land cover? If so, it seems to make for an editing nightmare.

Is there really no way to make these things approximately correct without metre-by-metre analysis of land cover and land use? (Without detailed exploration, which may not even be allowed, I surely cannot tell a "natural" wood from a "managed" one. I can see indications, such as the predominance of a single species of tree, or a narrow age distribution of the trees, but these cases can arise naturally as well. And I don't even know what "managed" means! Is a highly-protected wilderness area 'managed'? Or does 'managed' imply a plantation? I get conflicting answers.)

What I tend to hear in this community is, "you're going at it all wrong." Apparently, the only way to approach it is to start with your own back yard and map only fine details, and then aggregate the details into coarser structures. I'm getting the feeling that mapping large objects such as parks, and then filling in the details of what is in the parks, is something that the community deprecates. I do seem to hear a subtext that I shouldn't care about where a park is until I've mapped its interior in detail.

If that's really the One True Way of Mapping, then the work that I've done trying to get public land boundaries in New York sorted out is largely in contravention to it. I hope that's not the case, and I'm just running into the sort of special cases that might be expected in a state whose largest park is larger than the nation of Slovenia.

I suppose, otherwise, I could stick to detailed mapping - the sort of thing that I did last weekend with https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/41001386#map=15/42.8139/-74.1317&layers=N. But I really want my map to show where the state land begins and ends, so that I know where I'm allowed to travel before I get there. And it would be nice if I don't have to go slogging through beaver swamp to survey ponds and wetlands before I can have a polygon for the State Forest - which, after all, is mostly wooded and ostensibly managed for forestry. In practice, the land there is resource-poor enough that there's little timber harvest, so it's more a recreational area. (And in practice, few people want to recreate in that swamp. Now that I've mapped the major features, I probably shan't be back. The only important aspect was the long trail that traverses it, and I've got that.)

I won't even get into asking about how to tag seasonally-varying wetlands, or ones that vary on a longer cycle. Beavers return to the same areas fairly predictably. They may be grown to meadows or alder swamps, but won't grow to mature forest before they're flooded again. It's nice to have these cyclic areas mapped, since they will be muddy but negotiable most years, and inundated and impassable in some. But that's way more advanced than I'm trying to get to at present. I'll settle for parcel boundaries, open water, and trail alignment.

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Re: State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

Warin
On 7/27/2016 5:11 AM, Kevin Kenny wrote:

> The immediate question: I have the boundary multipolygon for a large
> state park. The park has several stretches of waterfront. In some
> places the boundary of the park follows the high tide line. In others,
> it's set back from the shore (and the waterfront may have another
> owner). And in other cases the boundary extends far offshore (which
> may have implications for boaters). How best to divide and tag it so
> that the park exists as a unified entity, but does not result in
> rendering land or trees in the water?
>
> ----
>
> Now from some gratuitous ranting, because I'm getting discouraged:

:-)You are not alone! My ideas below, feel free to disagree.

>
>
> ACCESS RESTRICTIONS
>
> My last question here, regarding how to tag public lands for which
> permission is required (but routinely granted) got answers that left
> me in a deeper state of confusion. The general consensus seemed to be
> "there is no difference between those and private lands other than the
> personality of the landowner, and they therefore must be tagged alike:
> access=private". That answer did not satisfy - I want a map that
> renders those cases differently, and things tagged alike cannot be
> rendered differently." Moreover, I don't hold out much hope that a
> formal proposal, wikified and voted, would end any differently; the
> voters are mostly on this list. (Also, nobody answered my question
> about how to initiate such a proposal.) I'm leaving Long Island
> mistagged with "access=yes" and not touching the "access=permit" on
> the New York City watershed parcels that I imported a few months ago
> (without a peep on "imports" about that detail of the proposal).
>
> So that particular aspect of the project is "on hold" for now.
If you want finer detail then consider adding a sub tag e.g.
access=private
private= ... umm just how would you distinguish between a wilderness are
where access permission is very restrictive and native lands where
access is just a paper application that is easy to get and native lands
where permission takes, say, 3 months of processing? You would need to
consider what values to have for the 'private' key.  Once you do it and
have some practicae at it .. add an OSM wiki page on it describing what
it is so others know. I have a few wiki pages to add ..
sport=hammer_throw, discus_throw, long_jump etc.

>
> FOREST BOUNDARIES
>
> I'm also trying hard not to resurrect the argument about "forests."
> The general consensus is that there simply is no way to tag the case,
> important in the US, of "a tract of land legally managed for wild-land
> resource production (wood and other products)." In this community,
> that idea simply cannot be separated from "land covered with trees".
> There are also other confusing ideas such as a "natural wood". The
> last, it appears, means either also "covered with trees" or else
> "virgin stands of old-growth forest", and also appears to connote
> "unmanaged" - which is a contradiction, since our few remaining tracts
> of wilderness are managed intensively to keep them that way. I've come
> to accept that any correct tagging will not render,

I and others take this view

natural=wood ... any area covered by trees ('natural' or not, managed or
not)
landuse=forest .. any area of trees used to produce wood products -
lumber, sap, oils etc.

> and most nearly correct taggings will suffer from rendering gaffes
> like trees in water. (The concept of "a pond in the forest" apparently
> is sufficiently foreign that the phrase, on this forum, is nonsensical
> to the point of being meaningless: "surely you mean a pond SURROUNDED
> BY the forest?") So I do the best I can to tell as few lies as
> possible while still choosing a tagging that will be visible on the
> renderer, recalling that "boundary=protected_area" does not render. I
> don't expect, given the amount of progress toward rendering it in the
> last two or three years, that I'm going to see rendering of protected
> areas on any maps I don't produce.

Lets concentrate on the tagging - rendering is a separate issue with
many choices.

A pond/lake in a forest - don't tag the water area with an area of trees.
Don't confuse an administrate area (state park) with land cover areas
... these are separate features and should have their own separate OSM
existence - and those OSM existences should be independent.

>
> That's fine, I can live with doing my own rendering, although it
> increasingly means that I have to keep my own data on the side because
> there's no way to represent it semantically in OSM's tagging
> structure. It's at worst an inconvenience.
>
> STATE PARKS (and many other types of public land)
>
> New York, like many US States, has a system of "State Parks," which
> are land managed primarily for the purpose of public outdoor
> recreation. (Some of them have secondary purposes such as resource
> conservation. In particular, the large parks near the New York-New
> Jersey border exist at least in part to protect watershed for the
> cities of New Jersey.)
>
> Many, if not most of these parks, particularly the larger ones, are
> multiple-use areas. They correspond roughly with "national park" in
> the IUCN system - but I'm reluctant to use that terminology, since
> they are not administered at the Federal level. "National Park" is a
> specific term in the US, and it does not apply to State Parks. In any
> case, "boundary=protected_area protect_class=2" seems made for them,
> and IUCN appears to allow for the case where a government other than
> the national one could designate such a thing. (On the other hand, on
> their site, they accord New York's wilderness areas a protection class
> of VI - while they enjoy virtually the strictest protection of any
> wilderness areas in the country, and in my opinion are class Ib, and I
> tagged them thus.) So, I'll accept that "state park" <=> "protected
> area". That doesn't help me with rendering, of course. It'll just be a
> blank spot on the map.

You are lucky. In Australia there are 'National Parks' administered by
the Federal Government and 'National Parks' administered by State
Governments! These can be tagged with the appropriate operator= tag for
identification of that.

>
> So, what do to to make them show? "leisure=park" doesn't feel right.
> The state parks I'm working on aren't small green spots in the city.
> Some have large tracts of backcountry. A typical trekker will spend
> 2-3 nights in the woods on a trip from Greenwood Lake to the Bear
> Mountain Bridge through the parks. "landuse=forest" sort of works,
> except that every documented meaning of that tag is a lie. The land is
> not managed to harvest forest products; in fact, the taking of trees
> is forbidden. Nor is the land, in most places, entirely covered by
> trees; the parks encompass lakes, marshes, scrublands, and even
> developed sections.
>
> But all right. I'll settle for either "landuse=forest" or
> "leisure=nature_reserve" as something that at least does not misrender
> horribly, and note that such tagging is retained for the benefit of
> legacy renderers.+

Yuck.
  Your 'state parks' are administrative boundaries. Don't tag for the
render.

>
> PARKS AT THE SHORELINE
>
> But now I trip over another issue. A fair number of state parks lie on
> the shoreline, be it the ocean front, the Hudson River, one of the
> Great Lakes, or any number of smaller waterways. In many cases, their
> legal boundaries extend for quite some distance offshore. This is
> significant - it has implications for boaters, for instance - and so
> we want to keep the boundary (which militates for
> leisure=nature_reserve, which at least shows SOMETHING).
>
> If we were to tag landuse=forest or leisure=park or most such things,
> we would run afoul of the fact that the current renderer will render
> such areas as land or at least overprint patterns such as trees on them.
>
> The argument could be advanced that the "human" perspective of the
> park is that it consists of the land portions, plus some offshore
> regulated area that's a different animal. And I suppose that I could
> therefore carefully carve out water from the legal boundary, and
> create two different multipolygons that share most of the ways, one to
> carry the "protected area" designation and the other to carry the
> "landuse". That's starting to get into some really detailed work for
> what I hoped would be an initial sketch (but see below for some
> philosophy discussion).
>
> SO THE IMMEDIATE QUESTION ABOVE: "How would other people divide and
> tag a state park whose property line extends offshore?" (The
> particular case I have in mind is fairly complex; there are places
> where the park's boundary is coterminuous with the high tide line,
> other places where it's set back some distance from the water, and yet
> other places where it extends far down the foreshore or out into
> permanent open water.)

Tag the state park boundary as an administrative boundary, don't include
any landcover tags on it.. the landcover should be a separate area/entity.

>
> TOP-DOWN vs BOTTOM-UP MAPPING
>
> It gets tremendously more complicated if detailed land use and land
> cover are needed. Then there will be complex webs of multipolygons,
> sharing some but not all of the ways. As a matter of fact, I have a
> strong preference for NOT sharing ways among, say, preserve boundaries
> and things such as "natural=wood" because they make editing really
> complicated and seldom describe the situation in the field. Trees grow
> where they will unless humans remove them. They are no respecters of
> property lines.
>
> Is that what everyone else does? Do even the roughest sketches
> (drawing the boundaries of parks, for instance) with webs of
> multipolygons sharing many of the ways, so that one set of
> multipolygons can be tagged for the protected area, another for the
> land use, and still another the land cover? If so, it seems to make
> for an editing nightmare.
Yep.. I'm on the side of separating the landcover and landuse ways ..
they only follow one another for things like 'state forests' that are
used for lumber production (primary use, secondaries of recreation and
conservation)

>
> Is there really no way to make these things approximately correct
> without metre-by-metre analysis of land cover and land use? (Without
> detailed exploration, which may not even be allowed, I surely cannot
> tell a "natural" wood from a "managed" one. I can see indications,
> such as the predominance of a single species of tree, or a narrow age
> distribution of the trees, but these cases can arise naturally as
> well. And I don't even know what "managed" means! Is a
> highly-protected wilderness area 'managed'? Or does 'managed' imply a
> plantation? I get conflicting answers.)

If I cannot tell then it is natural=wood, covers the existence of all
trees - a landcover issue. .  what they get used for is a landuse issue.
I stay well away for the 'managed' thing .. I think that is just confusing.

> What I tend to hear in this community is, "you're going at it all
> wrong." Apparently, the only way to approach it is to start with your
> own back yard and map only fine details, and then aggregate the
> details into coarser structures. I'm getting the feeling that mapping
> large objects such as parks, and then filling in the details of what
> is in the parks, is something that the community deprecates. I do seem
> to hear a subtext that I shouldn't care about where a park is until
> I've mapped its interior in detail.
>
> If that's really the One True Way of Mapping, then the work that I've
> done trying to get public land boundaries in New York sorted out is
> largely in contravention to it. I hope that's not the case, and I'm
> just running into the sort of special cases that might be expected in
> a state whose largest park is larger than the nation of Slovenia.
>
> I suppose, otherwise, I could stick to detailed mapping - the sort of
> thing that I did last weekend with
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/41001386#map=15/42.8139/-74.1317&layers=N.
> But I really want my map to show where the state land begins and ends,
> so that I know where I'm allowed to travel before I get there. And it
> would be nice if I don't have to go slogging through beaver swamp to
> survey ponds and wetlands before I can have a polygon for the State
> Forest - which, after all, is mostly wooded and ostensibly managed for
> forestry. In practice, the land there is resource-poor enough that
> there's little timber harvest, so it's more a recreational area. (And
> in practice, few people want to recreate in that swamp. Now that I've
> mapped the major features, I probably shan't be back. The only
> important aspect was the long trail that traverses it, and I've got that.)
>

There are those who will only accept precise data and prefer a blank map
if precise data is not available. The 'there be dragons' approach to
mapping.  I take the view that indicative data is better than no data!
So I would map what I suspect to the best of my knowledge is the
situation on the ground. Then when I go there I would add data -
increase the precision of the existing data (mine or others). The
important thing about this 'indicative data' is to include a good source
statement ... so people can see how vague or accurate it is.

> I won't even get into asking about how to tag seasonally-varying
> wetlands, or ones that vary on a longer cycle. Beavers return to the
> same areas fairly predictably. They may be grown to meadows or alder
> swamps, but won't grow to mature forest before they're flooded again.
> It's nice to have these cyclic areas mapped, since they will be muddy
> but negotiable most years, and inundated and impassable in some. But
> that's way more advanced than I'm trying to get to at present. I'll
> settle for parcel boundaries, open water, and trail alignment.
>
There are also intermittent things - not to be confused with seasonal.
And then there are a few things that are both seasonal and intermittent.

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Re: State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

Kevin Kenny-4
On Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 7:40 PM, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 7/27/2016 5:11 AM, Kevin Kenny wrote:
But all right. I'll settle for either "landuse=forest" or "leisure=nature_reserve" as something that at least does not misrender horribly, and note that such tagging is retained for the benefit of legacy renderers.+

Yuck.
 Your 'state parks' are administrative boundaries. Don't tag for the render.

How many more years must I wait, then, before they will become visible on any of the tile layers on openstreetmap.org? If it hadn't been a couple or three years already, I'd be more patient. A New Yorker would find it astonishing not to see the Adirondack Park, which occupies about a sixth of the land area of the state, but if it were not mistagged 'national park' there would be nothing to trigger its rendering. The smaller state parks, state forests, and similar reserves likewise would likewise have no attributes visible to the renderer.

I know what protected areas I've added - about 1500 multipolygons of them. I've got a file with relation and way ID's. (Plus, they were added under distinct user IDs, so I can recover them by examining the edits made by those users.) How about we make a deal that when the "correct" tagging actually becomes visible on at least one layer of the main site, I go back and remove the "legacy" tagging, which can be done with a mechanical edit? 

SO THE IMMEDIATE QUESTION ABOVE: "How would other people divide and tag a state park whose property line extends offshore?" (The particular case I have in mind is fairly complex; there are places where the park's boundary is coterminuous with the high tide line, other places where it's set back some distance from the water, and yet other places where it extends far down the foreshore or out into permanent open water.)

Tag the state park boundary as an administrative boundary, don't include any landcover tags on it.. the landcover should be a separate area/entity.

Right. landuse=forest isn't land cover, it's land use. natural=wood is land cover. There's "forest" land that at the moment is "natural=scrub" because it's managed as producing forest and recently harvested. And there's "forest" land that's natural=wetland because the beavers have decided that they're using it. (There's also "forest" land that is under the legal fiction that it's being managed for timber production, but is so resource-poor that it's unlikely to produce anything in the foreseeable future. All I have to go on, for the most part, is the legal designation.)


TOP-DOWN vs BOTTOM-UP MAPPING

It gets tremendously more complicated if detailed land use and land cover are needed. Then there will be complex webs of multipolygons, sharing some but not all of the ways. As a matter of fact, I have a strong preference for NOT sharing ways among, say, preserve boundaries and things such as "natural=wood" because they make editing really complicated and seldom describe the situation in the field. Trees grow where they will unless humans remove them. They are no respecters of property lines.

Is that what everyone else does? Do even the roughest sketches (drawing the boundaries of parks, for instance) with webs of multipolygons sharing many of the ways, so that one set of multipolygons can be tagged for the protected area, another for the land use, and still another the land cover? If so, it seems to make for an editing nightmare.
Yep.. I'm on the side of separating the landcover and landuse ways .. they only follow one another for things like 'state forests' that are used for lumber production (primary use, secondaries of recreation and conservation)

That's what State Forest means in New York, and I've tagged State Forests with landuse=forest. (Also boundary=protected_area protect_class=6, which is obviously The Right Thing.) Alas, they tend to be large parcels, and the 'landuse=forest' tag, to a lot of people here, means that every square metre should be covered with trees. Unfortunately for that assumption, there are lots of waterways, marshes, rock outcrops, talus slopes, and what-not within the State Forests.  Since it's all at least hypothetically managed for production of forest products, it's all tagged with 'landuse=forest', resulting in trees being painted atop waterways and such like. That's the result of not making a distinction between land use and land cover. That's fine, I can live with rendering bugs if the objects are at least present.

Lands that the state labels Wild Forest are something else entirely. Wild Forest totally forbids sale, harvest, or destruction of timber. It's about half a grade below Wilderness. The chief difference is the level to which motorized access is permitted, which amounts to "Wild Forest - in certain rare circumstances; Wilderness - never" and the fact that Wild Forest is much more likely to be second-growth (although typically in New York nowadays, Wild Forest is likely to be century-and-a-half old second growth). I've tagged that boundary=protected_area protect_class=1b, and then added 'leisure=nature_reserve" not because it really conforms with the definition but because it's the least-worst thing I can do without having the area vanish altogether. 

Incidentally, most Wilderness areas here don't require permission to visit, much less something like an approved research program, so I don't tag anything with protect_class=1a. The Department of Environmental Conservation finds that the usage in practice is low enough not to stress the areas badly; they're mostly protected by inaccessibility. I've gone in there, but I'm a little strange. I've done a 220-km solo trek across several of them (with two visits to settlements to reprovision), and saw a total of seven other parties, all of whom were within a few km of the start, the end, or the settlements where I resupplied. I saw absolutely nobody on the two 60+-km roadless sections. The only Wilderness Area in New York that requires a permit is High Peaks - and the permit is simply a carbon-paper form that's available at any of the trailheads or ranger stations. You fill it out, drop the top copy in the letter box at the kiosk, and take the bottom copy with you. (It might seem silly, but I have had a ranger demand to see mine. It would have been a $300 fine if I didn't have one. They want to know who's in there for reasons of safety.)

There are those who will only accept precise data and prefer a blank map if precise data is not available. The 'there be dragons' approach to mapping.  I take the view that indicative data is better than no data! So I would map what I suspect to the best of my knowledge is the situation on the ground. Then when I go there I would add data - increase the precision of the existing data (mine or others). The important thing about this 'indicative data' is to include a good source statement ... so people can see how vague or accurate it is.

Data are never perfect. There is only "more wrong" and "less wrong".  There are some administrative boundaries in the parks, even county lines, that are marked as "indefinite" on the Geologic Survey maps because nobody has ever surveyed them, or the survey traverses had unacceptable errors of closure. Nobody much cares where the line between Essex and Franklin counties is when it's in wilderness. But Essex and Franklin counties do exist, and it would be peculiar not to show them on a map just because nobody's ever managed to walk part of their border accurately.

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Re: State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

David Bannon-2


On 27/07/16 12:59, Kevin Kenny wrote:
.....

>  How about we make a deal that when the "correct" tagging actually
> becomes visible on at least one layer of the main site, I go back and
> remove the "legacy" tagging, which can be done with a mechanical edit?
Kevin, I share your frustration but suggest that is the wrong approach.
Image Feature A is correctly rendered but not so Feature B.  We won't
encourage the rendering mob to render B by tagging everything as A.

Might be worth your while looking at how others are using the data,
OsmAnd do a great job of rendering some of the detail found in the
database. And make a pretty attractive looking map at the same time.
There are lots of other 'consumers' of OSM data.

David

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Re: State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

Kevin Kenny-4
On Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 11:34 PM, David Bannon <[hidden email]> wrote:
Might be worth your while looking at how others are using the data, OsmAnd do a great job of rendering some of the detail found in the database. And make a pretty attractive looking map at the same time. There are lots of other 'consumers' of OSM data.

Even though I say it who shouldn't, I do a pretty fair job as a "consumer" of OSM data myself. It only increases my frustration to know that we could have an information-dense rendering like https://kbk.is-a-geek.net/catskills/karl.html?la=42.1694&lo=-74.1057&z=13 and don't.  

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Re: State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

Richard Fairhurst
In reply to this post by Kevin Kenny-4
Kevin Kenny wrote:
> How many more years must I wait, then, before they will become visible
> on any of the tile layers on openstreetmap.org?

This is going to sound snarky and it isn't meant as such, but: the number of years until you send a pull request to openstreetmap-carto. :)

But remember that OSM is an international project and that a solution needs to work internationally and be comprehensible in the lingua franca of the project, which is British English. I'm not 100% sure that your definition of "forest landuse" necessarily accords with that. But, that said, I've not looked into it in any great depth so may be talking nonsense.

cheers
Richard
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Re: State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

dieterdreist
In reply to this post by Kevin Kenny-4

2016-07-26 21:11 GMT+02:00 Kevin Kenny <[hidden email]>:
"boundary=protected_area" does not render. I don't expect, given the amount of progress toward rendering it in the last two or three years, that I'm going to see rendering of protected areas on any maps I don't produce.


I think there is no general opposition to render it, but it can't be reasonably done until hstore gets activated or the required (sub)-keys are imported as columns into the rendering db. boundary=protected_area without protection classes is too generic to be rendered in a way that makes sense for all its application cases.

Cheers,
Martin

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Re: State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

Andy Townsend
In reply to this post by Kevin Kenny-4
On 27/07/2016 03:59, Kevin Kenny wrote:
How many more years must I wait, then, before they will become visible on any of the tile layers on openstreetmap.org? If it hadn't been a couple or three years already, I'd be more patient. A New Yorker would find it astonishing not to see the Adirondack Park, which occupies about a sixth of the land area of the state, but if it were not mistagged 'national park' there would be nothing to trigger its rendering. The smaller state parks, state forests, and similar reserves likewise would likewise have no attributes visible to the renderer.

What exactly are you waiting for?  the magic map fairies to read the tagging list and think "hmm - request for a new rendering of US Parks, must set some time aside for that" :-)

It'd be nice to be able to customise the tile layers easily on osm.org, but the only reason that it isn't is that no one has sat down and written the code yet.  However, it is possible to use other tile layers with a bit of browser trickery: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/User:SomeoneElse/Your_tiles_from_osm.org .  If you're not in a position to submit changes to osm.org yourself (and I'm certainly not) you could perhaps try bribing potential developers with donations, charitable or otherwise :)

With regard to "what gets rendered at what scale" I'd agree that there is an issue with the styles on osm.org when showing "outdoor" features.  The cycle map does probably the best job around e.g. http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=13/36.4749/-121.2047 (just to pick somewhere I'm familiar with and is fairly path-complete) but it's not ideal.  Again, however, the reason why a style suited to outdoor areas especially in the US hasn't appeared is that no-one has yet created one.

However, it's really not _that_ difficult to tweak a version of OSM's standard map style (or another one) to both display existing features slightly differently and to display new features.


An example of the latter is in a lua script that I use for a local OSM style here:

https://github.com/SomeoneElseOSM/SomeoneElse-style/blob/master/style.lua#L251


An example of "changing the zoom level at which something appears" is at:

https://github.com/SomeoneElseOSM/openstreetmap-carto-AJT/blob/master/landcover.mss#L474


If you can count brackets and change numbers to higher or lower values, you're mostly there!

Someone did ask over at the issue list for the standard style "how do I create a map style"

https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/issues/2246

whilst the question wasn't really ontopic there, the answer I gave applies here too I think.

Cheers,

Andy


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Re: State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

Kevin Kenny-4
On 07/27/2016 05:52 AM, Andy Townsend wrote:
On 27/07/2016 03:59, Kevin Kenny wrote:
How many more years must I wait, then, before they will become visible on any of the tile layers on openstreetmap.org? If it hadn't been a couple or three years already, I'd be more patient. A New Yorker would find it astonishing not to see the Adirondack Park, which occupies about a sixth of the land area of the state, but if it were not mistagged 'national park' there would be nothing to trigger its rendering. The smaller state parks, state forests, and similar reserves likewise would likewise have no attributes visible to the renderer.

What exactly are you waiting for?  the magic map fairies to read the tagging list and think "hmm - request for a new rendering of US Parks, must set some time aside for that" :-)

It'd be nice to be able to customise the tile layers easily on osm.org, but the only reason that it isn't is that no one has sat down and written the code yet.  However, it is possible to use other tile layers with a bit of browser trickery: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/User:SomeoneElse/Your_tiles_from_osm.org .  If you're not in a position to submit changes to osm.org yourself (and I'm certainly not) you could perhaps try bribing potential developers with donations, charitable or otherwise :).
Your "do it yourself or pay someone to do it" comment is a bit misplaced and is coming across as a facile dismissal. Pointing me at "Mapnik for beginners" is not helping.

I've already done it myself, starting from Lars Ahlzen's TopOSM, and I'm happy with the result for my own use. (I haven't got the bandwidth to share it far and wide.) https://kbk.is-a-geek.net/catskills/karl.html is a little bit of GeoJSON atop my own basemap. I haven't changed it over to protected_area rendering just yet because I'm still working on the underlying data for my home state of New York, which is unusual in that has very little in the way of national parks or national forests but a wealth of state land, including the largest park of any sort in the Lower 48. The Adirondack and Catskill Parks now have protected_area tagging on all their parcels, but there's at least another few weeks of work getting the rest of the state up to the same level. I've got about 1500 protected areas in place, and another few hundred to do before I'll take another run at the rendering.

The part that I can't do anything about is getting hstore activated on the main rendering database. That's a matter of turning a switch - osmosis, osm2pgsql, mapnik, everything is ready for it - but this problem isn't important enough for the amount of planning, testing and downtime that would be needed to turn it. That's not really fixable with time or money, short of a new parallel data center! Any change that fundamental is a risk to the project, and I just have to wait for something more important to come along that will justify the move. I can't really foresee that happening. The risk in making the change simply is not tolerable. I'd venture to say that the change will never happen because the current rendering is nearly good enough for most users, and no issue that is important enough to justify the change will ever arise. Every project reaches that level of maturity at some point, where the risk of breaking something for everyone outweighs the potential reward of virtually any change. A lot of business people don't take a technology seriously until it reaches that level of stability.

That leaves US users in a bit of a quandary, with only a few viable choices: beef up openstreetmap.us to be the public face of the project on this side of the ocean (a disaster from a marketing perspective, to have two competing faces), resign ourselves to the fact that our national forests, state parks, and similar administrative regions will never appear on the main map, or tag for the renderer. That's where we've been for a couple of years now. 

The other part that I can't do anything about is coming up with a suitably artistic rendering style. The underlying problem there is that I'm colour-blind. I come up with interfaces that are ugly to others, and many of them come up with interfaces that are unusable to me without technological assistance. I have appropriate assistive applications to be able to discriminate the colours I can't see (I use them on a daily basis to read statisticians' "heat maps"), but they won't tell me what will look good.

If a pull request would solve the problem, I'd have done it a couple of years ago. I've prepared a lot of data. I've configured osm2pgsql, osmosis and mapnik to use it, and tested the resulting rendering. I've got "get with Lars on reactiviating TopOSM" in the queue right after "get the State Parks fixed" and "get the rendering on kbk.is-a-geek.net switched over to protected_area". 

I'm sorry if I'm prickly. I'm frustrated.

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Re: State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

Frederik Ramm
In reply to this post by Kevin Kenny-4
Hi,

On 07/27/2016 06:23 AM, Kevin Kenny wrote:
> Even though I say it who shouldn't, I do a pretty fair job as a
> "consumer" of OSM data myself. It only increases my frustration to know
> that we could have an information-dense rendering like
> https://kbk.is-a-geek.net/catskills/karl.html?la=42.1694&lo=-74.1057&z=13 and
> don't.  

I think it is too much to ask of the map on www.openstreetmap.org to
offer the maximum degree of information density for all possible
purposes, and you should never choose your tagging according to "what
renders". I'm concerned to hear you talking of "telling as few lies as
possible" - it already sounds as if you're compromising data quality in
an attempt to "make it render". Don't do that.

Bye
Frederik

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Re: State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

Frederik Ramm
In reply to this post by Kevin Kenny-4
Hi,

On 07/27/2016 02:36 PM, Kevin Kenny wrote:
> The part that I can't do anything about is getting hstore activated on
> the main rendering database. That's a matter of turning a switch -
> osmosis, osm2pgsql, mapnik, everything is ready for it - but this
> problem isn't important enough for the amount of planning, testing and
> downtime that would be needed to turn it.

Who has told you that? I don't see (a) that everything is ready for it
nor (b) that it would require any downtime. For example I'm running
osm-carto with hstore and using views so I don't have to modify the
style; but it hasn't been shown whether that would be a good approach
for OSM or whether the carto style should be changed to use hstore
columns directly.

> Any change that
> fundamental is a risk to the project

It's a change that is more complicated than flicking a switch and other
things might have priority, but "a risk to the project"? Really? Have
you come up with that yourself or can you quote someone on that?

> no issue that is important enough to justify the change will ever arise.

There's quite a few people who have changes in waiting that are only
possible with the hstore extension. Of course there lies a danger in
that - without the excuse of "needs hstore", we might suddenly find
ourselves having to cater to lots of niche requests, aka "if there's a
tag to differentiate X and Y then I want to see that difference on the map!"

> That leaves US users in a bit of a quandary, with only a few viable
> choices: beef up openstreetmap.us <http://openstreetmap.us> to be the
> public face of the project on this side of the ocean (a disaster from a
> marketing perspective, to have two competing faces)

I don't think so. In fact I would like to see more regional diversity in
"faces", instead of everyone trying to cram their national specialities
into one central mapping style.

> I'm sorry if I'm prickly. I'm frustrated.

I think you're just too impatient.

Bye
Frederik

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Re: State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

AlaskaDave
@Kevin; I'm glad to see someone is interested in clearing up the mess in the Adirondack Park and sorry to hear about your frustration concerning rendering of the protected areas in NYS. Although I no longer hike in that area because I moved to Alaska in 1983 I have a strong and continuing interest in it because for many years that was where I went to go wilderness camping. I've hiked the High Peak region and walked the Northville-Placid Trail. The many Wilderness and Primitive areas tagged with landuse=forest is clearly inaccurate but the massive amount of work needed to actually trace the wooded areas, swamps and bare mountain tops that make up those Wilderness areas in order to tag them properly has prevented me from even getting started.

To me, the landuse=forest tag is meant for tree covered areas that are being grown and managed to supply wood for construction, paper, or what have you. I'm not going to step into the landcover=trees vs natural=wood controversy except the say that in the styles I use with the mkgmap program I render them identically. Also, I think perhaps using a separate set of styles for the U.S., Europe, Japan, or elsewhere might be a suitable solution to the various inconsistencies we find in the OSM renderings

I don't have any other input at the moment that will help you but I want to thank you for your work so far and to encourage you to continue your effort to resolve those issues. 

Cheers,
Dave



On Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 5:10 AM, Frederik Ramm <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

On 07/27/2016 02:36 PM, Kevin Kenny wrote:
> The part that I can't do anything about is getting hstore activated on
> the main rendering database. That's a matter of turning a switch -
> osmosis, osm2pgsql, mapnik, everything is ready for it - but this
> problem isn't important enough for the amount of planning, testing and
> downtime that would be needed to turn it.

Who has told you that? I don't see (a) that everything is ready for it
nor (b) that it would require any downtime. For example I'm running
osm-carto with hstore and using views so I don't have to modify the
style; but it hasn't been shown whether that would be a good approach
for OSM or whether the carto style should be changed to use hstore
columns directly.

> Any change that
> fundamental is a risk to the project

It's a change that is more complicated than flicking a switch and other
things might have priority, but "a risk to the project"? Really? Have
you come up with that yourself or can you quote someone on that?

> no issue that is important enough to justify the change will ever arise.

There's quite a few people who have changes in waiting that are only
possible with the hstore extension. Of course there lies a danger in
that - without the excuse of "needs hstore", we might suddenly find
ourselves having to cater to lots of niche requests, aka "if there's a
tag to differentiate X and Y then I want to see that difference on the map!"

> That leaves US users in a bit of a quandary, with only a few viable
> choices: beef up openstreetmap.us <http://openstreetmap.us> to be the
> public face of the project on this side of the ocean (a disaster from a
> marketing perspective, to have two competing faces)

I don't think so. In fact I would like to see more regional diversity in
"faces", instead of everyone trying to cram their national specialities
into one central mapping style.

> I'm sorry if I'm prickly. I'm frustrated.

I think you're just too impatient.

Bye
Frederik

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Chiang Mai, Thailand
Travel Blog at http://dswarthout.blogspot.com

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Re: State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

Kevin Kenny-4
In reply to this post by Frederik Ramm
On Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 9:10 AM, Frederik Ramm <[hidden email]> wrote:
 I don't see (a) that everything is ready for it
nor (b) that it would require any downtime. For example I'm running
osm-carto with hstore and using views so I don't have to modify the
style; but it hasn't been shown whether that would be a good approach
for OSM or whether the carto style should be changed to use hstore
columns directly.

It's also a decision that can be deferred. Enabling hstore while keeping
the existing columns would be Mostly Harmless, particularly if the keys
that have identified columns are not duplicated in the hstore. It does have
the effect of making the hstore keys "second class citizens", but is
a lot better than the current approach of denying access altogether to
keys outside a specific, enumerated set.
 
There's quite a few people who have changes in waiting that are only
possible with the hstore extension. Of course there lies a danger in
that - without the excuse of "needs hstore", we might suddenly find
ourselves having to cater to lots of niche requests, aka "if there's a
tag to differentiate X and Y then I want to see that difference on the map!"

"Niche requests" are an indicator of project vitality. Your statement
comes across as saying, "the lack of hstore provides us with a
convenient excuse not to be responsive to users and contributors."
I hope that isn't what you meant.

It's probably worth noting that in the related discussion of access=permit
that I'm not proposing ever to make a distinction between the types
for the purpose of rendering the main map. I simply want the information
for maps that I render myself. There's a huge difference between
"make a distinction between objects of type A and type B" and
"make a distinction between objects of type A and nothing."
The first suppresses detail, the second suppresses existence.

> That leaves US users in a bit of a quandary, with only a few viable
> choices: beef up openstreetmap.us <http://openstreetmap.us> to be the
> public face of the project on this side of the ocean (a disaster from a
> marketing perspective, to have two competing faces)

I don't think so. In fact I would like to see more regional diversity in
"faces", instead of everyone trying to cram their national specialities
into one central mapping style.

I agree wholeheartedly. It's important to note: that sword cuts both ways.
There's a fair amount in the way of Eurocentric (and, more specifically,
UK-centric) specialities baked into the current system. Unless handled
delicately, the whole localization issue comes across as relegating
non-European communities to their respective ghettos. But yes, we
do need maps better adapted to national and local conditions.

> I'm sorry if I'm prickly. I'm frustrated.

I think you're just too impatient.


You're right. It's only about three years that the discussion of "hstore on
the central server" has been going on sporadically, during all of which
time I've been running an hstore-enabled rendering chain on my personal
tile server. I suppose it isn't reasonable to expect something like that to
happen in less than a decade.

I think that some people fail to comprehend the scale of the problem
over here. Without "tagging for the renderer", virtually nothing that you
would be visible: the major highways, city names, and waterbodies
would remain, but everything else would be gone. Not "badly rendered",
simply absent. And that's the case all over the continent -
https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=7/37.003/-110.814 shows what it's
like in the West. The National Parks, National Forests, BLM lands,
and so on are our administrative disticts in the rural US. Asking
to render an administrative boundary that encloses an area the size
of Slovenia, if not Belgium - as some of these areas do -
doesn't seem to me to be too unreasonable a request.

I also note that it isn't just a US thing. Calling an "area of outstanding
natural beauty" boundary=national_park, or a "regional park" or
"marine protected area" leisure=nature_reserve is just as much
tagging for the renderer as using one of those tags to label a
National Forest, a state park, or any one of the other legal zoo
of protected areas that we have over here, and yet I see such things
all over the map of the UK. It's not a lie, exactly, quite. Those are all
areas set aside to protect some aspect of nature. It's not quite
as precise tagging as boundary=protected_area with an
appropriate protect_class, but it seems to be impossible for even
the Britons to resist tagging for the renderer to at least that extent.
I see that they have the protected_area tagging in place on most
if not all of those areas, all ready to go when and if the renderer
supports it. I do that as well, on the areas that I've edited recently.

I'm not cleaning up the mess, exactly, quite. I'm just replacing
it in my area with a smaller and better defined mess. I'll settle
for that for the moment. It's not perfect.. It's unquestionably still
untidy and mistagged, but it's a lot better than what will result
if someone reverts it.

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Re: State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

Marc Gemis
On Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 7:34 PM, Kevin Kenny
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> It's also a decision that can be deferred. Enabling hstore while keeping
> the existing columns would be Mostly Harmless, particularly if the keys

Isn't one of the problems that they would have to reimport the
complete database ?

m.

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Re: State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

dieterdreist

2016-07-28 15:00 GMT+02:00 Marc Gemis <[hidden email]>:
Isn't one of the problems that they would have to reimport the
complete database ?


yes, but this is something that has to be done from time to time anyway.

Cheers,
Martin

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Re: State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

dieterdreist
In reply to this post by Kevin Kenny-4

2016-07-27 19:34 GMT+02:00 Kevin Kenny <[hidden email]>:

I also note that it isn't just a US thing. Calling an "area of outstanding
natural beauty" boundary=national_park, or a "regional park" or
"marine protected area" leisure=nature_reserve is just as much
tagging for the renderer as using one of those tags to label a
National Forest, a state park, or any one of the other legal zoo
of protected areas that we have over here, and yet I see such things
all over the map of the UK. It's not a lie, exactly, quite. Those are all
areas set aside to protect some aspect of nature. It's not quite
as precise tagging as boundary=protected_area with an
appropriate protect_class, but it seems to be impossible for even
the Britons to resist tagging for the renderer to at least that extent.


+1, that's exactly the situation.

leisure=nature_reserve is a quite inclusive tag, any kind of natural protection can get this tag. The tag boundary=protected_area is even broader in meaning (e.g. including protection of cultural assets), but with a subtag becomes more specific. Using both tags is not "lying" but telling a story in details and getting understood and passed on only the most basic sense.
From the older scheme there is also the boundary=national_park tag in use with 18000 occurences: wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:boundary%3Dnational_park

Cheers,
Martin

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Re: State parks and state forests: specific tagging question, general mapping philosophy

Kevin Kenny-4

On Jul 28, 2016 9:49 AM, "Martin Koppenhoefer" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> From the older scheme there is also the boundary=national_park tag in use with 18000 occurences: wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:boundary%3Dnational_park

There's some reluctance in the US to use that tag for things that are not national (Adirondack Park) or not parks (Green Mountain National Forest). Those two examples are specific ones for which boundary=national _park seemed the least misleading legacy tagging. Leisure=nature_reserve gets applied to the more strongly protected areas inside.  

I'm working hard to make sure that New York is ready for the new schema, and I've added about 1500 boundary=protected_area tags over the last few months. Don't punish me by saying that I must remove the less informative tagging and have all that work disappear from the rendering while I'm waiting for the database and renderer  to catch up. That's all I'm asking.

It seems that some of the purists here are answering, 'No. If you want to see state forests, render the map yourself.' I do render it myself. I still think other people would want to see them, too.


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