Proposed features/Deserts

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Status: Abandoned (inactive)
Proposed by: ShakespeareFan00
Tagging: natural=various
Rendered as: undecided



An area of extremely low humidity. Characterised by a lack of or minimal vegetation.

In addition to hot deserts which this proposal aimed to consider, other forms of desert exist based on the scarcity of water, such as polar or rock deserts.

This proposal also covers some potential tags for some physical landforms associated with arid areas modelled on those mentioned in Waugh,D (1995) "Geography an Integrated Approach" 2 Ed, Nelson.

Semi Arid

An area of low rainfall and humidity, but not as low as that described as a hot arid desert. Typicaly charcterised, by sparse or clumpy vegetation closley linked to water sources. Examples include the Australian outback.

Polar fringes and tundra should be treated seperately.


Extended Usage


I am proposing this as it would be useful to be able to mark arid areas specfically..

Within this proposal, I am also suggesting a number of other tags...

  • natural=oasis;

I think it is a good idea to mark deserts, though I think the oasis tag should be specified in more detail. --Bilbo 16:14, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

I like this but would prefer a simpler proposal where natural=desert is the main tag and desert=semi_arid or desert=arid_form is optional. A clear description of the limit between semi_arid and arid_form (absolutely no vegetation, I guess) would be nice even if it is obvious (more you describe now, less you have questions later). IMHO the extended list is for experts only. Pieren 17:42, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Use surface= instead

Howabout just lots of surface=sand (like a beach without water? Ojw 18:35, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Well not all deserts are sand, consider for example salt-pans,some of which are bilogical deserts, as well as being arid.. ShakespeareFan00 18:50, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Is the local weather forecast really the most important feature of these places for maps though, or is it the surface material (sand/rock/salt/ice/whatever) that's more useful? A desert= tag referring to the rainfall is a bit like having a polygon in Ireland marked with ">1000mm/year rain". Ojw 18:00, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

The surface material of deserts is usually result of erosion due to lack of vegetation and this is result of very dry weather. So there is very tight corelation between deserts (sand, stone, salt, ...) and dry places. --Bilbo 13:59, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Areas in Las Vegas

I noticed a patch of South West Las Vegas... here which has been tagged natural=heath, which seemed wrong to me. Probably chosen for it's yellow rendering colour in mapnik. Presumably this dry sun-baked land actually appears beyond the extents of the city as a desert. They have a mapping party coming up. Tagging suggestions? -- Harry Wood 12:16, 23 November 2008 (UTC)