Proposed features/Mining

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lignite surface mine near Hambach, Germany
Work in progress - Voting
Dennis de
Voting-End (regular)


In my region there are some very large surface mines (up to 4000 hectares of area) which I would like to tag. See wikipedia:de:Tagebau and wikipedia:surface mining for details on such mines.

I propose landuse=mining as the tag for mining in general. --Dennis de 15:36, 13 September 2007 (BST)

Current Tags

There currently is landuse=quarry which is specific to a specific version of a surface mine for stones. I think this is not adequate to use on other types of mines. A quarry could even be defined one type of a mine as described below.

and Proposed features/surface_mine (abandoned)

Proposed Realisation

Applies to

  • areas - preferable
  • nodes - for really small mines or one with unknown extends but known characteristic points (like the entrance of an underground-mine)
  • ways - if someone knows the course of a mine-shaft, a way would be suiteable for this.

Additional Tags to be used with mining

  • surface=(yes|no). This could/should have influence on the renderer as underground mines will conflict with other areas or ways
  • resource= - whatever they mine in that mine, e.g. lignite, stones (which could superseed quarry). This could be rendered in some way (different colors?), but I think it's mainly metadata for the time being.
  • name= - If the mine has a name. Would be nice to have it rendered like the names of lakes are (in the middle of the area or at the point)
  • name:languagecode= - could be used if it has different names in different languages (e.g.: name:de=Tagebau Hambach)


On the _edited_ Proposal

  • I edited the first proposal to reflect the discussion and my own new ideas and will send a RCF for this. --Dennis de 09:09, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Looks good to me, there are areas in the world with huge areas that can be marked out in this way and, as Dennis de says, it is more general than landuse=quarry. MikeCollinson 18:44, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Great, looks fine, plenty of uses for this around me. i'll vote for this Myfanwy 21:19, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
  • About rendering, how about something in the greys for an area ? --PhilippeP 08:58, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    A light grey would be similar to landuse=residential (and other landuses in lower zooms), so it should be at least a bit different from the light tone. I thought about a light brown, something like     , which looks like a mixture of grey and brown. Mixing it with even more grey would look that way      --Dennis de 10:08, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    A specific tone of grey is not important for me, to even more distingish from residential area, there could be a darker border (residential aera has no-or same color border I think).--PhilippeP 14:05, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
    Hm, I always thought none of the areas have borders. At least the common ones (industrial, residential, forest) --Dennis de 16:54, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
  • On the principle it's ok, if you restrict to the whole area of surface mining without any detail. I won't tag a point or a line as mine. A point is a shaft, a line a gallery, tunnel, conveyor belt,outcrop,etc. I would leave the underground operation aside (difficult to map, obviously no GPS) and maybe add some tags for tailings, pit. How about the difference between mine in activity and abandonned ? --Gummibärli 20:08, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
    First of all your right: I mixed the shaft with tunnel etc.. But landuse=mining is correct for them too, they are used for mining regardless of their actual form.
    Why leave the underground aside? If some has good data for it, then it would be great to have it. I don't has to be rendered though (would be confusing). Of course it's not doable with GPS, but in case someone opens a free source of underground-mine-data the feature is ready for this. Only because it's currently not doable does not mean it can't be considerated IMHO.
    The activity is a good addition I would definately have included in this proposal if I'd have thought about it. As the voting has started I don't want to change the proposal till it's over, because the votes are for or against the current form.
    For the realisation: There was a proposal for Disused Railways, which is deserted now, but had the idea to get a more general tag use_status for highways and railsways. IMHO such a general tag would be better than a single solution for mining. --Dennis de 09:20, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Maybe I don't get it. How would you use the tag for subsurface operation ? It's nice 3D. Not clear to me, but I dont what to block your proposition, just changed my vote to approve --Gummibaerli 22:46, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
      Of course it only makes sense if there's data and if it's in a 2D-representation - at least as long as elevation is not handled. --Dennis de 13:22, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
      i think the idea for shaft mines was to mark the areas which are visible above the ground. specifically the winding gear, and offices/lunch rooms, etc. Myfanwy 20:16, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Useful for the brickworks in Bedford. I presume that they can contain lakes? Ojw 12:19, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
    I don't see a reason why not. If it's not part of the actual mine, the multi-polygon-relation may be used to create a hole in the area. --Dennis de 13:22, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Additional tags for miningProposed_features#Proposed_Features_-_Industrial Gummibaerli 10:48, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
  • IMO, the surface and resource tags should be namespaced, i.e. mine:surface=yes/no and mine:resource=*. Especially as surface conflicts with the highway surface usage. --Hawke 09:57, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
    You're right. This is a real problem. I guess noone who aproved this would have a problem with namespacing this keys, right?
    I'd say "mining:" is the better namespace as this matches the name of the feature. --Dennis de 13:02, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Surface tags

Surface=yes conflicts with existing use of the surface tag, which describes the ground (e.g. sand, mud, concrete, paved, tarmac, cobblestone, gravel) Ojw 11:54, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Correct, see above for a long answer. --Dennis de 13:02, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

On The _first_ Proposal

I think there should be an additional tag to identify them as surface-mines (perhaps under-surface-mines will come into OSM sometime too). Would it be a good idea to consider all landuse=mining with a layer < 0 as under-surface and layer=0 for surface-mining? --Dennis de 15:36, 13 September 2007 (BST)

What is the difference between a surface mine and a quarry which already has a defined feature? User:chillly 16:25 20 October 2007 (BST)

According to wikipedia:Quarry it's a specific surface mine for stones. Our surface mines extract lignite (brown coal). So a quarry is a surface mine, but not every surface mine is a quarry. --Dennis de 16:56, 24 October 2007 (BST)
IMHO quarry=surface mining, maybe just adding a tag for the material extracted ??--PhilippeP 09:34, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
IMHO too. See the edited proposal above :-) I intruduced a tag resource which should be what you mean by "material". --Dennis de 09:52, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Also how are you planning on differentiating this from deep mining? ShakespeareFan00 11:37, 23 October 2007 (BST)

I don't know what you exactly mean. :( In which way differentiating? --Dennis de 16:56, 24 October 2007 (BST)
Shakepeare means the difference between a mine with a shaft which goes underground and is tunnelled, or one which is a big pit. a big pit mine is usually called an opencast mine. it is a valid question, one i was intending to ask. they appear very different on the surface, despite being used for similar substances. Myfanwy 18:14, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I missed your comment. In the updated proposal there's an additional surface-tag, which can be used to differentiate them. Thinking about it, the best way to model shafts are of course ways. So would it be OK to have this tag apply to ways in combination with ways to fit your needs? Other ideas are welcome. --Dennis de 09:51, 29 November 2007 (UTC)


  • As the proposer naturally I would approve this proposal :) --Dennis de 15:58, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal -- MikeCollinson 16:21, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal -- Ulfl 18:14, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal if landuse=quarry is deprecated --PhilippeP 18:38, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I disapprove this proposal while it includes shaft mines. shaft mines shold be a separate proposal as they are not landuse, only a (relaitvely) small point, also it clashes with quarry, and should not be a landuse tagMyfanwy 18:56, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal -- Nils 19:21, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal --EdoM (lets talk about it) 08:24, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal, but basically disapprove the tag for subsurface operation (see discussion) --Gummibärli 23:08, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal. --Franc 04:35, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal, but disapprove this usage of surface and resource tags. --Hawke 09:58, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

this proposal has closed, it has been rejected