Proposed features/agricultural Field

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agricultural Field
Status: Abandoned (inactive)
Tagging: landuse=field or pasture
Rendered as: patterned

this proposal appears to overlap significantly Crop and and landuse=farm. please clarify, or it will be removed on 2008-01-18


Key Value Element Comment Example
landuse field Node Area Landuse-farm.png

Also See

Proposed features/Crop



The Problem

landuse farm should only be use for the "core-area" of a farm. e.g. the area with the farm-house, the barn, greenhouses, stables,... often surrounded by fences. To tag every field where cows or sheep are browsing would be insane and would debilitate the meanings the tag could give. For instance 60% of the non-urban area in Germany is in a agricultural use. Tagging this all as farm can't seriously be the way  ;). For that we should create other landuse-tags. e.g. "landuse=field" and "landuse=cropland"


  • "landuse=pasture" could be an alternative tagging to the multiway-used word "field" --Cbm 05:56, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
    • this proposal appears to overlap significantly Crop and and landuse=farm. please clarify, or it will be removed on 2008-01-18
      • this is not true. farm, field/pasture and cropland/tillage are not overlaping, but complement each other --Cbm 15:26, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
        • Then perhaps an agriculture tag is needed. Since such a vastly huge amount of the earth's surface is agricultural, I think it deserves special attention. --Milliams 16:14, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
          • landuse=farm is for agrigcultural land. That's what the tag which we already have established for. I dont see the point in this proposal -- Harry Wood 09:16, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
  • This discussion fits well to the landuse=vineyard discussion. Since each area on the planet has its own way and culture to grow food, the landuse tag might deserve some protection at this point. A combination of landuse=agriculture and produce=xyz seems to make sense for my understanding.--ThomasKlosa 01:35, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Why not just use landuse=agriculture that would be intuitive to me? Further details could be given by produce=cattle/corn/vine/vegetables/fallow/etc. In most cases it would be just crops, cattle or fallow, because the sort of crops (corn, asparagus, potatoes, etc) changes to often. The current usage of landuse=farm for the farmLAND (ie. fields) is just irritating. -- Fröstel 14:13, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
    • Why irritating? fields (the farmLAND) are part of the farm, hence it is tagged landuse=farm -- Harry Wood 09:16, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
  • landuse=agriculture, produce=cattle/sheep/pigs/chickens (possibly "animals" ?), produce=crops, produce=vineyard etc would make sense to me. Fields could then be tagged per-boundary - as Milliams said, the planet has a vast amount of agriculture and therefore it makes sense to have more than one or two tags for it. --trs998 23:05, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
  • The justification for this proposal is that tagging landuse=farm over all the agricultural areas of countryside, would be "insane"... This problem has already been noted and discussion is ongoing here: Talk:Tag:landuse=farm#Very large swathes of land So now to solve this problem we're doing what? inventing a new tag for all the areas of agricultural land? I don't see the point in this proposal. -- Harry Wood 09:16, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
  • The confusion here is the choice of the word "farm" - that should denote a specific farm (with border), not farmland in general. If we were starting from scratch, we would have "landuse=agriculture". Then, within a landuse area, we would denote specific paddocks/fields with a different tag, much like you can have a leisure=pitch within a leisure=sport_centre, and a shop=* within a landuse=commercial.
Given that we're not starting from scratch, I suggest:
  • Keep "landuse=farm" as the general tag for agricultural zoning, making it clear that it doesn't refer to *a farm.
  • Add farm=* tags, like farm=field, farm=pasture, farm=barn to mark specific the purposes of specific areas.
Stevage 03:55, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Hmmmm interesting. We're grappling with some weird little international misunderstanding here, and maybe you've hit upon it. If one were to talk about "a farm" then indeed that would denote a specific farm (with border) It might include farmland of that farm, but not farmland in general. This is true. BUT when reading the tag "landuse=farm" I, as an Englishman, have no problem interpreting that to mean an area of farmland in general. Maybe the way german people read it, they have a tendency to equate "farm" with "a farm", so it's almost like reading "landuse=a farm" ...hence to German people the landuse=farm tag feels like it doesn't apply well to farmland in general. Does that sound right? -- Harry Wood 14:31, 4 February 2010 (UTC)


MikeCollinson (talk) 11:14, 10 June 2014 (UTC) says: I am currently the biggest experimental user of this tag, 56% out of 15,000 uses. I've experimented in a number of countries and terrains, with large scale/small scale farms and with different farming styles: northern European animal farming, mountain, rice field etc. After discussion with the good folks handling rendering rules for our main map display, , I am now dropping this tag entirely and instead using landuse=farmland plus either farmland=field or place=field

FYI, As of June 2014, a low-key border will be added to rendering of landuse=farmland on our main map. This allows fields to be seen if you are mapping at that level. I do not think this is an ideal solution but can live with it for now. Currently, neither farmland=field nor place=field is rendered in any special way. I hope that in the future, one of them is rendered with a border and border rendering of landuse=farmland by itself is dropped.

Here is the argument for completely abandoning this proposal:

There at least three separate issues in the discussion above:

  • Land Use: A field is used by humans primarily for agriculture: either the growing of crops or for penning and feeding animals. So it can be broadly zoned as farmland. Even the marginal case of a small field next to a residence for keeping a pet horse can argued to be farmland ... penning and feeding an animal. So, landuse=farmland can be used for mapping fields.
  • Land cover: A field can be covered in different things: pasture (grass), meadowland (grass), arable, wet-grown rice, dry-grown rice etc. Fields on marginal land may also be covered by heath or moorland. Parts of the field may also have different cover: a small unfenced group of trees on un-tillable soil is very common in Sweden as is bare rock, glacial boulders or scree. It therefore should be handled and tagged separately. I personally now support landcover=* .
  • Place: Fields are distinct land units dividing up farmland ... so a subset of farmland. FYI, Land parcels is another common English language term. The most important thing is the border. So, either of farmland=field or place=field needs to be added to say "draw a border around me". I mildly prefer place=field but am happy with either. In stable, historic European farming areas, they will also have a name, (often known only locally or lost). They are characterised by some or all of the following:
    • Useful to see the border on a map for navigation or for visualising a rural landscape.
    • Not part of the core farm, (the farm residence, yard, core stables etc). Use landuse=farmyard for that.
    • Often have a current or historic legal context as a land parcel: "Mr. X owns field Y and rents it to farm Z".
    • Often, but not always, have a wall, fence, ditch or other barrier around them that can be mapped with barrier=*
    • As legal entities or areas with a historic name attached, they may often be merged into one. So you may map several fields based on historic maps or obvious physical evidence such as tree lines, but have only fence around them all.
    • As legal entities or areas with a historic name attached, they may also be subdivided for a season or a few years. I map these as just one field with a fence down the middle because I want to show historic evolution. But your mapping style might be different.