Proposed features/Homestead

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Proposal status: Abandoned (inactive)
Proposed by: Vovanium
Tagging: landuse=homestead (or smallholding will be better?)
Applies to: area
Definition: area used for homesteads

Rendered as: color/pattern filled area
Drafted on: 2009-08-30
RFC start: 2010-02-16


This tag is proposed to mark country-side areas, used by individuals for living and cultivation of their own land.


This type of territory is specific and wide-spread to tag it with individual tag.

Why not landuse=residential

Formally homesteads are sort of residential and often marked in such a way, but there's great difference between city-like and country-like lived areas.

  • It may be helpful for traveller to orientate through the map. Anyway many traditional maps (f. e. Soviet General Staff maps) mark such areas differently.
  • There's not infrequent situation that both areas exist in single town (and even city), especially when city absorbs surrounding villages or village grows to town.
  • Such territory looks much more like farms or allotment than urban living quarters.
  • It is individual type of land use in the terms of law (at least in Russian Federation), so some specific legal terms apply to it.

Why not landuse=allotments

Allotments despite looking alike are not lived.

Why not landuse=farm

Farms are generally much greater area used in commercial manner. Often farms are in corporate or state use.

Suggested usage

Here are some attributes of homestead areas:

  • It is country-side looking (rural) area. But may be very close to urban areas.
  • It has many small individual plots of cultivated land. In general heavy machinery (agrimotors, harvesters) is not used on it, only walk-behind tracktors and the like.
  • Commonly plots are divided by fences of wood, metallic grid or even walls of stone.
  • There are living houses for single family. They are of more fundamental construction than building in allotments.
  • Land registered and marked as population place so one may register and live there legally. Road signs or state registry may help.

And there's some presuppositions that:

  • some plots may be not lived in fact (used as allotment);
  • some plots may be not cultivated (if family members are employed);
  • some plots may be abandoned;
  • some may trade own production on marketplaces or have a local workshop (forging, repairing and so on), but no more commercial activity;
  • there may be some amenities inside area.

Alternative tagging

As an alternative Alexandr Dezhin proposed different scheme:

  • landuse=residental + residental=urban for urban lived areas and
  • landuse=residental + residental=rural for rural ones.


  • Backward compatibility
  • Extensibility of residental= tag


  • Homesteads seem to be not just subtype of residential but sort a hybrid of residential+allotments or residential+farm.
  • There's some areas that are rural and lived but not homesteads, so it is not a direct replacement.


See Talk:Proposed_features/Homestead