Santa Cruz County, California

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Santa Cruz, California
latitude: 37, longitude: -122
Browse map of Santa Cruz 37°00′00.00″ N, 122°00′00.00″ W
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Santa Cruz is a county in California at latitude 37°00′00.00″ North, longitude 122°00′00.00″ West.


Upcoming events

UCSC Professor of Computer Engineering user:manduchi proposed McHenry Library for a Mapping Party. However, the professor and venue seem to be unavailable for this function in the near future. Professor Manduchi and his Computer Engineering 80A students did not contribute to OSM around Santa Cruz during Fall quarter of 2015. This class may once again make contributions in future academic quarters.

Who's up for organizing another mapping party?

In the meantime, there is now an active "Cake Map" for UCSC where you should feel free to take ownership of a slice if you can and will improve it.

Please feel free to suggest locations and goals for future events. A UCSC Mapping Party is a "next" good choice, as OSM needs added and improved additional footpaths as well as amenities like bicycle parking and drinking fountains. A good meeting place is Café Iveta at Quarry Plaza, as it is centrally-located, and serves delicious food and beverages.

Past events

University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) Professor of Environmental Studies Millard-Ball used OSM at UCSC Winter 2016 in his ENVS 196 class to audit the pedestrian network on campus and use it as a model for improvements, including longer-term planning with the Campus Architect.

Santa_Cruz_Mapping_Party_June_2012 Wilder Ranch State Park

Santa_Cruz_Mapping_Party_July_2011 Wilder Ranch State Park

Santa_Cruz_Mapping_Party_May2009 Downtown



In late 2009, user:srmixter (nmixter) imported official landuse=* zones from the Santa Cruz County GIS (SCCGIS) site. (But not without significant problems!)

The purpose of the SCCGIS landuse=* import was to add official zones for residential, industrial, commercial, parks, farms and forests. The import included (multi)polygons with tags of landuse=public_facility and landuse=special_use, which do not render. These were improved after the import was completed. As they don't display, we added supplemental tags (keeping original tags) based on observation and relevant to something rendered. For example, often a landuse=public_facility polygon can be seen via aerial imagery to be a water tower or sewage treatment facility, so we changed to landuse=industrial. Thus, we hewed to keeping the original data, as we avoided straying towards "coding for the renderers."

Imports are complete for Santa Cruz County. Thanks for your patience. I thought there should have been more zones loaded, but I checked with the shapefile, and it looks like they are all there. Unfortunately I had some problems with the script crashing so there may be some repeated areas and extra nodes. I'll go ahead and continue cleaning them up. Validator in JOSM usually does a good job of deleting the empty nodes. Feel free to adjust any of the layers so they better match the Yahoo/Bing imagery or are not overlapping. The import had two tags for landuse=*: public_facility and and special_use. These are obviously not rendered in OSM. So if you know a better use, feel free to add them. We prefer to keep these areas in OSM if possible. The project is all about the data not necessarily the rendering. I still have a lot of work to do to clean up the imports. Thanks again for your help and patience. - nmixter

Due to the upload script crashing, results occurred in two parts/versions. Unfortunately, there remained broken multipolygon remnants from these uploads, so JOSM's Validator reported multipolygon relations missing their outer member(s) and extra nodes to delete. We had hoped to establish a tag called something like upload_version=1, 2... (monotonically increasing integers) but didn't do so. However, a (multi)polygon WITH Zoning=* (which might have been tagged upload_version=2) is later than an otherwise-identical one WITHOUT Zoning=* (which might have been tagged upload_version=1). Likewise, Atribution=* was uppercased and misspelled in the first upload, but lowercased attribution=* in the second upload. As user:srmixter considers his version 1 & 2 uploads to be complete (see above paragraph), comprehensive work to clean them up (broken multipolygons and duplicate nodes, not the casing and spelling) was completed on the part of user:stevea in 2014: see "landuse version 3" below.

user:stevea took a more render-positive, yet still accurate approach to the landuse=special_use areas of srmixter's versions 1 & 2 landuse=* import which don't render: as Santa Cruz County is largely (over 2/3) wooded with redwood and mixed conifer/deciduous, landuse=special_use areas which are also completely or largely wooded (as viewed by Yahoo/Bing aerial/satellite imaging) were additionally tagged natural=wood. This allowed them to accurately render where they otherwise wouldn't, as this rendering is based not on landuse=* but natural=*. Some of these landuse=special_use areas have a minor amount of meadow instead of wood, so while these are wholly tagged as natural=wood they also have scattered landuse=meadow areas sprinkled over them where accurate. Technically this is a "double-overlap" of landuse=* ("special_use," meaningful only from the SCCGIS data upload, and "meadow," where appropriate), but as "special_use" doesn't render, wood is a natural tag, and landuse=meadow superimposes over natural=wood, the effect is both accurate and visually rather pleasing. In some cases small details like buildings, man_made=* features (water_tower, etc.) and highway=track or highway=path are also included on these landuse=special_use parcels. This follows our consensus that emerged of "capturing zoning with landuse=* is a good first step to avoid large blank areas, but when actual on-the-ground data are also known, they correctly supplement simple zoning (landuse=*)." So, active Santa Cruz County editors (should or do) know that having the County zoned with landuse=* from official data is a (renders pleasingly) good first step, but only that. There is much more editing to do which, over time, additionally improves these data with more details of what is actually "on the ground." Please do not confuse landuse with landcover. Also, note that landuse=residential represents the "entire ownership" of the parcels on which the owner lives (or rents), so reducing these areas to smaller residential areas (only where a house and appurtenant structures exist, for example) is incorrect.

After several years (2009-2013) of effort by user:stevea to untangle user:srmixter's version 1 & 2 landuse=* imports, much cleanup was completed, but there remained messy problems (wrong/confusing multipolygons, duplicate polygons and nodes, misspelled tags...) especially in south county's agricultural lands and in the changing patchwork of parcels that make up Big Basin Redwood State Park, Big Creek Forests and the new San Vicente Redwoods (many thousands of hectares in the northwest county). To remedy this, user:stevea did an "import update" using newer SCCGIS data: specifically, the Zoning shapefile from SCCGIS's Landuse folder dated November 2013. These data ("version 3") contained tags of SHAPE_STAr and SHAPE_STLe instead of SHAPE_area and SHAPE_len, though replacement into OSM of any given version 1 or 2 (multi)polygon happened only as older data needed correction or replacement. These (version 3) data have Attribution=Santa Cruz County GIS (contrasted with versions 1 and 2, above). Zones which inherited Zoning=RA are Residential-Agricultural (a live-on "family farm") and may oscillate between landuse=residential and landuse=farmland (if you have better knowledge, please improve them!) Zoning=CA means "Commercial Agricultural" and are more intensively farmed compared to Zoning=RA, usually excluding a residence. There are also some landuse=orchard or landuse=vineyard polygons superimposed on farmland (multi)polygons as viewed by Bing or Digital Globe imagery (especially Zoning=RA as it implies they be agriculturally developed by the live-on landowner). There are >3000 landuse polygons in the version 3 data, each of which were manually/visually compared to version 1 & 2 data and Bing imagery. As of May 18, 2014, this version 3 Zoning (landuse=*) update was completed.

In 2018, newer (than v3) SCCGIS county data (web site, click Data, Land Use & Planning, scroll to Zoning, 11/2/2018 Spatial Dataset) were asserted as v4. We are now at v5 with the 2/9/2019 Spatial Dataset shapefile. Some v5 data have richer tags than earlier versions. The intention continues to be to "best map" these data to OSM-accurate values of landuse=* where newer/better data exist compared to OSM's data. The GENERIC tag is deleted as superfluous. As requested in this changeset comment dialog, the tags used should be documented (They can and do change slightly between upload_versions). So, starting with upload_version=5: the BASEDTL and BASENM tags are useful descriptions of how the landuse is legally designated, the BASEZN, FULLZN and Zoning tags are useful zoning abbreviations using a countywide protocol, the OBJECTID tag is helpful for direct comparison of data between upload_versions, and the SHAPESTAre and SHAPESTLen tags are useful geometric devices to accurately capture area and length data (in square feet and feet, respectively) of the polygon.

Subsequent updates should use increasing integers (6, 7, 8,...) to denote upload_version=* values of newer objects. Going forward, please continue to associate these with explicit dates matching upload_version=* values in the table below. When updating OSM data please add an explicit upload_version=* tag to all newer uploaded SCCGIS objects and/or changeset comments and if needed, update this table, too (including the data's publsh-date). Please use good judgement updating OSM data with newer versions: map your best. Countywide, there are many badly offset (several meters) polygons from these uploads, it seems largely due to a "drift error" when copying and pasting in JOSM. In central county, user:bdiscoe, in Live Oak user:Hartmut Holzgraefe and many others have their names on these edits; the effort to clean them up continues by user:stevea.

upload_version=* OSM Volunteer Date of data Date uploaded Status and Notes
1 (not actually tagged) user:srmixter 2009 November 2009 Upload script repeatedly crashed, many errors. Raw data, unimproved (e.g. landuse=public_facility and landuse=special_use remained as imported, not rendering). Data contain the Atribution=* key.
2 (not actually tagged) user:srmixter 2009 December 2009 2nd attempt with same data caused many duplicate nodes, broken multipolygons, other problems. Data contain the attribution=* and Zoning=* keys. user:stevea improved these (e.g. natural=wood on landuse=special_use).
3 (not actually tagged) user:stevea November 2013 December 2013 - May 18, 2014 Where data were wrong from v1 and v2 and needed updating, these data replaced them. Data contain the Attribution=Santa Cruz County GIS key. user:stevea substantially improved these (individually compared each against v2/v1).
4 user:stevea 11/2/2018 December 2018 - January 2019 Spatial Dataset 3,095 Rows. ("Row" = OSM closed way/polygon datum or a single multipolygon). Where v3 data needed updating. Data contain the upload_version=4 key and/or this is noted in the changeset comments (e.g. "SCCGIS v4").
5 user:stevea 2/9/2019 February 2019 - largely complete Spatial Dataset 3,095 Rows. Where data need updating. Data contain the upload_version=5 key and/or this is noted in the changeset comments (e.g. "SCCGIS v5" or "SCCGIS Zoning v5"). Minor "touch ups" may continue (March, 2019).

Landuse areas inside of city limits (cities of Santa Cruz, Capitola, Scotts Valley, Watsonville) derive from sources other than SCCGIS (which is county only). See specific "City of..." sections below. Data inside of city limits are from public data sources other than SCCGIS or have been directly experienced.

Santa Cruz has won a Gold Star Award from, one of only a few places in North America to have achieved this accolade. The site notes that OSM (mapnik/Standard) displays "nearly perfect landuse!"


In 2009, user:Apo42 uploaded some of the open space conservation and/or recreational areas and all California State Park entities (from UC Davis-sourced CaSIL data) including those in Santa Cruz County. The vast remainder of the parks in the county (county, city and private) came from the SCCGIS Landuse import (see Landuse above). A small number of minor, usually city parks (e.g. La Barranca and Mimi De Marta) were added manually from non-SCCGIS sources.

During March, 2017, a modest import of Santa Cruz County data from California Protected Areas Database (CPAD) was completed, conflating data with existing SCCGIS v3 landuse data. (CPAD generally "winning" over minor boundary differences, although the western edge of the county and Big Basin State Park diverges substantially between existing CPAD data and SCCGIS data; areas from Whitehouse Canyon to Waddell Creek continue to challenge). These data have a source=* tag of "California Protected Areas Database (CPAD) – (December 2016)," the v1 of these data. This manual conflation of units and super-units was difficult. Minor discrepancies between SCCGIS landuse and CPAD data, especially alignment in west and south county, were noticed and called to the attention at a next data update (as rendering completed with the v1 upload). What we're calling "CPAD version 2" data began with their "2018a" data.

In early 2019, this newer (2018a) v2 CPAD data was discovered and compared with SCCGIS v5 data (noted in Landuse above). In March 2019, email correspondence among CPAD's publisher (GreenInfo Network) and SCCGIS attempted to determine which data defining components of Big Basin State Park are correct (notably, West Waddell Creek Wilderness / WWCW segments along the western edge of the Santa Cruz County boundary), as there are v5 discrepancies of as much as 30 meters westerly and 150 meters northerly. According to GreenInfo Network, "we consider State Parks' data authoritative when mapping state parks specifically. Our standard generally is to refer to agency data but use parcels as a geometry base. But with State Parks specifically we tend to defer to their boundaries over parcels." A reply from SCCGIS says "the answer depends on your mapping needs" and "there are a number of other factors potentially at play here as well. For instance, we've known for a long time that in certain areas of the county parcels can be off by up to 300'. This is acknowledged in the disclaimer we put on our internet mapping applications." The result is that roughly speaking, park data near Little Basin to about Last Chance Road seem more accurate as SCCGIS publish them, which are "winning" in OSM there, while CPAD data west of there, along the San Mateo County boundary in and near WWCW seem to better align with multiple other data sources (and so remain in OSM, even as they differ from SCCGIS data). See also "County Boundary," where some easterly drift (15 - 20 meters) is seen in SCCGIS County Boundary data ner Big Basin Way compared to USGS topos and other sources.


user:DanHomerick imported the Stream.shp layer of the Hydrography dataset from the Santa Cruz GIS site in October 2009. He used the Java program shp-to-osm-0.6.1 to convert the data from Shapefile format to OSM format and to upload it. Since, at the time of the import, shp-to-osm does not connect line segments he used the validator plugin in JOSM to merge overlapping nodes. This connected many stream segments correctly, but left some unconnected at the time of the import. Existing rivers were not programatically deleted, instead preferring to rely on manual verification before their deletion. Many of the imported streams were initially pointing the wrong direction (a way with a stream/river tag should point downstream). Work is underway to correct known issues with the import. Corrections to wrong-direction waterways are mostly complete as of Feb. 2010. However, as of May 2014, JOSM's Validator plugin reports many unconnected stream endpoints where they conjoin other streams. A note about the tags used: many of the streams were listed as type "swale" (a low lying area) in the original dataset. These were translated as waterway=stream + intermittent=yes + note=swale for the upload, but in many cases, especially near the mouth of a stream, a swale may not actually have intermittent flow. As intermittent=yes now appears to affect the Mapnik rendering (with a dashed light blue line), the tag should be deleted where it is inaccurate.

County Boundary

In early 2010 user:Apo42 uploaded CaSIL-based county-boundary data for all of California, including Santa Cruz County. The Santa Cruz County boundary was harmonized by user:stevea. In particular, the southern boundary displayed centuries of flooding and re-coursing of the Pajaro River, the eastern boundary is close to, but not quite exact with the SCCGIS landuse=* upload, especially around Mt. Madonna Park, the northern boundary was checked against stream data uploaded by user:DanHomerick (noted above) and user:mk408's stream data upload from Santa Clara Valley Water District along the "spine" of differing flow directions at ridgetops of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the northwest and western boundaries were checked against both CaSIL state park and SCCGIS landuse=* uploads, still not quite with perfect alignment. An error in the northwestern county line near Gazos Creek Road was found in the data from the CPAD import in March, 2017, this was harmonized with data from the USGS topographic data of the area.

In early 2018, user:stevea remapped the county boundary based on SCCGIS' October 27, 2017 "County" shapefile data. This was harmonized with the shared boundaries of Santa Clara, San Mateo, Monterey and San Benito Counties. In 2019, this was done again with SCCGIS' 2/9/2019 updated data, however, there is some noticeable drift with USGS topos, Santa Clara County data and CPAD. These were "best guessed" and almost certainly contain minor errors (15 - 20 meters).

Cycle Routes

Santa Cruz County has an excellent network of established and developing bicycle infrastructure. The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (SCCRTC) publishes a (paper and online) County Bike Map (CBM) displaying these bicycle lanes, paths and alternate routes, the latest version in September, 2016. Also, SCCGIS publishes (click "Data" then "Transportation") a transportation layer that includes the County's electronically published bicycle infrastructure. JOSM can be persuaded (with a plugin) to open the shapefile data's .shp entry point resulting from unzipping this file. While every single way in the CBM denoted with colors has had tags applied in OSM (green bicycle path = highway=cycleway or cycleway=track, red bicycle lane = cycleway=lane, purple bicycle alternate = bicycle=yes) — bicycle infrastructure tagging — and these have been collected into route=bicycle relations tagged with network=lcn — bicycle route tagging — there are also ways in the County which (according to signage or roadway paint in the real world) also have these tags, but are not (usually) collected into route=bicycle relations, as they are not so denoted in the CBM. Some of these ways are included as CycleNet "Z" routes, see below.

In 2010, a proposal was made to SCCRTC to superimpose upon the CBM's local-government-published infrastructure a local cycleway network (network=lcn) numbering protocol, colloquially known as CycleNet (or "CycleNetSZ" in a statewide Caltrans context). The routes and their numbering largely have a one-to-one correspondence with the physical bicycle infrastructure published in the CBM, ideally, the bicycle infrastructure resulting from downloading SCCGIS' latest bicycle shapefile data noted above. CycleNet is simply a set of logical routes proposed as a local network numbering protocol superimposed on this published physical infrastructure. In introductory stages as it is brought before jurisdictions for discussion and approval, two initial routes (Walnut-Soquel, which might become lcn or rcn 8, and Freedom Blvd., which might become lcn or rcn 80) were introduced into OSM as proposed network=rcn bicycle route relations. Additionally, other network=lcn route relations (with state=proposed) have also been introduced, with network=lcn and route=mtb (the latter only for mountain bike routes suffixed with "M" in their ref=* tag). Thus, OSM is a venue for geographic communication/visualization of lcn/rcn/mtb bicycle route discussions and public introductions into a numbered local network. A set of tags to render mountain bike routes as both orange lines (in Cycle Map layer) shown from route=mtb, as well as giving them dark blue numbers in the (shared with network=lcn) local address space have been determined, thanks to research via renderers OpenCycleMap and Waymarked Trails' Cycling and MTB layers. As local jurisdictions approve these now-proposed routes, state=proposed shall be removed to denote any newly local/legally-sanctioned numbering. Signage on these routes may follow their state going from proposed to approved, so cyclists should not expect physical signs on these routes until jurisdictions approve them.

An exception is Pacific Coast Bike Route (PCBR), signed by California's DOT, Caltrans. (Most or all of Oregon-to-Mexico PCBR will become network=ncn and ref=95 should Caltrans apply for and AASHTO approve USBR 95, believed to be in planning in 2019). This (public) PCBR should not be confused with the (private) route of the same name by Adventure Cycling Association (ACA); in OSM, the intent is to document Caltrans' public PCBR, not ACA's private PCBR. Cycle Map displays California's PCBR as "PCB" where known, including Santa Cruz County. PCBR is concurrent with CycleNet 95/95N/95S as network=lcn routes, though logically network=rcn seems better — 95 is "regional" in the sense proposed rcn 8 and 80 are regional, as 8, 80 and 95 act as a "spine" of regional County bicycle connectivity. However, after erecting PCBR signs, Caltrans ceded route definition to local authorities (counties and cities). It has been confirmed that de facto "on the ground" Caltrans PCBR signs contradict the de jure route asserted by the City of Santa Cruz. The explanation offered (by the City, in city limits) was "Caltrans gave us the authority to change PCBR and we did, though we haven't changed the signs yet." The PCBR that the City asserts appears to be identical to the ACA's PCBR, which OSM does not have permission to enter, as the City says "here is our PCBR." Yet the City's declaration puts this PCBR segment into the public domain, so it is entered into OSM (in the City). Hopefully this explains PCB route/PCBR signage discrepancies in the City of Santa Cruz.

Additions to CycleNet's "one-to-one correspondence" noted above (not displayed by CBM) are Z-suffixed routes: CycleNet has several such "connectors." In the real world, Z-routes are signed with "Share The Road" or "Bicycles May Use Full Lane," painted with sharrows (all three tagged cycleway=shared_lane) or are otherwise legal bicycle infrastructure (tagged bicycle=yes). Though bike-legal, CBM does not display these, so CycleNet denotes them as Z routes. Major Z routes are 5Z (Highway 9), 25Z (Empire Grade N of Heller Drive), 26Z (Highway 236) and 926Z (China Grade), all challenging. As the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail (MBSST) multi-use "Rail Trail" is in early phases of construction, 40Z is MBSST's "planning route" and various segments as they are constructed are known in CycleNet as 40A, 40B...up to 40Y. As of 2019-Q1, MBSST Construction Segment #1 (CycleNet 40I Boardwalk) is in OSM.

Local Conventions

In 2009, we began a convention with parks, starting with user:Apo42's tagging of State Park data that included park:type=state_park. In Santa Cruz County we extended this to include park:type=county_park and park:type=city_park for parks with management/jurisdiction at those admin_levels (there were explorations to combine these tags with admin_level=* at some point) and park:type=private_park to private parks (for example, a small decathlon-event park with access=private), private campgrounds and for-fee short-term trailer parks. The point was not to make these render (yet) but such tags can be useful in a search query over a large area, for example. A proposal to combine these tags with boundary=* so these render with different color dashing was developed but never more widely submitted to the OSM community; the plan was for rendering to be extended to display parks tagged with state_park, county_park, city_park and private_park using different colors of dashing. (Today, boundary=national_park renders in mapnik with green dashes). However, these conventions are now used less in preference of the tagging scheme boundary=protected_area, which utilizes the protection_title=* and protect_class=* keys (which themselves are not very developed with regard to rendering).

As noted above, because the county is 2/3 wooded, many landuse=special_use polygons from early SCCGIS imports were tagged natural=wood. This tag is used in a specific way at UCSC, as the campus renders with its preferred light-yellow amenity=university tag. Being heavily wooded with redwood trees, local OSM convention further assumes UCSC is "already" wooded, "except where it is not." (For contrast, the Campus Natural Reserve polygons ARE explicitly set to natural=wood and Lower Moore Creek and Cave Gulch/Wilder even have some landuse=meadow on top of these). So, UCSC (the amenity=university polygon) is "assumed to be wooded, unless tagged otherwise" (such as landuse=meadow, natural=grassland, amenity=parking, building=university, building=dormitory, highway=*, etc.) Wilder Ranch State Park (adjacent W of UCSC) is also like this ("assume wooded unless tagged otherwise") as are other state parks in this very wooded county. Landuse and landcover are frequent topics of confusion in OSM, hence this explicit convention here. The "all wooded" areas around the intersection of UCSC (amenity=university), Pogonip Open Space Preserve (leisure=nature_reserve) and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park (leisure=park) illustrates this well: all three boundaries are apparent and readily identifiable with their landuse, even as the landcover on all three is identical (densely wooded).

Work to be done in the County

Many TIGER-sourced roads in rural, unincorporated Santa Cruz County have errors of up to tens of meters. Some are better expressed as highway=unclassified or are actually highway=track (or highway=service + service=driveway) instead of TIGER's default of highway=residential. Additional tags like barrier=gate and access=private are also missing in many locations. Most of these roads are public, some are access=private (it is not always clear which), so it would be very helpful for somebody with local knowledge of (and access to) these rural roads to gather GPS wanderings and better classify, align and tag them (highway=*, access=*, name=*...). Due to heavy tree cover, this is more true in heavily-wooded, hilly/mountainous areas of central and northern County, and less true in flat, largely treeless, primarily agricultural areas of southern County. This displays how complete we are at reviewing data from the TIGER import: as of 2019, substantially reviewed, but minor to moderate TIGER Review is still required, especially in more difficult-to-access areas.

Certain "holes" in county (zoning or) landuse=* uploads remain from polygons tagged "special_use" or "public_facility:" SCCGIS punted on specifically defining what landuse=* these are, so "special_use" conveys "less defined." As described above, mostly- or all-wooded parcels are also tagged natural=wood, perhaps with meadows and buildings superimposed. Also, some otherwise "blank" public_facility polygons (no rendered OSM landuse=* value) need a site visit to determine what they actually are (e.g., landuse=industrial as a water_tower facility). Two notable "public_facility" polygons are significant portions of state highway corridors (State Routes 1 and 17).

As it attached from SCCGIS' declaration of "Park" in its 2009 "Zoning.pdf" file, revealing its use as both vague and flexible, what is tagged leisure=park captures many private, sometimes spiritual/religious conference grounds and broadly speaking, natural-state, largely unimproved contemplative and meditative spaces. When private (often as religious communities) these are similar to parks in a broad sense, as they are sometimes permissively open to respectful public uses such as hiking. One of the more interesting emergences of the SCCGIS Zoning (landuse=*) import was to better categorize these "Park" entities: it may be that tags of both leisure=park and amenity=place_of_worship turn out to accurately capture landuse semantics at these areas. (For example, Quaker Center west of Ben Lomond, Land of Medicine Buddha near Aptos, Jikoji at the northern tip of the county and Vajrapani Institute north of Boulder Creek). As sometimes difficult exploration of more remote areas continues, the number of parks with unknown names continues to decrease. A believed-more-correct OSM tagging trend began in Fall 2014: tag name=Unknown Park applied from the SCCGIS Zoning (landuse=*) upload has been converted to tag name:absent=yes. As of February, 2016, there remain dozens of parks tagged name:absent=yes which still need accurate naming, either from a site visit (if signs exist) or further querying of County records. Some of these appear to be public properties which are planned to be improved into parks in the future, but remain closed/no access until then. The March, 2017 CPAD conflation improved a fair number of these parks and "protected areas" with better name=* tags. Here is an Overpass Turbo query to display these.

A California Public Records Act request of UCSC building footprint data is partially complete, thanks to release of the data by UCSC's Privacy and Information Practices Director. Work to migrate these from .dwg to .osm took place: while there was partial progress and partial failure, UCSC is willing to produce a .shp shapefile as an intermediate, another migration path to get these into OSM. Two of us (software-heavy engineering professionals) have tried .dwf via Teigha to shapefile (various methods and tweaks, the GRASS 6.3 ", v.out.ogr" method documented in our wiki, others...) to no avail. If you have knowledge how to achieve this data workflow (.dwg -> .shp or .dwg -> .osm, whether via .dxf or not), please OSM missive stevea.

Around upper Happy Valley, north and west of Laurel Glen and Mountain View, an edge between landuse and landcover ("treed farmland") blurred due to some confused editing. This has largely "healed" with the SCCGIS v4 landuse update. In late spring 2018 the v3 data were reverted with a note=*, asking users to check the definition of landuse=farmland. Some of these areas have landuse=vineyard, landuse=orchard and landuse=greenhouse_horticulture overlays, and while they both are and appear to be largely "treed" it is correct to call these areas farmland, as whether they do allow tree harvesting or not, consistent with their landuse, they continue to generate vineyards/wineries, orchards and greenhouses, all prevalent in this county (even as 2/3 of it remains covered by trees). Along with continuing discussion between "landuse" and "landcover" in OSM, "this is somewhat complex." If an effort to better define and re-data these areas emerges, it must not be left incomplete for weeks at a time by a zealous mapper who quickly "conquers an area" (often poorly and lacking in OSM conventions), then quickly leaves to do the same somewhere else, leaving a relative mess. Let's not do that again around here, hm? This wiki's Discussion page is a good place to discuss these issues. A similar "healing" with v5 data occurred in 2019-Q1 with residential/wooded areas in Brookdale, Boulder Creek and other areas in the county.

The two major components of bus and rail which display in the Transport Layer merit specific mention, due to their partially incomplete state in OSM:

• Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (SCMTD) provides substantial bus service to many parts of the county. Moderate but incomplete highway=bus_stop data are entered into OSM, initially around the University of California campus, extending citywide in 2013 and early 2014. Also entered is inter-county bus route "Highway 17 Express," linking to San José's Diridon Station for CalTrain and Amtrak rail connections (plus BART and High Speed Rail in the future). This route is nearing "going green" to PublicTransit v2 standards partially thanks to geofabrik's OSM Inspector tool. A semi-automated system (SCMTD's quarterly-released GTFS protocol data) to transform routes and stops into route relation data in OSM is under development. Otherwise the tedious work of entering these routes and updating them quarterly must be completed manually. Manual entry began with most University-Downtown routes in February 2014. Stops and additional "alternate segments" of these routes may not yet be complete. As of late 2014, the SCMTD bus route network being entered into OSM is a work in progress and is perhaps 55% - 60% complete. SCMTD routes remaining to be entered into OSM include 72, 74, 75, 77, 79, 66N, 54, 55, 56, 8, 12, 30, 33, 34, 41 and 42. Additional volunteers and/or GTFS -> OSM technical assistance is appreciated! Circa 2014, an attempt to use GO-Sync-0.9.3.jar and SCMTD's GTFS feed was run under Windows 8 Pro (Mac OS X installation is broken, a known bug not yet fixed), and while this attempt appeared to parse the data successfully and returned Response Code 200s for both bus stops and route relations, a report was never generated and no changeset was uploaded. Huh? What is broken here? A later (early 2017) attempt to use GO-Sync-1.0 got closer, with what appeared to be a successful upload of then-current SCMTD GTFS data (circa 500 bus_stop nodes), but these efforts failed to produce final results. The experimentation to complete this continues.

• Since late 2012, Santa Cruz Branch rail is in public ownership (administered by SCCRTC). While light industrial/freight usage (lumber, frozen foods, biodiesel matter) continues on the southern five miles of track around Watsonville, longer-term planning is underway to offer future passenger rail service on most of this line. Sites, stations, halts and platforms which displayed in OSM as proposed rail stops came from studies as early as 1998, these are obsolete. As new and potentially different rail infrastructure and services emerged, proposed and actual rail features were updated in OSM. In early 2014, SCCRTC was awarded a Caltrans Transit Planning grant to undertake an analysis of commuter and intercity passenger rail service, studying recommendations for phased, efficient service on the branch: objectives included comparisons of cost-effective options to provide additional transportation options. In 2014-Q4, results were published and in early 2015 updating of railway=stations, railway=tram_stops and railway=halts was completed in OSM. As of 2016-Q1, County rail infrastructure in OSM has stabilized, as additional improvements (sidings, signal infrastructure, speed limit and control point data...) continue to be updated (these "minor infrastructure" elements remain incomplete). OpenRailwayMap displays rail infrastructure and OpenPublicTransportMap displays passenger rail. Finally, there is much railway=abandoned in the county (e.g. in the San Lorenzo Valley) not yet entered into OSM; ODbL-compliant data sources for these historical rail routes (or their entry) are appreciated.

City of Santa Cruz

The COSCZoning.kmz file from was used to "officialize" commercial districts, industrial zones and residential neighborhoods (among other areas, like parks and schools) of the City of Santa Cruz. While exactly correct for parks, schools, commercial and industrial zones, this file contains an overabundance of data for residential areas, such as distinctions between low- and medium-density zoning. Hence, these residential polygons were coalesced where necessary to build the named (and numbered, put into ref=*) neighborhood areas shown at the City web site. These display at closer zoom levels, out to z=14. The place=suburb nodes (Downtown, Westside, Eastside, Seabright and UCSC, displaying at medium zoom levels, out to z=12) and place=locality nodes (Midtown, Terrace Hill, Terrace Point, East Morrissey and Science Hill) emerged with local consensus, they appear to have stabilized.

Work continues (2019 onwards) in the City of Santa Cruz to add and complete the following:

• more complete amenity=parking areas (with access=destination if true) and highway=service, service=parking_aisle roads in commercial and industrial zones, where appropriate,

• better lanes=* tagging and turn restriction relations,

• tags for disabled access routing: many more areas which are well-served for wheelchairs or low-vision persons (disabled parking spaces, highway=elevator, automatic_door=yes, ramp:wheelchair=yes, kerb=lowered, tactile_paving=yes, traffic_signals:sound=yes...) are not marked as such nor are mapped with these access nodes or routes in mind where they certainly exist,

• more highway=bus_stop nodes and route=bus relations of the excellent local transit system, (may become semi-automated with a GTFS protocol data feed from SCMTD),

• better and more consistent address numbering at landmark buildings and block level starting Downtown (a major tourism attraction, popular with locals too!),

• completion of UCSC campus (specifically, remaining highway=footways and highway=steps remain incomplete -- see The Cake). Also remaining incomplete are amenity=bicycle_parking and additional "micro-mapping" such as amenity=drinking_water (drinking fountains), shop=laundry and amenity=vending_machine nodes,

amenity=place_of_worship (largely done, some details remain, such as sport courts visible in aerial views, adjunct buildings and amenity=parking),

highway=footway and footway=sidewalk (and highway=crossings, tactile_paving=yes, kerb=lowered, highway=elevators...) in areas beyond Downtown, especially to link business districts for pedestrian and disabled access,

• details of the back nine holes, disc golf courses and Grove theatre amenities at DeLaveaga Park,

• individual buildings in residential neighborhoods (houses, apartments...) added around the city,

• remaining amenity=post_boxes, amenity=fountains, amenity=charging_stations, amenity=clocks, amenity=telephones, amenity=benches, tourism=viewpoints, amenity=waste_baskets, barrier=fences, barrier=gates, natural=cliffs, amenity=drinking_water (drinking fountains), highway=crossings (crosswalks), leisure=pitches (sport fields and courts), leisure=playgrounds, power=poles, power=lines, power=substations, cycleway=shared_lanes (roads with sharrows and signs proclaiming "Bikes May Use Full Lane" and "Share The Road") and traffic_calming=bumps around the City.

City of Capitola

Zoning/landuse areas are good to very good, but minor improvements can still be made. A zoning map is available. Some commercial zone wheelchair access has been added.

City of Scotts Valley

user:DanHomerick is a frequent contributor. An official zoning map is available, but it does not always agree with "on the ground" reality. OSM prefers reality over zoning. As noted above, while zoning is a good first step, reality is best.

City of Watsonville

Many contributions have been made, but OSM needs volunteers to improve Watsonville! An important next set of additions are bus stops to complement SCMTD Watsonville route expansion: OSM needs highway=bus_stop nodes added east of Seacliff and south of Aptos, along Airport and Freedom Boulevards.

See Also

Contributors in the county

  • user:stevea has done a thorough job of mapping Santa Cruz, and continues to refine/edit throughout the county, notably 2010 CaSIL park and county boundaries, 2009 and 2013 SCCGIS landuse polygons, 2017 CPAD conflation, ongoing TIGER cleanup, CycleNet bicycle routes, rail improvements and temporal updates.
  • user:srmixter has done numerous landuse zones both manually and with the shp2osm script.
  • user:Apo42 has added official state parks and open spaces to the county, in addition to CaSIL-based county boundaries.
  • user:DanHomerick has added and refined areas in the central and northern portion of the county.
  • user:fudsnottica contributes lane data, business updates and more.
  • user:adelman has edited in the central and southern portion of the county, especially improving mountain bike trails.
  • user:njaard contributes to especially the northern portion of the county, including new business node and commercial district entries.
  • user:Michael_SFBA makes many park and nature path trail contributions.
  • user:manduchi and his students of Computer Engineering 80A at UCSC make many important mobility, handicapped access and public transport contributions (crossing types and locations, tactile_paving, bus_stops)....
  • user:peterm95018 makes work using OSM data.
  • user:hrutten contributed mightily to the effort to display ADA-compliant wheelchair routes at the UCSC campus.
  • user:Bike Mapper makes many contributions regarding mountain bike paths in the South Bay (SF Bay Area) and Santa Cruz Mountains areas.
  • user:StellanL is less active locally now, but has made many local contributions in the past, and is active in the Greater SF Bay Area.
  • user:balrog-kun, user:yellowbkpk, and especially user:DaveHansen have all made important contributions in the "early days."