Talk:Proposed features/Biological

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I don't know where to start

This whole concept does not fit well with OpenStreetMap:

  • It does not use the existing tagging scheme
  • OSM is collaborative not a platform for a range of different data schemas
  • The proposed tags are horrifically redunant: there is no need for geographical tags in geo-database
  • Far too many external references which are not appropriate in OSM
  • GBIF data have elaborate attribution requirements and are not suitable for import into OSM
  • Occurrence data for anything other than trees (macrophanerophytes) is very unlikely to be suitable for OSM: they are too ephemeral, diffcult to verify and anyway are not useful without age classes.
  • There are many well-established databases for recording occurrence data for biota which are better suited to the task than OSM. I personally use Observado, Indicia, and a couple of others.
  • Existing data with this tag is either clearly wrong (location tags in California when the node is in Northern Ireland; different taxa represented in the tags (e.g., Arnica montana, Quercus rubor on same node), no tree where a tree is mapped), or contains inadmissable data (e.g., wikimapia location information).
  • Users making use of the tag do not appear to be aware of OSM Contributor Terms and community norms.

At present I believe that data added using these tags should be treated with caution. Any large scale imports using the tag should be reverted. The presumptions behind this tagging scheme are wholly outside the generally accepted basis of OSM and OSM tagging. SK53 (talk) 20:49, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

Well-known, controlled vocabularies - namespaces like Dublin_Core[[1]] and Darwin_Core[[2]]

Namespaces are commonly structured as hierarchies to allow reuse of names in different contexts. As an analogy, consider a system of naming of people where each person has a proper name, as well as a family name shared with their relatives. If, in each family, the names of family members are unique, then each person can be uniquely identified by the combination of given and family name ( ).

When humans communicate in written language, they use strings of text characters to impart meaning. In some cases text strings may have a relatively unambiguous meaning. However, in many cases the exact meaning of a text string will depend on the context in which it is used.

For that reason, it is worth examining the kinds of meanings that we intend when we provide string values for Darwin Core properties ( ) in the "dwc:" namespace.


( )

( )

( )

( )

--Werner Leyh (talk) 21:24, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

Tags duplicating inherent values from the OSM object

I don't agree with some keys here, as they duplicate or create divergence:

  • Both dwc:decimalLatitude=* and dwc:decimalLongitude=* can be directly obtained from the object; imagine the problem caused by having the object in OSM with a lat/lon but with different dwc:decimalL* values.

--naoliv (talk) 02:47, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Hi naoliv

With regard of your question about:

  • A) Convenience terms

Here you can find a COMMUNITY response why the so-called convenience terms are widely used and recommended:

  • B) Diameter (DBH) or (CCH) of tries

Using Darwin Core, this could be done with: “measurementType” and “measurementValue”. Further DwC extensions you can find here: Further related COMMUNITY discussions you can find here:

  • C) Optional Darwin Core terms

Darwin Core defines about 175 terms ( Our aim was to use as less terms as possible to minimize the burden over mapping volunteers. It is not a problem to propose the remaining DwC terms as optional TAG´s. The question is who will map, use and store them.


Werner, you should look at a few things before you continue on this:
  • The OpenSeaMap is another community project overlapping with OpenStreetMap, it took more than 2 years with discussions before a data model was settled
  • Clean up this proposal, remove all redundant data, try to reuse as many existing tags as possible. Where existing tags are ambiguous suggest improvements to them (outside of this proposal)
  • Study how OSM data is structured and how it is used, for a specialised project like this, set up your own rendering and maybe even develop your own tools for inserting this data (OpenSeaMap have done this, as well OpenRailMap, and OpenPisteMap just to mention a few)
  • Announce this proposal on and mailing list for wider discussion. The way it is now it will be rejected by a wider community. Be prepared to change your proposal based on input.
If you can follow these points than this is most welcome. The way it is proposed now is more damaging than it is helping the tagging of such objects. --Skippern (talk) 11:43, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Use case: Wastewater treatment

Within our wastewater treatment project ( we are mapping rivers and lakes covert by water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes Mart Solms), also known as “AGUAPÉ” (e.g.

Related approaches must be studied based on primary biological data.

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is the world's premiere source for information on biological specimen and observational data, providing on-line access to more than 543,435,619 million occurrences data records from around the world, whereas the Darwin Core standard (DwC) has been used to mobilize the vast majority of specimen occurrence and observational records within the GBIF network.

Exploring the “Global Biodiversity Information Facility” by searching for the specie “Eichhornia crassipes” at “” we found, for Brazil, 610 registered occurrences (, from which 316 were geo-referenced ( We organized a field campaign to complete the downloaded GBIF data, because we found only 14 occurrence records from our state, Maranhão ( 9 of them are geo-referenced).

We applied the proposed OSM-DWC-Interface ( by representing “Eichhornia crassipes” occurrences as Point-of-Interests and described them with OSM-TAG´s composed by Darwin Core terms ( to grantee semantic interoperability with the downloaded GBIF datasets (

The following example represents a “aguapes” - covered segment of river “poty”:

--Ana Lucia Zandomeneghi (talk) 14:17, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Purpose of this tag

I fail to see the purpose of this tag, is it to enhance or replace tags such as genus=* and specie=*? If so explain why these tags are not fit for purpose any more and need to be deprecated. Is it to add on more details to the mentioned tags? If so explain why these tags does not fulfil its purposes and need additional information. Is it to support your masters thesis? If so drop the proposal, tag it for your thesis and be prepared for your data to be deleted/overwritten later. Is it to make a confusion on tagging, please refrain from playing that game and keep mapping in a way that have general consensus. --Skippern (talk) 02:59, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Please, discuss the proposal *before* using it in OSM

Please, don't start adding data in OSM before discussing it. As it is now it's polluting the database with possibly unneeded tags. A proper place to discuss this is --naoliv (talk) 14:00, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

duplication of meta-data

About 1/3rd of the proposed tags are duplication of meta-data already available in the node, another 1/3rd are meta-data duplicating already existing tags, and the last 1/3rd is meta-data of only academic interest. I would suggest to use a traceable ID tag (dwc:ID=* on the object, and leave the academic tags for a separate database outside OSM. It is easy enough to make tools cross-referencing the data, i.e. by using Overpass calls, to link the objects. As I understand these projects already have a separate database for these observation, so my understanding is that you already have this data there, duplicating it to OSM is pointless. --Skippern (talk) 20:30, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Important proposal for environmental protection and sustainable development: Underpinning mapping examples

In accordance with the contribution of (Use case: Wastewater treatment) and in response to “naoliv”:

1) Worldwide used, standardized vocabulary: the namespace Darwin Core

The page ( is propounding a scientifically founded namespace ( Appling such a namespace can never pollute openstreetmap´s database.

2) Very broad range of biological, environmental and ecological applications

With regard of the presented use-cases: Due the characteristics of the Darwin core standard (, the proposed Openstreetmap (OSM)/DarwinCore (DWC) – Interface has a very broad range of applications. Therefore, it is very useful to get a variety of OSM-DWC- applications presented on the present discussion page. I would like encourage people to do so and present new application founded with examples.

3) Openstreetmaps well-known tagging freedom: Applied to enable inter-operable, community-driven surveys of environmental conditions

OpenStreetMap does not have any content restrictions on tags that can be assigned to nodes, ways or areas. You can use any tags you like: So way “suppressing” new examples of a community driven scientific name space (vocabulary) promoted by an international community of more than 64 countries ( ) - like Brazil: ?

4) Openstreetmaps well-known tagging freedom: Use of proposed TAG´s

Besides the already mentioned OSM-Tagging liberty, the relevant OSM-guide permit explicitly the use of proposed TAG´s: “other factors may also be considered (such as whether a feature is already in use)”:

5) Openstreetmaps well-known tagging freedom: Lists for environmental-tagging discussions

The same guide stats further: "Once the feature is fully described on its page, move on to "Proposed" Status. Subscribe to mailing list[1] and send out an RFC (Request For Comments) on this list:" Therefore this should be done when the proposal is well discussed and documented including with underpinning examples. Another list, related to complementary efforts in

can be found here:

--Ariosto Pacheco (talk) 10:23, 13 July 2015 (UTC)