Talk:Proposed features/Landcover Artificial

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Specific tags should be used instead

At OSM we want to map specific features that are real and current and that individual mappers can verify on the ground or with good quality aerial imagery.

Landcover=artificial does not meet these standards. It's a mix of many different features that already have established tags, such as landuse=landfill, landuse=construction, landuse=quarry, landuse=industrial / =residential / =commercial / =retail, amenity=parking, etc.

If there is an area of non-forested land in a region of woods, just leave that as a gap in the woodland. It's best to leave an area unmapped if you are not certain what type of landuse or landcover is in that area.

This was also recommended on the Tagging mailing list. See the discussion at this post and the following responses: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/tagging/2019-March/043702.html --Jeisenbe (talk) 04:09, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

General features have their advantages, especially for the remote mapping. For explaining better, I will take example of mapping deforestation in Amazonian rainforest. In the first place, it is very hard to obtain on-site information through citizen science in this case. Luckily for humanity, Amazon is still considered as a wild-life environment, but this means that presence of human is not common there, and also it indicates danger for human beings. For these reasons, we cannot expect many volunteers on-site. So, if we leave out the possibility of local mapping, the remote mapping remains. However, remote mapping is constrained by the cloud coverage. Namely, rainforests are known for the frequent cloud coverage (their name is based on this fact in one way), therefore having high-quality and cloud-free imagery might happen extremely rarely. In a case of scarce information, it would be good to omit some constraints related to information acquirement, extending in this way the possibility to map more.
Currently available tags linked to landcover=artificial are tags of land use. Specific physical properties are essential for visual interpretation of distinct features in remote mapping. This is true for land cover, as it describes material on surface, while land use is only occasionally characterized by peculiar physical properties as they are decision-based. For example, artificial land cover can be easily recognized thanks to standard regular shapes and colors (e.g. gray concrete and asphalt), while its vague if they are used for residential, commercial or industrial. This cannot be seen from satellite imagery, but revealed from some auxiliary information and/or observed on site.
In case when the land use like landuse=landfill, landuse=construction, landuse=quarry, landuse=industrial, landuse=residential, landuse=commercial, landuse=retail, amenity=parking etc. are observable, we would recommend to use them, possibly in combination with landcover=artificial. Other tags that can improve description of artificial land cover are favourable as well. On the opposite, when land use is unclear, it is better to exclusively use landcover=artificial.
In case of Amazonian rainforest mapping, where local knowledge is limited due to physical and economical feasibility, and where satellite imagery availability/quality is constrained by the cloud coverage, every information (even if more general) is valuable.
However, if OSM finds this inconvenient, and prefer to leave the areas unmapped, we will try to follow the existing tags on the key landcover=*, so landuse=residential, landuse=industrial and landuse=quarry, trying to find previously information about the how this area will look like from the satellite imagery (asking to the local experts). --LorenzoStucchi (talk) and Gorica7 (talk) 9:39, 17 April 2019 (UTC)