Talk:Proposed features/landuse=shrubs

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Different tag key

> "The tag landuse=* is preferred over natural=* to emphasize that the bushes are actively maintained and often planted for decorative purposes or to fill space in the built environment."

natural=* has no implicaions over whether something is mainained/made by humans, it (roughly) means that is plant life. If you look at it's wiki page it even states "including ones that have been modified or created by humans.".

landuse=* is for tagging a piece of land's use, not for tagging a physical feature. There are a few exceptions (mainly landuse=grass), but they only exist for historical reasons and because there has been no proper solution to fix it yet.

I think natural=* would be alot more suited for this, maintained=yes/no (I've seen it used before) or some other tag would be better to indicate that property, it shouldn't be built in to the tag itself. --GoodClover (talk) 14:28, 3 February 2021 (UTC)

Scrap the maintained=* it appears that has virtually never been used, I don't know where I got that from --GoodClover (talk) 15:05, 3 February 2021 (UTC)
I can imagine that natural=bush can cause some confusing between natural=scrub. From the tag alone, there is no indication what the difference is with natural=scrub. There is also a natural=shrub which is an individual bush. Additionally, in my opinion, bush would fit perfectly with the other landuse=* tags like grass, flowerbed, village_green and forest. Especially because the bushes are intended in the proposal are maintained, it describes the use of land. --Cartographer10 (talk) 19:08, 3 February 2021 (UTC)
It's managed=*. To be comprehensive on the historic problems, there's of course also landcover=*. This is going to repeat ht issues of Forest. ---- Kovposch (talk) 14:21, 4 February 2021 (UTC)

Change value to landscaping (or equivalent UK English term)

In US English, the term for a manicured area with various types of ornamental plants for decorative purposes is "landscaping". These landscaping areas may include combinations of:

  • Bushes
  • Shrubs
  • Ground cover plants
  • Flowering plants
  • Ornamental trees
  • Ornamental grasses

It does not make sense to call these collective areas "bush" as this is only one type of ornamental plant. Also, in Australian English, "bush" means "far from civilization", which could be confusing there.

I suggest instead landuse=landscaping or an equivalent UK English term. --ZeLonewolf (talk) 20:12, 3 February 2021 (UTC)

Agreed in Australian English bush is the opposite to this, meaning remote natural undeveloped land. "Bushes" is clearer than just bush, but regardless if the wiki tags use UK English, that's fine, we'll translate the tag for iD to something more localised. --Aharvey (talk) 22:57, 3 February 2021 (UTC)
I believe the British English equivalent is "shrubs" (should be plural) or "shrubbery". I would suggest landuse=shrubs as more easily understood in most dialects of English. --Jeisenbe (talk) 01:48, 4 February 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for looking into the correct English terminology. Also from a discussion on Discord, I noticed that "Bush" might not be the best value. It atleast need to be plural indeed. From a non-native English speaker, I think shrubs sounds better than bushes -Cartographer10 (talk) 07:25, 5 February 2021 (UTC)
I've started a page at Proposed_features/Landuse=shrubs - feel free to edit it and take it over, or just use the tag. I would also be happy with natural=shrubs but I worry that it could be too easily confused with natural=scrub. --Jeisenbe (talk) 21:17, 4 February 2021 (UTC)
Thank you for that. From the discussion, I also noticed that "bush" is not the correct word to describe what we want but shrubs is. We can then cancel this proposal and continue on your proposal (and use the discussion of this proposal also as a foundation of yours). But maybe, lets first consider this, something I also discussed yesterday with some people. What if we use the tag natural=shrubs. Then we have natural=shrub for individual shrubs as nodes, natural=shrubs for "An area of cultivated decorative shrubs or bushes" and natural=scrub for the natural scrublands. We also noticed the conflict between scrub and shrubs so I said what if we rename natural=scrub to natural=scrubland? You also have natural=grassland so why not also use natural=scrubland. Also, at least for a non-native English speaker like me natural=scrubland might be even more descriptive then natural=scrub also because it is more inline with natural=grassland. From the discussion about my proposal, I also noticed that some feel nothing to introduce a, for them, non-landuse tag. I kind of understand that viewpoint. --Cartographer10 (talk) 07:25, 5 February 2021 (UTC)
Well, if landuse=shurbs is rejected, I would then try for natural=shrubs, but if you want to change your proposal to naturla=shrubs now and go for it, that's fine.
But I don't think it will work to try to deprecate natural=scrub and replac it with natural=scrubland, because the tag is already very widely used and does not seem to be causing any problems.
Re: the landuse=* key - it's silly to claim that this should only be for "landuse", because all the current features under Key:landuse are also kinds of landcover: landuse=residential is areas with houses or other residential buildings and associates gardens or parking, while landuse=industrial is areas of works, factories, warehouses, etc, landuse=orchard is covered with trees or shrubs used to grow food, landuse=farmland is an area of crops - and of course we have landuse=grass, and just recently landuse=flowerbed because the main way to map flowerbeds due to being adopted by editors and mappers. Just a few people on the Tagging list are overly focused on trying to distinguish "landcover" from "landuse" when in practice there is no clear division in OpenStreetMap, because we can only map what is Verifiable on the ground - and that means landcover, in practice. --Jeisenbe (talk) 07:47, 5 February 2021 (UTC)
Alright, it is clear to me now that the landuse tag might also just be good. To be honest, you made a perfect description on your page, I couldn't have done it better. I see you also started on the landuse=shrubs page already. I would agree to extend your proposal and then cancel mine or to copy your text to mine. Yours needs to be extended with some example images and a proposed render style I think. What is the most functional to do? --Cartographer10 (talk) 13:50, 5 February 2021 (UTC)
Please feel free to edit and improve the page, I wasn't planning to work on it further, but I am very happy if you want to do more. --Jeisenbe (talk) 06:36, 6 February 2021 (UTC)
Completely agree that landuse=* is inappropriate for this. Also shrub plantings are technically not shrubberies which were/are a specific garden feature. I have experimentally mapped a few soft landscape shrub plantings on a university campus, but as my original interest was to explore how to map features within large gardens (specifically botanical gardens) the key I used was garden=* but this is already overloaded. See User:SK53/Garden for my tentative thoughts. The term landscape is probably too general and prone to confusion with other things, possibly soft_landscape, landscape_feature, garden_feature (for this is what they are even out of a regular garden context). The advantage of landscape_feature is that it may be suitable for other aspects of landscaping. I think shrubs is better than shrubbery because these are larger more elaborate garden features rather than soft landscaping or barriers of thorny plants to discourage access to ground floor windows (a very common function). SK53 (talk) 10:44, 10 February 2021 (UTC)
I'm in mild agreement here. I won't vote against either option (landuse vs natural), but I suspect landuse=* will have more opposition, particularly from folks that believe that landuse=grass and landuse=flowerbed were misuses of the landuse key. natural=* isn't a great fit because these are decidedly man-made areas. This is why I was hoping we could come up with a new top-level key to collectively describe landscaping features. --ZeLonewolf (talk) 15:55, 10 February 2021 (UTC)
The long-standing natural=* has nothing to do whether it is "natural" in origin or formation. It's only an inconvenient connotation arising from informal "misnaming" when proper terms such as "landcover" and "landform" exist. That's expected in some degree of folksonomy. However, furthermore it's easy to overlook there may be different concepts involved. If you allow me to make some off-topic comparison:
  1. waterway=* (the channel of water, can be flowing) vs landcover=water (it's covered in water)
  2. landuse=basin or landuse=reservoir (the "land" is "used" as a basin or reservoir, but does this cover the surrounding?) vs the basin or reservoir land body (the "landform") vs the water cover (the water level may be lower, or can be completely empty for different reasons)
  3. landuse=quarry (used as a quarry vs a quarry "landform")
  4. landuse=industrial + industrial=factory (a factory area; could include multiple individual factory, or part of a larger individual factory) vs man_made=works (an individual factory)
I doubt we need a landuse=* or any other top-level feature tag to describe landscaping, when it is so prevalent in every kind of area (personally I would like to avoid overlapping landuse=* for simplicity). Could it an attribute (what this patch of greenery is used for) instead? ---- Kovposch (talk) 23:53, 10 February 2021 (UTC)
I agree that landuse, which is about the usage of land, is inappropriate with a value like "shrubs", similar as landuse=grass was a mistake not to be repeated. "shrubs" is a landcover, and not a use, it does not imply a purpose (use does imply a purpose). For me "decorative" or "landscaping" isn't an alternative either, because, while being about a use or a purpose, is not sufficiently specific (it does not imply "shrubs" but could be applied to any kind of land modified for decorative purposes, does not even imply plants). If you want to tag a single "shrub" you can use a tag like natural=shrub, if you want to tag a thick, unpassable area covered with shrubs, natural=scrub. For other applications and solutions, you should give more context where this is thought to be tagged to. The first three of your examples all fit under the barrier=hedge tag I believe, the third one is more of a man_made=flower_bed with shrubs, or a barrier=hedge which is not developed yet. --Dieterdreist (talk) 10:18, 15 February 2021 (UTC)

Drop (both) proposals and describe more efficient and detailed use of long-time existing keys

I agree largely with the comments from User icon 2.svgKovposch (on osm, edits, contrib, heatmap, chngset com.).

1. use of natural=* instead of landuse=*: landuse=* : has no implications over whether something is maintained/made by humans, it (roughly) means that it is plant life or a natural evolved feature. If you look at it's wiki page it even states "including ones that have been modified or created by humans.". Unfortunately, there is already opposition against the use of natural=scrub for this purpose since on the wiki page it says 'Uncultivated land covered with shrubs, bushes or stunted trees'. Now this is the only case where the wiki explicitly states the land needs to be 'uncultivated'. To my opinion an unfortunate mistake. The natural tag defines the type of the natural feature, not it's use, management or maintenance. So I propose to remove the 'uncultivated' requirement from the wiki description of natural=scrub.

2. Next it would be absolutely clear and appropriate to use natural=scrub on cultivated and maintained land, as by the way is already largely done on many micro-mapped areas. You can further define or detail by adding the key managed=*. Although it is not widely used it is an approved key. The values can be extended with more 'non-western' values commonly used like 'slashing', 'burning'. This would allow to keep the already 'scrub' areas, many micro-mapped on cultivated or maintained land like parks, golf courses, nature reserves etc... and I believe there is no need for a new or adopted rendering. In many areas it is even hard to determine, either from imagery or in the field, if and how the scrub is maintained. Like in Africa bushes are mostly burned, even in the villages, and in between the burnings they look quite unmaintained and natural wild. Also there is a tendency in some European countries to leave hedges and bushes grow in an almost wild or natural state to support in the creation of habitats for local fauna. The previously discussed 'landscaping' can also be defined as a value of how the scrub is "managed" with the managed=* key. Extend the values for the managed=* and describe it with a wiki page with examples.

3. I strongly oppose to introducing another top-level key. The number of top-level keys should be kept to a minimum, so anyone can attempt a "general" mapping strategy and as we slowly proceed to more detailed and micro-mapping, the tagging evolves and extends in the same way by adding additional keys to existing or improved map features. I think it is better practice to utilise our motivation and energy in refining the wiki and description / linking of related keys in the wiki.
Bert Araali (talk) 18:39, 12 February 2021 (UTC)

2. Problem would be managed=* is only a process. It doesn't directly mean its use. Something like usage=* or function=* could be considered for its purpose.
3. Rather, landcover=* (and landform=*) (that I would agree with) already exist to a limited extent.
For similar-looking tags on landscaping, now I remember landuse=village_green is also used inconsistently worldwide. ---- Kovposch (talk) 15:11, 13 February 2021 (UTC)

Are you guys on the Tagging talk page ? I am making serious efforts to reach a solution for this issue and we are soon to reach a consensus. If yes, please revert to the comments there and copy or link the thread here for reference. Bert Araali (talk) 01:40, 14 February 2021 (UTC)

"[...] So I propose to remove the 'uncultivated' requirement from the wiki description of natural=scrub." so do I ... Jo Cassel (talk) 12:20, 15 February 2021 (UTC)

A different explanation

To me, the examples seem to make it clear this actually is am attempt to get around/fix the issue that barrier=hedge cannot be used on an area. That's it. That's the whole proposal.

That the barriers in the pictures "are not tall enough" is irrelevant as they are definitely still barriers (except for the last pic, but I'd tag that with landuse=flowerbed anyway). Circeus (talk) 15:03, 14 February 2021 (UTC)

That might be true for some examples of landscaping, but definitely not all of them. Consider an ornamental display like this, it's definitely not a barrier. --ZeLonewolf (talk) 16:04, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
What?? There is no way this shouldn't be tagged with landuse=flowerbed. Circeus (talk) 18:12, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
The example by ZeLonewolf is an edge case in my opinion. The last of the four examples in my proposal is definitely not landuse=flowerbed. If I compare it this image, it is no flowerbed at all. Also, I didn't start this proposal with the intention to get hedges rendered. For all four examples in the example, the barrier tag does not apply because they are there for decorative functions and not for a barrier function (like with a large hedge around a house or so). If the statement "you can't walk throuh it" is the criteria for a barrier then a river and house should also be tagged as a barrier --Cartographer10 (talk) 13:39, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
Barrier=hedge can and is used on areas, not rendered as an area in OSM Carto but we don't tag for rendering, that's a different issue. Same as we can f.i. use the tag barrier=wall on a way or an area but in OSMCarto is always rendered as a line.
However a hedge per definition has a linear aspect AND (not or) a function as barrier, border (could be decorative) or boundary. It explicitly doesn't restrict the use of hedge to its height or size, or if it's managed or maintained. What someone considers as a hedge or scrub, shrub or bush depends on these two major conditions with clearly an "AND". I understand, that in some cases it is subjective that something has a "linear" character or not, so the statement that "barrier=hedge" does not apply for these cases is perfectly to understand, as is your interpretation that these, at least in some cases, are organised in a linear fashion. What is needed is to clarify this, as you can conclude from the Tagging talk pages there is already large consensus that these should be tagged as natural=scrub. Flowerbed is a landuse tag, it is intended to describe the use of the land the vegetation is growing on. Using the natural tag is to describe or map separately the type of vegetation, eventually attributed to describe it's purpose or how it is managed. It also allows to use it on top of the landuse tagging, as in your proposal, drawing a separate area and tagging it as natural=scrub within the flowerbed area. Same way is you could f.i. add a tree or wood tagged node, way or area to the flowerbed.
Bert Araali (talk) 16:36, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
The real use case is that an areal hedge cannot and should never be routed through because the examples shown cannot be walked through. This presumption is explicitly not the case for any other landuse tag. Otherwise it's just a tree row or a set bushes that can be mapped independently.
Same principle as water features: you wouldn't want to route through these areas. But a landuse tag is not the way to do it. Circeus (talk) 18:12, 14 February 2021 (UTC)


A single natural=shrub as *Node*:

inside an *Area* natural=scrub:

Everything works fine and there is no botanical need to differ "cultivated" from "uncultivated" OSM-land. ... Jo Cassel (talk) 17:09, 14 February 2021 (UTC)

A single or multiple natural=tree in natural=wood, everything works fine, however bad mapping practice. Scrub covers bushes and shrubs, stunted trees, bad practice to try to map all individual shrubs. If it is however to emphasize a distinctive like f.i. landmark or ornamental bush in a scrub area, it is a good solution. As well as I would map large individual or distinctive trees in a scrub area or even wood areas.---- Bert Araali (talk) 18:05, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
... trees instead of bushes: a single natural=tree as *Node*:
inside an *Area* natural=wood:
Everything works fine, no further Tags needed.... Jo Cassel (talk) 12:03, 15 February 2021 (UTC)