OpenStreetMap

Land Use = Open Space Buffers

Posted by Adam Martin on 2 July 2013 in English (English)

Taking a look over the municipal map for my area, I note that there is a lot of the local land area that is designated as "open space buffers". I live very close to one of these buffers - it basically denotes grass and trees that have been flagged by the local government as being meant to remain "as is" for the enjoyment of the residents. It is also meant to separate the residential sections from the industrial and commercial sections as well as the major highways.

The question is - how does one go about properly flagging this type of land use? Given that a lot of this land is occupied by coniferous forest, it would be fairly safe to designate these areas as "Land Use = Forest". However, not all of these areas actually possess trees. Some of it has been disturbed due to local construction and other parts are made up of grasses or bogs / wetlands. So, one could get rather pedantic about the whole thing and divide the ground by the sub-component - large grass areas versus tree areas versus bogs, etc. Personally, I have no trouble doing this. It's relatively easy to separate these areas once the satellite data has been aligned. Still, my first impulse is to select the major feature of the area and call it that - a forest with a grass spot within is just a forest.

That brings up another issue related to this - that of municipal land itself. I am sure it is the same here as it is in other regions. The municipal government here "owns" all lands within the administrative boundary. Land is parceled and sold to individuals for business or residential purposes. Land that is not sold in this manner remains the property of the Town. All that is fine - some of it will be given a civic use (playground / park / etc), but other parts are too small to be given a use (such as an open area near a major highway interchange. I wonder if there should be something designated within these areas. The Town grooms these areas and keeps them clear of trash and whatnot. So they are maintained directly versus an area that is slated for future use and is lying fallow at the moment. Land Use = Grass sounds reasonable - it does describe these areas to an extent. This feeds into the open space buffers idea above - these are just between sections of the Town or City proper.

Comment from russdeffner on 2 July 2013 at 17:07

Hello Adam,

Just wanted to suggest not using landuse=forest, the wiki describes (and most of us in Colorado have agreed) that this is meant for forest production, i.e. logging, etc. I would suggest using the natural Key for the things you describe. I haven't looked at the tagging, but someone is making the map look really good in this area: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=39.5557&mlon=-104.9859&zoom=12 west of Lone Tree, Colorado and I think is mapping the Open Space similar to what you're after.

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Comment from SK53 on 2 July 2013 at 17:55

I, and many others use landuse=grass for this purpose. Unfortunately this latter tag is also often (mis-)used for other types of grassland: for instance grass pasturage on farms (clearly landuse=farmland) and grass on sports fields (leisure=recreation_ground). (In many case this has obviously been used becaused it gets rendered : "tagging for the renderer").

The more general term which is widely used is the catch-all "amenity grassland" which covers most types of publically-owned grassland in cities (including sports fields, many public parks as well as the random bits of green space).

In either case tags with dual semantics are a real pain, but I would suggest sticking with landuse=grass, perhaps with some kind of adjectival tag landuse:grass=open_space_buffer, which would allow future disambiguation of the different semantics.

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Comment from Sundance on 2 July 2013 at 19:32

In some cases if this is scheduled for future development you can use landuse=greenfield

Other tags that might be suitable are perhaps; boundary=protected_area or leisure=nature_reserve

There is some discussion on landuse=grass ... it may be depreciated http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/landcover

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