Can I Get Help Editing State Park Boundaries? Or at least verify it is correct?

Greetings! Have a state Park local to me but it appears on the map that the lake surrounding the state park is not tagged or labeled correctly, nor is the state park. I suspect this since all regional, local, and other state parks within my area show up as “green”. The state park in question, Lake Norman State Park in North Carolina, while what I consider huge in size has only a small sliver of green on the interior of the park and the surrounding border of it shows the lake or water features on the wrong side of the boundary line. The boundary line is in the correct position but something just isn’t right. I have read general instructions but am unclear on how to do it and simply scared to make any edits. I would greatly appreciate it if someone could assist me with this.

Hi Shawn, welcome to the OpenStreetMap community!

I think I understand what you’re describing. The map on openstreetmap.org shows Lake Norman State Park using a thin blue-green line at the border, and then a thicker lighter green line inside of that. This appearance is meant to indicate the boundary of a protected natural area. It’s being applied because the park is tagged with boundary=protected_area. When these lines appear next to the blue lake area, it can look a bit confusing, as if the two areas are overlapping.

Some of the other parks in North Carolina are tagged differently, which is why they look different. For example South Mountain State Park is tagged both as a boundary=protected_area and also as a leisure=park. The leisure=park tag is rendered as a solid mint green area. (If you look closely you’ll see that it also has the same border lines as Lake Norman State Park, since it has the boundary=protected_area tag too).

The leisure=park tag in OSM is meant to describe the kind of park you’d typically find in a city, which is a landscaped green space and might have things like artificial ponds or play structures. The boundary=protected_area tag is for things like wilderness areas that are allowed to be in their natural state, without (much) human intervention. So not everything with “Park” in its name should be tagged as a leisure=park. For example Central Park in NYC is a leisure=park, but Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is not.

I’m not sure which tags are correct for the state parks in your area, since I’m afraid I don’t have any local knowledge. But based on looking at satellite imagery, I think that maybe South Mountain State Park ought not to be tagged as a leisure=park, since it looks like it is mostly a natural woodland area. Someone might have mistakenly added the tag in the past since it has “Park” in the name.

Note that the colors and line styles you see on openstreetmap.org are just one way to interpret the data. There are lots of other maps based on OpenStreetMap’s data that choose to display these things differently, or not at all, depending on their own goals.

Hope that helps!