Natural_reserve seems to have no purpose, and is to be confused with nature_reserve

Wanting to map leisure=nature_reserve, I confused it with landuse=natural_reserve.
I ended up without rendering, and wandering what was wrong. Like in Carto #603.

So it seems that natural_reserve could be removed, or replaced by nature_reserve.

By the way nature_reserve is confusing to map anyway.
I would expect it to be an area, multi polygon, or boundary, but it turns out to be just a (closed) line, so polygon.
I have to find out every couple of times I have been creating one.

Here is a list of all of the uses. You can click through from an entry there into Overpass. I suspect that many or most are typing errors for leisure=nature_reserve. None of them last edited by you though?

The tag is most heavily used in Uganda, with quite a bit of usage in Russia. I think in both cases caution should be exercised in any assumption that these are equivalent to leisure=nature_reserve. Russia has a concept to strict nature reserves where entrance is prohibited, so there may be valid reasons to eschew leisure=nature_reserve.

At least a few in Russia have boundary=national_park tags as well. The Ugandan ones seem to be from a single mapping campaign about 4 years ago which had some odd tags. Both uses seem quite recent: I think originally there was a landuse=conservation tag suggested for this sort of thing, but I suspect it has now largely fallen into abeyance, particularly as they can often be subsumed into protect_class=* and related tags.


I haven’t checked recent counts of this using taginfo or OT, but I believe a “naked” tag of boundary=protected_area (without a protect_class=* tag, whether with a numeric or text-based value) could be a better tag for things like this which are (certainly) “protected areas” but which are otherwise similarly ambiguous.

Of course, if you DO know of a protect_class=* value, it’s good to add that tag to a boundary=protected_area tag (pairing it); these two tags do associate together, but some are “naked” (have no protect_class=* tag)…this isn’t totally wrong. (It’s more like "some data are missing, and likely unknown, so we tag what we DO know, the single tag boundary=protected_area).

This is a complex topic. See also Proposal:Park boundary - OpenStreetMap Wiki which documents a proposal (well underway, taginfo documents thousands of uses) to use boundary=protected_area without a protect_class=* tag as a method to denote a “park boundary” (where this is particularly defined).

Thanks all for your input.

This indeed seems a complex topic, of several years already.

For the moment I just hope to have brought it to attention again.