Tagging an area used to dry agricultural produce

What tags would you use to replace name=zone pour secher le copra? This is an area for sun drying coconuts before using them to produce coconut oil.

farmland=* doesn’t seem quite right since that’s for annual crops.

farmyard=* seems to be for livestock.

industrial=* implies buildings and other infrastructure, which this is not.

Any suggestions?

Maybe a man_made=bunker_silo if it has some sort of walls? Could maybe add content=crop+crop=coconut.

landuse=farmyard can include pretty much anything except the fields (even including the residential farmhouse), and is not limited to farms with animals, so could work, though it’s for the entire farmyard, not just the drying area.

A silo is an interesting thought, but this apparently doesn’t have walls. Supposedly some sites may have a kiln for more rapid drying, but the case I’m looking at is specifically an area for sun drying.

I suppose landuse=farmyard + farmyard=? could work. I didn’t see any good values for the farmyard tag but maybe something like farmyard=drying_area would work?

There are very large numbers of arable only farmyards across the globe, so I don’t see this as an obstacle. However, I think it would depend on the size of the enterprise. In the past most farms would have had dedicated areas for crop processing (threshing floors come to mind) and small-scale farms in less-developed regions likely still do. However, a lot of coconut cultivation is on a massive scale and I’m not sure such tags are suitable for quasi-industrial processing.

For crops/farm products which are significant on a global scale I think dedicated tags may be appropriate. See my thoughts on rotary milking parlours, as an example of this sort of thing.

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The area in question is definitely small scale farming: Way: ‪zone pour secher le copra‬ (‪1055007798‬) | OpenStreetMap And there are other similar areas tagged with descriptive names in the region. I’m hoping to find one or more tags that are better than putting the description in the name.

Having read a little more about it I’d probably suggest man_made=crop_dryer, with some sort of sub-tag to separate these small passive drying areas from machine dryers. This is because there are both sorts & I think it makes sense to have a single tag (similarly because some other crops grown by small-scale farmers will be dried, either in the open or in sheds to by machine), rather than two or more tags such as man_made=copra_drying_area … The tag can then be placed on open areas, buildings used for drying etc.

Incidentally, housing estates in Britain used to have specific areas set aside for drying clothes where the housing units were apartments. I’ve seen a few in mapping areas built in the '60s and '70s before machine dryers were common. So something=drying_area is also a possibility, but probably too broad, at least for now.

This might be heading in the right direction.

It looks like the few instances of man_made=drying_area have mainly been used for drying crops, except for some instances in Russia which seem to be something else. I guess man_made=drying_area might be too broad if it could be used on an area for drying clothes. Maybe farmyard=drying_area would be specific enough?

If man_made=crop_drying is better, maybe the combination with drying_system=open would work? The drying_system key seems to be used for brick drying, so I’m not sure whether adopting it here makes sense or whether it would be better to use a different key.

For drying with a kiln, I suppose it could be man_made=kiln with product=copra so that’s a separate case.

Clothes might be a stretch for a unified tag, but some cultures devote large fields to drying fish and other seafood. I don’t think “crop” would be an intuitive description for these fields. “Food drying” would be a better level of abstraction.

Seems pretty much the sort of additional adjectival tag I suggested would be needed, and if in use then I see no reason not to adopt it. FWIW, going with a more specific tag and moving to the more general one is IMO OK whilst getting the feel how they work with actual map elements.

I’m fine with finding the right level of abstraction, which I think is a fascinating aspect of tagging, and this looks OK (one of the cases I did think about were the stone cleitean on St Kilda, which were used inter alia for seabird carcasses, and birds eggs).


The title deeds to some older flats refer to the back gardens as “drying greens” and warn that they are to be used exclusively for this purpose. Apparently when they were built in the 1800s, it wasn’t uncommon for people to keep livestock in them!

There is also a public drying green left in Glasgow. It is tagged landuse=grass. landuse=drying_green and amenity=drying_green have also been used… once each. Designing a new tagging system to accommodate this would probably be overkill, unless areas for drying clothes that are not simply residential gardens are more widespread in other countries!

(And even if we get a tag for drying greens, it wouldn’t necessarily need to be coordinated with a tag for drying crops and fish.)

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Thanks for this, I was looking for a Scottish reference, as they were a common aspect of tenements. I think I’ve also heard them called “washing greens”, but certainly the “green” is a common element, I can’t find the one’s I noticed fairly early in my mapping activity, I suspect the houses were demolished.

One other aspect is that some non-food crops are also dried. This picture on Wikimedia shows sisal.

Was there some agreement that man_made=crop_drying + drying_system=open would be a good replacement for name=zone pour secher le copra, or does that need more consideration?

I have been unable to find suitable tagging for fish flakes before. Would be interested if a usable produce drying tagging comes out of this discussion

I think that’s what @Minh_Nguyen and @SK53 were discussing – whether man_made=crop_drying was the right tag for things like drying fish or seabird carcasses. It wasn’t clear to me if that was resolved.

The only thing I’d add to the discussion is that copra is not specifically a food product, since the resulting coconut oil has many non-food uses. So I wouldn’t want to use food_drying for copra.

The only unifying concept I can think of is that all these activities are drying what has been harvested. But harvest_drying sounds kind of stilted… artificial… to me compared to “crop drying” and “food drying”. I’m also unclear if a renderer or geocoder would actually want us to unify these concepts in the first place. “Harvest Drying Area” doesn’t sound like something an editor should show as a preset or a geocoder should show as a search result, because it requires too much explanation.

Perhaps produce_drying introduces the relative level of abstraction required.

This thread does highlight that sometimes there’s broad agreement on what a thing is, but choosing a key or tag which is not clunky or stilted, likely to cause confusion and encompasses the need, etc., can be hard.