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"Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are [animals and] plants that are introduced accidently or deliberately into a natural environment where they are not normally found, with serious negative consequences for their new environment."(1)

In my region, there are 3 species that I would like to map when walking:

  • Balsamine de l'Himalaya (fr), Impatiens glandulifera, Indian balsam (en)
  • Berce du caucase (fr), Heracleum mantegazzianum, Giant hogweed (en)
  • Renouée du japon (fr), * Fallopia japonica*, Japanese knotweed (en)

Any experience on this ?

(1) Source:

Other references:

asked 21 Apr '15, 12:54

gerdami's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

edited 21 Apr '15, 12:56

In general do not use OpenStreetMap for this type of biological recording.

The presence or absence of a single plant species rarely makes sense unless it is the dominant species of an area which would be mapped without the species information and it is long-lived. This in practice usually means native trees and shrubs, although I have mapped areas which are dominated by Rhododendron x superponticum in North Wales. See this overpass query.

As many known sites of invasive species will be subject to management by local authorities, conservation bodies etc., this information is subject to change too rapidly to be suitable for OSM. In addition experience with 50+ years of systematic botanical recording in Britain and Ireland suggest that the date of the record is very important, something again which OSM is not designed to handle.

As an alternative I would suggest using something like Observado, or a country-specific alternative, which is designed for biological recording and for subsequent sharing of data. For instance here are Observado views for the 3 species mentioned for the Netherlands (from Waarneming, Observado's sister site for NL):

Observado also have apps suitable for recording on mobile phones in the field. There are many others which may be more suitable for your particular case.

permanent link

answered 21 Apr '15, 15:36

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

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question asked: 21 Apr '15, 12:54

question was seen: 2,136 times

last updated: 21 Apr '15, 15:36

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum