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The Pantanal is one of the world's largest wetlands (wiki). I created (at approx zoom level 5) a crude outline from Bing imagery but clearly tagging natural: wetland covered much of South America with wetland symbology - which I promptly removed.

For the moment, I have given "Pantanal Matogrossense National Park" an alternative name of "Pantanal" as a compromise.

I'd be grateful if you can suggest how to best capture the rough full extent of the Pantanal, which is shown in Wikipedia and can be derived from Bing imagery with some effort. I considered "boundary: administrative" and "natural region" but I thought it would be best to ask here.

asked 06 Oct '16, 23:32

snodnipper's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

If it's a wetland, then it's a wetland however big. In general there's no reason why such places should not be in OSM.

However, for similar reasons large expanses of tropical rain forest have not been mapped either. There is always the suspicion that the actual wetland area is divided up by other features, roads, small areas of higher ground (often used for habitation) etc.

Very large areas can also be confusing for other editors. Using relations may reduce this.

I think your compromise is probably sensible for now, but OSM will have to come to terms with the fact that there are large uninterrupted areas of some natural features: particularly boreal and tropical forests.

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answered 07 Oct '16, 12:00

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%


The 'do nothing option' appears to be the most conservative option at the moment. For anyone wanting to experiment, a coarse extent of the Pantanal is available from:


(08 Oct '16, 11:59) snodnipper

Hi snodnipper, use seasonal=yes together with intermittent=yes, but start to ask the local community how they want to do it. There might not be that much mappers, just to stay on the safe side. Since your an oldie you might know that its quit a job to count and place this huge border line.

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answered 07 Oct '16, 00:24

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

Thanks for your thoughts - your suggested attributes are probably appropriate (I'd need to research further into the Pantanal climate) but it would appear that, fundamentally, the OSM community needs to have some serious discussion about large natural expanses and macro level mapping*.

* whilst I have not contacted the relevant environment departments in those countries, I would expect it to be a moot point as to whether something is in the Pantanal or not (I cannot imagine we need cm accuracy).

(08 Oct '16, 12:09) snodnipper

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question asked: 06 Oct '16, 23:32

question was seen: 2,573 times

last updated: 08 Oct '16, 12:09

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