I'm getting conflicting messages regarding tagging fairways and greens. I had been using landuse=grass but was told it should be landuse=golf only to be picked on on that. I can't find any help in the Wiki. All advice appreciated.

asked 20 Nov '21, 09:27

kaptinkenny14's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

alt text

Thanks Hendrikklaas. I have seen that but it doesn't address the landuse issue. The screenshot is from a very short while ago. Should I just accept the suggestion?

(20 Nov '21, 10:05) kaptinkenny14

permanent link

answered 20 Nov '21, 09:31

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%


As with many OpenStreetMap tagging issues, there is a long history behind this and it´s quite difficult to work out what the best up-to-date approach is. See for example:



and "Rendering of fairways" on the Discussion page of the page already mentioned: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Tag:leisure%3Dgolf_course#Rendering_of_fairway

(20 Nov '21, 11:59) alan_gr

Hi kaptinkenny14 - what to use for grass on golf courses is a bit of an open issue; there are at least two approaches. I'm assuming here that in OSM you're this user; apologies if I've got that wrong.

The editor that you're using (iD) does indeed suggest "landuse=grass" for a golf fairway as your screenshot shows. Some people think that is incorrect, and have raised that with the iD editor here, and here. Discussion on the first of those explains a bit about why the wiki page here says things like "Do not use the tag landuse=grass" on fairways.

The comments that you have received here** are from one person who seems to be on a singular crusade in GB to rid GB courses of "landuse=grass" for fairways.

For completeness, I'm from OSM's Data Working Group, and we got drawn into golf tagging because a couple of people editing golf courses in OSM complained about "automatic edits" to their previous tagging and the rudeness of some of the comments they'd received.

Editor maintainers always need to treat the wiki with care as some of the things that it says are self-contradictory. That said, there have been times where popular editors push forms of tagging that are very much in the minority in OSM. I don't have a personal view about which tagging is correct here, beyond "both are, because both are widely accepted". iD has a new maintainer and I'm sure that issues such as this are among the ones that they will look at.

Regards, Andy

** and somewhat confusing, containing as they do "The landuse of golf features is 'golf' not grass." and "landuse=golf is not a valid tag".

permanent link

answered 20 Nov '21, 11:55

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
accept rate: 16%

edited 20 Nov '21, 11:58

The iD editor presets for fairways & greens comes with landuse=grass.

This is believed by some, including me, to be incorrect tagging ("tagging for the renderer"). The history if long and complicated. Golf features have only recently been rendered on the main CartoCSS map, and people have used various subterfuges to make the mapped features appear: these include: natural=beach for bunkers, leisure=pitch for greens, and landuse=grass on fairways, etc. The result of this is that statistically these look like very popular combinations, which I presume is what the iD developers picked up. The presets, of course, reinforce it.

In practice the individual golf=* tags now actually work fine as standalone tags for rendering purposes, just as they have for other uses since they were introduced. Unfortunately there does not seem to be a way to avoid iD nagging for these tags.

The use of these tags on golf=* elements is totally uncomplicated if one is just considering golf courses, however landuse=grass is already a tag with multiple meanings and this usage adds another. This means anyone consuming landuse=grass for purposes other than straightforward rendering will need to provide special rules for 'golf=*` features.

Ultimately it is a matter of choice as to whether one ignores the message in iD, but be aware that others might not, and 'correct' your original decision.

permanent link

answered 20 Nov '21, 12:48

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

edited 20 Nov '21, 13:10

Thanks all for your contributions. This is certainly a thorny subject! I'm interested in OSM for use with the Golf Club games in conjunction with LIDAR data. I just wanted to do the right thing by other users. However, as a relatively inexperienced user, it occurs to me that the term "landuse" should refer to the actual use of the area (in this case, obviously, golf) and that the surface tag is the one to use to indicate the physical covering of that area. Perhaps "golf" should be available in the landuse drop-down.

permanent link

answered 20 Nov '21, 15:01

kaptinkenny14's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


You wouldn't be unique in thinking that "the landuse tag should mean the actual use of the land"; that point occasionally gets argued on the tagging mailing list. People have suggested "landcover" in place of what landuse is often used for in OSM, but that is, I think, a minority view.

Lots of tags don't quite mean the same in OSM as in the outside world, often confused by English words meaning different things in different dialects of English, so to an extent we need to live with that.

(20 Nov '21, 17:49) SomeoneElse ♦
Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 20 Nov '21, 09:27

question was seen: 404 times

last updated: 20 Nov '21, 17:49

powered by OSQA