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Slurry pits

  • 23-11-2021 5:09pm
    Registered Users Posts: 78,307 ✭✭✭✭ Victor

    I'm a contributor to It's like Google Maps insofar as it is a map, but it's more like Wikipedia insofar as anyone can edit it.

    I occasionally map farm details, but one of the things that seem to be somewhat absent is slurry pits. It may be that they are hard to identify as such or maybe they are covered by slabs of sheds.

    So what are the characteristics of the main slurry pit / tank on your farm?

    Circular, above ground, covered

    Circular, above ground, not covered

    Circular, below ground, covered

    Circular, below ground, not covered

    Square / rectangular, above ground, covered

    Square / rectangular, above ground, not covered

    Square / rectangular, below ground, covered

    Square / rectangular, below ground, not covered



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,044 ✭✭✭✭ _Brian

    Why would you want to map a slurry tank and why would we want you doing it ?

    it’s not like anyone will want to find their way to it ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,690 ✭✭✭ funkey_monkey

    Mostly would be square/rectangular below ground & covered by a shed. Bigger operators would have a circular store above ground and uncovered.

    As _Brian said, what is the need for mapping them? What useful information is your effort providing here? Can you not just list them all under "Farm Building/Storage" or something like that? I'm not adverse to you doing it, but I don't see who the end user is going to be that will warrant your upfront effort.

    Good luck with the project. Always like to see Google and their ilk get a bloodied nose every now and again!

  • Registered Users Posts: 78,307 ✭✭✭✭ Victor

    "Why would you want to map a slurry tank" - because it is there, and because it is a mappable feature. Few people will visit an electricity pole, but I've mapped tens of thousands of them.

    "why would we want you doing it ?" -that sounds awfully defensive! Nobody is going to steal your slurry. :) Some people like to map their own farms, especially so that field names are preserved. About two years ago, I was talking to a guy in NUIG that was hoping to use aerial photos to identify crops and when was the best time to harvest those crops.

    "it’s not like anyone will want to find their way to it ?" - perhaps, perhaps not.

    What triggered my interest is that some people had confused horse walkers for tanks and silos. Until the weekend, I hadn't realised that open air horse walkers existed, although I had seen quite a few in aerial photos, I didn't know what they were. Then I realised that while (a) a certain proportion of farms have circular, above ground, not covered tanks, of indeterminable use, and (b) other farms have large square / rectangular, below ground, not covered pits, the combined number seemed quite low.

    The image is of an open air horse walker. From space, it looks not dissimilar to a tank in a waste water treatment plant.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,905 ✭✭✭ Say my name

    I see a membership fee is sought to become a member of open street map.

    Why would anyone pay to upload content?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,257 ✭✭✭ emaherx

    As already stated most farms have underground tanks. Many small farms will have none as they use deep bedding instead of slurry storage.

    You won't find many farmers happy about the features of their farms being mapped in this way as it raises safety and security concerns for them.

    We don't need a map of all of our "features" available freely to every loon environmentalist or vegan protester for example. This may sound like paranoia but these types of farm visits have become more common in recent years. Incorrectly labelling features could also be incorrectly drawing attention to properties not even engaged in the type of activity labelled. Identifying certain other types of structures and/or features in remote areas could also be a great aid for those looking to help themselves to other peoples property.

    Many farmers do want their farms mapped and we have a large selection of tools available to us for just this purpose. I have my own land fairly well mapped and have the ability to import/export detail between various applications using KML.

  • Registered Users Posts: 314 ✭✭ donal.hunt

    I'm a member of the OpenStreetMap Ireland board and appreciate the feedback shared on this thread to date.

    A couple of clarifications:

    - There is no cost to contribute to OpenStreetMap or utilise the data available as a result of the project. The only requirement is to provide attribution if data is utilised.

    - We do encourage contributors and data users to join the global OpenStreetMap Foundation and/or OpenStreetMap Ireland as a means to guide the direction of project and the activities undertaken. The fee charged for being a member of OpenStreetMap Ireland covers administrative costs for the community, events, and tools that have been deployed for use by the community.

    - While it's possible the data can be misused for criminal behaviour, the satellite coverage used by mappers is freely available and could be used for the same purpose. Additional annotations may reveal data that may be sensitive though so the community are always open to feedback regarding this.

    - The main driver behind the establishment of the Irish community is to promote and educate people about the benefits of open map data. It also provides a means to identify issues like this and come to a consensus that is agreeable to all parties. There is a strong belief that having a diverse set of mappers from different backgrounds will lead to greater discussion and education possibilities within communities as well as improved maps.

    If I can be of any further help, please feel free to reach out via > board AT <

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,117 ✭✭✭ Mooooo

    What do the office of the DPC say with regard to what ye are doing?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,257 ✭✭✭ emaherx

    I've no particular issue with mapping and we have all come to depend on different mapping services, many of us use software on the farm whether we all know it or not that depends on API's from various sources such as google maps, mapbox, OSI etc. It is one thing that the entire country is photographed from above but another entirely when individuals are publicly labelling features on our private property for all to see.

    Where is the line drawn on what is acceptable? Slurry towers may be easily identifiable on satellite maps (or mistaken for horse walkers) but what next? Identifying types of animal houses on farms could be useful information for activists. Thieves could be interested in buildings labelled workshop or secure or in identifiable fixed assets on land such as pumps, gates, drinkers, solar installations etc.

    What possible good can be provided by publicly labelling every feature on our farms? Other than being a tool for certain anti-farming groups and criminals? The EPA, DFAM and OSI already have fairly comprehensive mapping and relevant information available. We also have many mapping software packages available to us using many of the available map API's but with our asset labels kept private.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,543 ✭✭✭ Odelay

    I’d be concerned with someone who doesn’t know the difference between a slurry store and a horse walker taking it upon themselves to mark features on my farm for anyone find.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,257 ✭✭✭ emaherx

    Exactly an absolutely unnecessary level of detail of no use to anyone accept for criminals. In a farmyard everyone who needs to know what and where that particular shed is already dose. Thankfully not too many yards mapped like that yet, but I suppose in time bored people who think they are providing a service will fill a lot of them in, maybe even drop in here to ask how they could do it better 🙄

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,905 ✭✭✭ Say my name

    You'd feel like building a v2 rocket site.

    God be the ones that have their sites purposely blurred.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,257 ✭✭✭ emaherx

    Maybe that's what we should do..... Mark every slurry store / silo in the country as missile silo.

    Probably still draw the same protesters but they'll feel stupid when they turn up holding the wrong signs. 😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 b-unicycling

    Thanks for the reference to the V2, I actually grew up in the town where they built them. Always great fun to joke about the terrors of war.

    Anyway, I've fixed the tagging for the machinery shed. Mappers are not supposed to use the name tag, but instead use descriptive tags, which I have done now, so all the buildings that are not houses are tagged as building=farm_auxiliary, because that's the best we can do from satellite imagery. You will notice (possibly after refreshing) that the name labels are gone.

    You can look up the official tags for farm buildings on the openstreetmap wiki. Unfortunately, I cannot post a link, but maybe my fellow board member will.

  • Registered Users Posts: 314 ✭✭ donal.hunt

    Link for the farm building documentation:

    And the existing guidance to mappers regarding private property:

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,905 ✭✭✭ Say my name

    Is it possible to "haze/fuzz out" sites on open street map?

    Easier look for forgiveness than permission I guess.

    This whole imagery ownership should be seriously looked at. What's the difference whether someone is on the ground with a camera or drone or satellite and claiming ownership of an image?

    But anyway is it possible to haze out sites?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,257 ✭✭✭ emaherx

    Sure, I suppose there is no harm if that is the only incidence of it in the whole country. I'm sure all of your mappers now know not to do it again?

    What about the silo's/slurry stores? There seems to be an icon and everything on that one? Many may be in-fact horse walkers or my McDuck style money silo, I'd rather not have it mapped either. Thanks and welcome to Boards.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,905 ✭✭✭ Say my name

    You do get why property and business owners would like to keep building uses to themselves for commercial and security reasons.

    What's the point in any business owner putting screening up around their business premises if a satellite imagery company then identifies what each building is used for?

    As a lot of posters have already posted. Outside of the business owner, business inspectors and state bodies. Nobody else should know.

    This seems legally on very shaky ground to do with someone's property on a public and corporate membership website.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,257 ✭✭✭ emaherx

    Thanks for the links, going by your own rules, I've noted a few points.

    If something is not clearly covered by rules above there still may be a clear consensus whatever it is OK to map it - possibly due to privacy concerns.

    Who's Consensus, we certainly have concerns?

    Do not map where individual people live, in particular do not add the names of inhabitants to dwellings.

    Most Farms in this country are residential farms i.e. where people live.

    As an international project, we should respect personal information as well as the consensus in the community about them

    How is consensus in the community gauged? How many farmers/ rural dwellers were consulted?

    Limit the detail of mapping private backyards.

    Often no boundary between backyards and farmyards especially on older and/or smaller holdings

    It is also my opinion that there are too many options here, in recent years farms in this country particularly poultry and pig farms have been targeted by activists, why is it necessary for a street map to distinguish between farm building types? I think this in particular is a genuine security concern.

    building=barn is a building used for storage and as a covered workplace.
    building=stable identifies a building as a stable for horses.
    building=sty is used if pigs are kept.
    building=cowshed is a building for cows.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,905 ✭✭✭ Say my name

    Interesting discussion on filming and imagery what GDPR covers on Newstalk now.

    Thinking of this thread now. The OP is definitely flying by the seat of their pants looking for that information and having it made public.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,257 ✭✭✭ emaherx

    Don't believe openstreetmap actually serves any imagery, but I still can't see it being OK to map our building use in what is essentially our back gardens.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,905 ✭✭✭ Say my name

    Read it before swimming pools to name are a no no but a machinery workshop with hundreds of thousands of euro stored on a farm are encouraged.

    I looked on a map in the US and it included a fuel tank on a farm.

    Are these people braindead or what?

    We can't all live in an apartment living off the Web.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,905 ✭✭✭ Say my name


  • Registered Users Posts: 186 ✭✭ Luttrell1975

    Bing, Waze, Here, Google Earth, Google Street.................... what century are people here living in😆😆? Your buildings are visible on every satellite going too. Sounds like you guys are bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

  • Registered Users Posts: 791 ✭✭✭ mr.stonewall

    If Sean Quinn has the right to be forgotten, surely our farmyards can be. Would be interesting approach to take of some of your property has been marked

  • Registered Users Posts: 186 ✭✭ Luttrell1975

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,257 ✭✭✭ emaherx

    It's not about buildings being on maps, it's about advertising what is inside them and having it searchable to everyone including criminals. Maybe you'd like your garage labeled as full of tools?

    We are well aware of various mapping software and are users of many services which you would see if you had read any of the previous posts.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 186 ✭✭ Luttrell1975

    But it is full of tools😉, and I can tell by the size of the buildings what each must be for.

This discussion has been closed.