[HOT] Tagging (roads, squares/pitches) in the dev world -- was: Re: Senegal - Dakar Flooding Activation

Jaakko Helleranta.com jaakko at helleranta.com
Wed Sep 5 18:01:07 BST 2012

[Added tagging@ as this is about tagging in general in the dev world (I feel) and not just humanitarian.. Reply as u see fit.]

My simple advise:
* Always when tracing roads and in (more or less clear) doubt: use 

Surely u can and should also use "FIXME=survey road class" when in doubt and tagging a rd w something else than =road but at least use either of the methods when not sure.

I also tend to favor highway=path over =footway and would advice others to do the same when not sure if the not-(presumably-)for-cars way is ok for bicycles, motorcycles, horses, ATVs, etc. 
There are local conventions that over ride this thought but unless there is such local policy I think =path is much better general path tag than =footway (and I recall it's also documented in the wiki somewhere). 

As per =living_street : there's been some discussion about that I believe also on HOT@ a while ago and my understanding / what I remember of this is that while =living_street is documented for use only with roads legally defined as living streets (typically in Europe, some in USA, elsewhere?) it fits the definition/"ethos" of the tag to use it also elsewhere where "pedestrians have (clear) right-of-way over vehicles" as the wiki notes. .. And there are many _many_ roads like this all over the developing world especially. And so the tah is also used in a # of places.

In general this Dakar tagging thread as also the prior advice on tagging Uganda + Horn of Africa camps highlight certain special characteristics of "tagging in the developing world". We've had numnerous good discussion about this in Haiti and with a number of HOT people and I know that I haven't done my share in documenting these. .. So, this is just a blurb on the existense of the "issue" and if nothing else a note-to-self (+ a request to the universe out there) that it would b great to document these special characteristics.

Cheers from sunny Haiti,

Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Digicel
Mobile: +509-37-26 91 54, Skype/GoogleTalk: jhelleranta

-----Original Message-----
From: william skora <skorasaurus at gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2012 11:06:21 
To: <hot at openstreetmap.org>
Subject: Re: [HOT] Senegal - Dakar Flooding Activation


Apologies for the delays. Here's some answers to a few questions.
 "In some cases of
really narrow, hardly visible streets or deep inside a residential
area I've used living_street because I assume pedestrians or children
playing football use them more often than cars."

Regarding the tags of ways, we've done a great job so far, given the
ambiguity of the areas, osm tags, and current situation. As most of
you have consistently tagged, a majority of the ways as
highway=residential (which is appropriate, mostly houses are very
small businesses, run out of the home or as a storefront).

However, as discussed in the quoted portion and in this picture
http://imgur.com/AuNTC - there are a few ways that are not very wide
and deserve more consideration.
I did a very rough measurement using the measurement plugin and bing
imagery, the one in the examples are ~3.5 meters wide, just wide
enough for a smaller car or typical taxi. In my experience in dakar
for several months, some of these ways still have cars pass through
them, although may or may not receive a little less traffic than
other, wider streets that are marked as residential . However, there
are also many ways, with different levels of visibility on bing
imagery, that aren't wide enough for a car to go through, surrounded
by residential buildings (likely the best tag for those,
highway=footway. When I first started mapping dakar, I tagged the
narrow ways as highway=service. In a few cases that I surveyed in
person, I've tagged them as highway=footway. In summary, on the ground
surveying would provide the context and information that the bing
imagery can't provide so I'm not sure what tags would be most
appropriate for these narrower ways without on the ground surveying. I
hesistate to use highway=living_street
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Living_street since there aren't
(as far as I know) any traffic laws that categorize these narrower
ways than from other residential ways.

I spoke to one mapper on the ground in Dakar who told me the
areas/ways that Harry mentioned in a conversation a couple days ago
are used mostly by kids as play areas; so leisure=pitch ? or
playground ? (although there's no equipment ?).

Lastly, there are some areas that are more floodprone than others.
Personally, I would hesistate for others to tag them ([based solely on
bing imagery] and think this may be a job most appropriate to those
who are on the ground or have been. What tags have been used ? Any
recommended strategies ?


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