[HOT] Tagging 'averaged' paths in rural Mali

David Schmitt david at black.co.at
Sun Feb 10 18:01:15 GMT 2013

On 2013-02-10 17:46, william skora wrote:
> Hey everyone,
> As you may know, HOT is currently mapping infrastructure in Mali. In
> flat rual areas, there are
> some 'highways' (unpaved ground) that are very close to each other (up
> to ~100 meters ) that all lead to the same villages or destinations.
> Here is one example: http://binged.it/Y2XLqR
> We have generally traced these like we have with GPX without satellite;
> one average trace of the possible paths (since no one way is really more
> important thatn the others). So we would like some sort of tag to add
> additionally to not that in addition to being a highway=whatever this
> road is not a simple centerline, but rather just an average and you
> shouldn't try to follow it exactly (or necessarily expect to be able to
> follow it exactly). As Andrew Buck in #hot noted, 'they are useful for
> understanding the level of economic development in the area since they
> are sometimes caused simply by the lack of someone actually building
> road (although in most cases it just doesn't even make sense to build one)'.
> Do you have any suggestions of how to tag these ways ?

When working on HOT tasks, I often see these structures tagged as 
highway=track[1]. This is probably contrary to the primary definition in 
the OSM wiki as "agricultural", but matches with the more common 
language usage of a "mark left by something that has passed along."[2]

A more "proper" tagging might be highway=unclassified, surface=unpaved. 
But I'm not sure that is of additional value as it implies to me some 
kind of formal road-ness that is not reconcilable with the informality 
of such tracks.

Best Regards, David

[1] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway=track
[2] http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/track

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