[HOT] paths, tracks and unclassified in West Africa

john whelan jwhelan0112 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 16 12:44:25 UTC 2015

Given that HOT mappers often do not have a PhD in African road
classification and it appears to be subjective perhaps we can come up with
a useful simplified interpretation or guidelines for inexperienced mappers?

My thoughts would be to suggest that mappers in general ignore primary,
secondary, tertiary, classifications, if the road is mapped then a local or
classification specialist can tag with one of these if required.

Cheerio John

On 16 July 2015 at 00:23, Thomas Gertin <tgertin at gmail.com> wrote:

> I am adding to the discussion of highway tagging in West Africa. All of
> the projects that mapped highways in West Africa that I have seen or been a
> part of followed the guidance of the Highway Tag Africa wiki page (
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Highway_Tag_Africa).
> This past Spring I worked with some colleagues to create this tracing
> guide (http://hotosm.github.io/tracing-guides/guide/liberia.html) for
> mapping River Cress and Grand Gedeh Counties in West Africa. The tracing
> guide was based on our interpretation of the Highway Tag Africa wiki page.
> This tracing guide is quite good, and mappers appreciated the pictures and
> GIFs that show examples.
> When building the tracing guide I came to a few conclusions. When reading
> the Highway Tag Africa wiki page I felt it have been wrong for me to alter
> the instructions. It would have resulted in inconsistent tagging in the
> region. I trust that a good amount of research and discussion has taken
> place to get it to the point it is now.
> - The guidance in the wiki could have been clearer. Although I notice that
> is has improved since even a few months ago, there are now some example
> pictures in there.
> - It is difficult to teach someone how to classify highways. There are
> eight types and often it is not clear when deciding between primary,
> secondary, tertiary, and unclassified highways because the only difference
> between them is the subjective size of the urban areas that are connected
> by them.
> - The unclassified road type was unintuitive the first time I read the
> Highway Tag Africa wiki page. To me unclassified means something that has
> no classification. Yet in the Highway Tag Africa wiki page it clearly has a
> classification. I think the term ‘unclassified’ means something else in
> other places though.
> I think having pre-set tags available as a plugins to iD editor should be
> a HOT goal, if it isn’t already. I don’t think we need there to be a
> universal tagging set. People who set-up projects on the Tasking manager
> could define the tags that fit best for the project. Although I think it
> would be useful to further standardize some tags across many geographical
> areas; it is important to maintain the flexibility for the geographical
> areas that need unique tags.
> Thanks,
> Tom G
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