[HOT] paths, tracks and unclassified in West Africa
rbanick at gmail.com
Thu Jul 16 12:55:53 UTC 2015
Speaking as a humanitarian GISer who's used HOT road layers quite a bit in
a few crises, the road classifications really help. Primary / secondary /
tertiary are useful, albeit vey incomplete, measures of the importance of
roads that we can use to eyeball transit times etc. I would be strongly
against ignoring those classification tags. I do agree we need more
consistency in how they're applied however.
Perhaps we can have general regional guidelines and then someone gets
charged with developing a country-specific taxonomy for any major
On Thu, Jul 16, 2015 at 8:44 AM, john whelan <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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 (
>> 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.
>> Tom G
>> HOT mailing list
>> HOT at openstreetmap.org
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