[HOT] paths, tracks and unclassified in West Africa

john whelan jwhelan0112 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 16 13:03:56 UTC 2015

The suggestion is not that Primary / secondary / tertiary should not be
mapped, often when the HOT mappers start the major highways are tagged
Primary / secondary / tertiary the suggestion is to simplify guidance to
new or inexperienced mappers.  76% of HOT Nepal mappers mapped for an hour
or two and that was it.

I don't think we can afford to give them four hours training in how to
classify a road, there would be no time left for mapping.

For these sort of highways then map something and let someone else upgrade
the tag to Primary / secondary / tertiary is my suggestion.

Cheerio John

On 16 July 2015 at 08:55, Robert Banick <rbanick at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hey all,
> 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
> activations?
> Best,
> Robert
> 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 (
>>> 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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