[HOT] Highway=residential in Africa

andy Gardner andygardnermail at yahoo.co.uk
Mon Jun 13 20:36:16 UTC 2016

It says on the highway tag Africa wiki for highway=path "Paths not large enough for cars and mainly for pedestrians".I take your point about motorbikes Suzan but how do you tell from the image that a path sized way is being used as a road? would you go by density of buildings?

    On Monday, 13 June 2016, 20:35, john whelan <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com> wrote:

 >so limiting to a certain size vehicle is putting too much of a restriction on mapping in Africa, in my opinion.
and I think that was the conclusion of the people who created the African Highway wiki, if the highway is wide enough for two trucks side by side you can guess its not a path, but other than that it is difficult to know, especially as the visible width may change with the seasons.

Cheerio John

On 13 June 2016 at 15:14, Suzan Reed <suzan at suzanreed.com> wrote:

In some rural areas people have a lot of different vehicles for transport. Some adapt motorbikes with cargo carriers making them into little trucks and motorbikes can be loaded in various ways and are used as transport, and these can travel on many tracks and minor/unclassified roads, so limiting to a certain size vehicle is putting too much of a restriction on mapping in Africa, in my opinion.


On Jun 13, 2016, at 11:54 AM, andy Gardner <andygardnermail at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

Hello there, Should the limit for a road perhaps be the width of  a vehicle and under for a path? (A Land Rover's roughly 2m wide). There's a scale on JOSM and ID. Couldn't see one on Potlatch.


On Monday, 13 June 2016, 17:48, Chad Blevins <cblevins at usaid.gov> wrote:

Hi John,

You're absolutely correct.  When Courtney and I created the Mozambique Tracing Guide the original tasks were urban focused, and the scope has changed to rural areas.  Currently a group of interns are mapping those districts and I've had several inquiries about road classifications.  The guidance I’ve given is to tag all rural roads as unclassified unless they are clearly labeled/numbered as a “major” road, or very small pathways.

The Africa roads wiki is great and was referenced when creating the Mozambique guide.  Many road examples in this part of the world are debatable as "unclassified", "tracks", or "paths".  It’s almost impossible to know the use and in some cases classifications may change based on time of year.  A subset of interns copied here (Forrest, Julia, and Alex) have agreed to review the Mozambique guidance and suggest edits for the rural landscape.  This could be a good opportunity for them to review and comment on the Highway Tag Africa wiki as well.

More to come.


On Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 8:01 AM, john whelan <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com> wrote:
OSM has its roots in the UK and Germany, in the UK highways are classified A, B, I think even C and other very minor roads were labelled unclassified by Ordnance Survey historically so that is where the term comes from.  The UK Ordnance Survey was historically important in creating everyday maps.

By using a standardised set of tags for highways it makes the rendering systems life easier.  OSMand for example is used everywhere in the world and if it had to know about a different set of tags for each country the software would be much more complicated.  If you’re mapping in OSM of course there is nothing to stop you tagging highways in any manner you like.  The only problem is that the features will not be rendered by the normal systems.

If you’re mapping in a HOT project then you’re expected to follow the HOT guidelines for tagging.  ie building=yes etc.

The problem here is the instructions for a group of projects only contain a subset of the highway types used for mapping in Africa as defined by the African Highway Wiki and the examples shown are all urban areas so the instructions although correct are incomplete as the project covers both urban and rural areas.

Cheerio John ​

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Chad Blevins
U.S. Global Development Lab

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