[HOT] Highway=track

Rupert Allan rupert.allan at hotosm.org
Wed Dec 27 18:15:14 UTC 2017

Dear All,

We are following this discussion on Highways with interest in Uganda. I am
awaiting further input on 'service roads' from Uganda Bureau of Statistics
and other national and regional bodies with many years of experience, and
we are also learning through community field mapping on the ground.

Meanwhile, Re. 'Humanitarian Presets in OSM':

The immediate reaction to the idea of custom presets for HOT is, I think
positive. Input from HOT_Uganda is that in large refugee settlements, there
are admin levels which have some conflicting tags, for instance a village
has become the term at admin level 4 which signifies a whole area of
settlement, around what was initially one village, but has now become a
huge camp with sometimes hundreds of thousands of people. In Uganda,
villages all have related borders, so in rural areas you cannot be 'outside
of a village'  (you would be in the next village if you crossed the
'border' as it were).

So they can be huge in terms of population. If they are designated a
'Refugee Community' (RC) Settlement, they then get divided into Zones,
sometimes Points, Blocks and sometimes 'Tanks' (N.G.O. Water Tanks) -
although there is an instance right now where the tanks are being taken
away, as the water provision becomes piped. I am awaiting feedback on what
convention the community will adopt.

Anyway, this differs completely from the national system, (Local
Council/LC), where admin levels run: 'District, (County), Subcounty,
Parish, Village'. We survey both, and have a divide in our survey, with a
different set of questions/name choice tags which we are evolving as we
work. We would appreciate making sure these refugee conventions merge with
other specifically humanitarian conventions in other contexts around the
N.B. Even within these North Uganda settlements, addressing changes from
one settlement to the next, sometimes even when settlements are

I shall post some more information and some kind of table on the Wiki, as
things unfold here, but the main point is that 'Yes, certain
Humanitarian-Specific tags would be most useful to us'.

Best wishes,


On Wed, Dec 27, 2017 at 4:53 PM, john whelan <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com> wrote:

> The first comment is It looks reasonable to me but I'm not the technical
> authority on this one.  Pierre might be better.
> Second comment is we can invoke a special preset with iD when opened by
> Task Manager.
> Realistically the mappers we want to nudge most are those who only map
> once and have very little interest in instructions or web pages.  You can
> tell I'm feeling cynical today.
> We might do better to come up with a preset for iD that is better suited
> for new mappers. ie drop living_street and footway as options for Africa.
> Cheerio John
> On 27 December 2017 at 07:44, Bjoern Hassler <bjohas+mw at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi John, dear friends,
>> Just to add that we've been collecting road mapping tips (and other
>> goodies) here on Google slides (in the HOT drive):
>> http://bjohas.de/go/mmintro (see p. 65).
>> We've said this:
>>    -
>>    Can it be passed by a vehicle? → unclassified (or better) /
>>    residential / track (not path)
>>    -
>>    Does it connect distinct villages/areas where people live (running
>>    between and through villages)? → Unclassified or better (not residential
>>    / not track)
>>    -
>>    Does the road only run within a village or residential area (not a
>>    through-road) → residential
>>    -
>>    Does the road only run to fields (agric. use)? → track
>>    -
>>    Is it not passable by car (4x4)? → path
>> Note: A metal roof arrives by vehicle → roads to houses with metal roofs
>> are unclassified or residential (not path).
>> Do you all agree?
>> Bjoern
>> On 21 Dec 2017 15:44, "john whelan" <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> It's come up in the OSMand mailing list that these aren't shown at higher
>> zoom levels. Whilst mapping specifically just for the rendering system is
>> frowned on in this case it is supported by the wiki.
>> If it connects settlements then according to
>> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Highway_Tag_Africa
>> it is not a track.
>> unclassified or minor road surface unpaved is a reasonable default.
>> Cheerio John
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Rupert Allan
Country Manager - Uganda
E-Mail: rupert.allan at hotosm.org
East Africa: +256 792 297795/+256777656999
UK: +44 7970 540 647
Skype: Reuben Molotov
Web/Blog: www.rupertallan.com
HF Radio Call-Sign: 24VN3

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