[Tagging] bicycle=no

Steve Bennett stevagewp at gmail.com
Sat Dec 19 00:58:39 GMT 2009

On Sat, Dec 19, 2009 at 8:08 AM, Roy Wallace <waldo000000 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Fair enough. So how about we look at this bit: "Sure, you might be
> able to save a couple of KB's in the database by using your
> conglomerated, fuzzy categorisation scheme, but I think you'll find it
> won't solve the current problem.

I have no interest whatsoever in saving a couple of kilobytes. It has never
entered my thinking. Really. I'm much more interested in efficiently
harnessing volunteer time.

> What is your response to that? In particular,
> 1) What do you think has caused the current problem (i.e. tags like
> footway/cycleway/bicycle being used with inconsistent meanings)

I've actually not been following the recent threads on this (only so much
time in the day) so I'm a bit underinformed.:

1) The genuine ambiguity of the situation. Roads are roads, rivers are
rivers...but what the hell *is* the difference between a bike path and a
2) The underlying British assumption that legal concepts like "right of way"
are fundamental to mapping.
3) Variation in bike path laws and usage around the world.
4) Lack of interaction and conflict between mappers around the world. If a
German mapper maps one way, and an Australian does it another way, it takes
a very long time for anyone to notice a problem.
5) Lack of clear centralised definitions with sufficient authority.

Perhaps I've missed something.

> 2) Do you think your proposal will solve the current problem? If so, how?

What proposal? I've thrown around a few ideas, I don't think I've put forth
a specific proposal on bike paths yet have I?

I don't think you've demonstrated yet how or why using different fuzzy
> categories would fix anything - that's what I'm trying to prompt you
> to think about, so we can advance to the next step.
Erm, "fuzzy categories" are the norm. When someone marks highway=cycleway
that *is* a "fuzzy category". What you keep on insisting on, mapping width,
surface, etc etc - that would be unusual. Not that it's necessarily bad to
map this way, but I don't think that proposing that everyone *must* map this
way will work. But to be clear: I don't have any immediate answers, just
some ideas. I'm not at the point of demonstrating anything.

One example that occurred to me yesterday while riding along...a bike path.
I reached a section in a park where there was a path made up of pavers set
in grass. Now, I could describe "surface=pavers, width=0.75" etc. But how
would someone, even given all this information, know whether it was good to
ride on? I think you're probably going to need to see the specific thing. In
this case, it was a crappy surface, clearly designed for pedestrians only,
but it went somewhere useful, so maybe I'd use it again, if I had to.

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