[Tagging] bicycle=no

Roy Wallace waldo000000 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 19 01:16:06 GMT 2009

On Sat, Dec 19, 2009 at 10:58 AM, Steve Bennett <stevagewp at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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
> footpath?
> 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.

Ok, nice list. I would argue that 1-4 have become a problem due to the
use of tagging with broad, fuzzy, non-verifiable, subjective
categories. When this happens, tags are used and interpreted
differently by different people.

>> 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?

Ok fair enough, but I get the impression you have a preference for
tagging fuzzy categories and against tagging explicit information. I'm
just offering a word of warning.

> Erm, "fuzzy categories" are the norm. When someone marks highway=cycleway
> that *is* a "fuzzy category".

I know.

> What you keep on insisting on, mapping width,
> surface, etc etc - that would be unusual.

Well, they're established tags but yeah, ok.

> 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.

Ok, well I'm not so sure...I think it's worth a try, given we've
already tried fuzzy categories and that hasn't worked.

> But to be clear: I don't have any immediate answers, just
> some ideas. I'm not at the point of demonstrating anything.

Yep fair enough, I'll consider my point taken and leave you alone for now :)

> 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.

Well, ask yourself: what verifiable information about this path can I
share with others? That's what you should tag. In this example,
"surface=pavers, width=0.75" sounds fine to me.

Note that you said "clearly designed for pedestrians only", and in the
same sentence "so maybe I'd use it [on a bicycle] again". What fuzzy
category would this fall under? Anyway, look forward to seeing what
you come up with. Cheers.

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