[Tagging] Highway property proposal "covered=yes"

Ed Hillsman ehillsman at tampabay.rr.com
Sat Oct 31 01:18:07 GMT 2009

I've come to this discussion late, because the tagging listserv is  
relatively new, and I haven't been monitoring it regularly. I don't  
have anything like a definitive suggestion to Randy's original problem  
or the variants added to it in the subsequent discussion, but I'd like  
to add something else for consideration.

I'm tagging sidewalks on the University of South Florida in Tampa, and  
we have a number of situations where a sidewalk goes through a  
building. In effect, much of the ground level of the building is open  
to the elements, and the sidewalk goes under the second floor. Doors  
to offices and other rooms open onto the sidewalk. This seems to have  
been a style here in the 1970s. There are two variations of this.

In one, the sidewalk runs between two parts of the ground floor of the  
building (like a tunnel). Doors (and elevators and stairways) may  
front onto the sidewalk as it passes through. I have been tagging  
portion of these sidewalk that goes through these buildings as  
highway=footway, tunnel=yes, because from the perspective of the  
sidewalk, it is a tunnel. But I've not been entirely comfortable with  
it. This is, I think, the situation that Randy identified, but for  

In the other, the sidewalk runs along the side of the ground floor of  
the building, with grass on one side, the building (often with doors  
opening onto the sidewalk) on the other, and the second floor of the  
building overhead. These have been problematic. They function as  
sidewalks but are not quite normal sidewalks, and they definitely are  
not tunnels

One of the reasons I'm doing this mapping is because we want to  
develop a walking-route finder for students using wheelchairs. As part  
of this, I've been considering proposing a tag shade=*, intended to  
apply to a sidewalk or street (mostly sidewalks, though), with the  
following values based on midday shading:

=trees, if the way is heavily shaded by trees (not intended for areas  
on a way shaded a single tree, but for a length of way with shade  
covering a substantial part of the length)
=pergola, if the way is covered by a pergola or similar trellis with  
plantings dense enough to provide shade
=roof if the way is covered by an awning or similar roof impervious to  
rain. Intended for a free-standing structure built for the purpose of  
covering the sidewalk
=building if the way hugs the north side of a building and is shaded  
by it (this would apply in latitudes farther north than here--in  
midsummer the sun is too high)
=portico if the way runs beneath a canopy, colonnade, or similar  
projection of the building that provides shade and shelter but,  
depending on the orientation of the way, might provide shade at noon  
and in the morning, but not in the afternoon (or vice versa). This is  
the value that I have been considering for the second case above  
(building on one side, grass on the other, second level overhead.  
Older parts of some European cities are full of these. Better-designed  
commercial developments also have extended awnings/canopies attached  
to the front of the buildings, shading the sidewalk that runs along  
the front of the shops.
=none would be the implied value if shade=* is not coded, although I  
would understand if a mapper coded it to make a point during a hot  
shadeless afternoon walk.
Maybe other values, but these are the ones I've encountered here, or  
thought about. shade=trees could apply to older streets as well as  
sidewalks, but I doubt the other values would apply to streets very  
often. Shade=trees would also apply to stretches of hiking paths  
(below treeline, obviously) and cycle paths, distinguishing them from  
stretches through meadow, rockfields, talus, etc. Useful for planning  
a hike.

Knowing about shade would allow the eventual routing application to  
trade off using a slightly longer shady route vs a shorter one without  
shade. Because of trees, we can't just tag shade in association with a  
building or architectural element

There are other situations, such as some of the early grand commercial  
arcades, that are structurally similar to the example that Anthony  
provided at http://images.loopnet.com/xnet/mainsite/attachments/viewImage.aspx?FileGuid=C138EA3D-33CE-4695-AA32-11C4C9C097EA&Extension=jpg&Width=631&Height=421 
  (by the way, Anthony, I like your work in detailing the commercial  
complex that I'd merely traced the outline for). If there were a tag  
for "arcade" or something like that, I would use it, not for shade,  
but because it describes the overall situation, and shade would be  
implied. Because of its size, location and other functions, and the  
orientation of the doors, the multistory lobby of new student center  
on the campus now functions as a sidewalk. Students routinely cut  
through the building on their way from places to the north, to places  
to the south, or vice versa. So it is a bit like an old arcade as  
well, but I'm sure it was not intended to be a shortcut for students  
walking from one part of the campus to another.

I would welcome any suggestions you have on how to deal with the open- 
building situations, the student center, or shade. Yes, in a way,  
these are minor, even trivial situations, but they contribute to the  
quality of the local environment, and it would be good to be able to  
record that in OSM.


Edward L. Hillsman, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate
Center for Urban Transportation Research
University of South Florida
4202 Fowler Ave., CUT100
Tampa, FL  33620-5375
813-974-2977 (tel)
813-974-5168 (fax)
hillsman at cutr.usf.edu  (but writing from home)

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/tagging/attachments/20091030/66e5c377/attachment.html>

More information about the Tagging mailing list