[Tagging] sidewalks

Peter Wendorff wendorff at uni-paderborn.de
Thu Aug 26 21:25:40 BST 2010

I'm new to this list, so at first let me introduce myself in a few words.
I'm Peter and a student in computer science at the university of 
Paderborn, Germany.
Currently I write my bachelor thesis about navigation for the blind 
based on OpenStreetmap data.
In that context I try to figure out how the openstreetmap database is 
useful to give navigational instructions for blind and visually impaired 

Therefore I tagged the campus of my university in more detail, adding 
every sidewalk as dedicated geometry to the streets.

But at the moment there are two problems:
1) naming
2) distinction between sidewalks and other footways

Everything I find to that topic in the wiki is dealing with the more or 
less complex lane topic I would like to avoid for easier tagging.

My approach would be - and I would like to get your opinions on that:
- a sidewalk is tagged like every other footway

contra arguments:
- renderers possibly render more than one name for one street. To solve 
that a simple rule could be added to the rendering styles to avoid 
naming of footway=sidewalk.
- a little bit error prone as redundant with name tags.

Pro arguments from my point of view:
- no geometric analysis necessary (finding parallel streets to unnamed 
- simple to apply even without deeper knowledge of editors; could even 
be given as training task for new mappers ;)
- existance of footways in the editor is obvious (in contrary to tagging 
sidewalks as tags at the street)

Why not model sidewalks as lanes:
1) sidewalks and footways build a widely separated, dedicated network of 
ways; that's a difference to lanes at the driveway
2) dedicated sidewalks make it a lot more simple to tag crossing details 
like islands etc.

awaiting your comments


P.S.: No, i didn't wrote a proposal for that yet, but will do if it's 
confirmed to be a good idea or to be able to become a good idea ;)

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