[Tagging] Wheelchair ramp

David Earl david at frankieandshadow.com
Sun Dec 4 19:34:43 GMT 2011

On 02/12/2011 04:31, Josh Doe wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 1, 2011 at 10:37 AM, Martin Koppenhoefer
> <dieterdreist at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> 2011/12/1 Martijn van Exel<m at rtijn.org>:
>>>>> Is there a specific tag for a wheelchair ramp that is not part of a
>>>>> steps feature?
>>> I agree with Martin and others, it is a separate feature, but I do
>>> think that it's also a distinct feature type and thus warrants its own
>>> highway type, therefore I am going to go ahead and use
>>> highway=access_ramp as David proposed.
>> I agree that it might be desirable in some contexts (mainly
>> statistics) to be able to identify these ramps distinctly, but for
>> most contexts including routing it is the same as a footway. If you
>> use a dedicated, low-use highway-tag you will risk to not get this
>> feature evaluated at all (what is not desired here, IMHO). I suggest
>> to use a subtag/attribute instead.
> +1. I don't see the value in adding a new highway value. How do you
> differentiate a ramp intended for the disabled and one intended for
> all travelers? Thus I don't see it is substantially different than
> highway=path. I'd favor highway=path + wheelchair=yes, and if you'd
> like throw on access_ramp=yes as well which can give you special
> rendering and stats if you'd like.

I really don't care what the tagging is, so long as
(a) there is a reasonable consensus
(b) it represents the distinctive features of the object, and
(c) it is documented
(d) it doesn't keep changing

The trouble with asking is that you get as many suggestions back as 
there are people listening, and then it goes quiet and you're no further 

highway=access_ramp was the only remotely documented feature, even then 
as a proposal, so that was what I used. If there is an agreed, 
documented alternative I will alter the ones I've done, but I need to 
record the ones I have now. The trouble with changing anything later is 
that it means all the consumer software that does know about tags in 
common use then has to change.

By the way, I think one distinctive feature of these ramps is that while 
anyone _could_ use them, by and large they wouldn't as they are nearly 
always provided as an alternative to a non-wheelchair-accessible route 
(usually steps). And they are quite distinct from paths visually, even 
if they aren't for routing purposes - if you asked someone what that 
was, they wouldn't say 'it's a path' or even 'it's a path adapted for 
wheelchair use', but 'it's a ramp for wheelchair use'.

Also, my use of these is in micro-mapping buildings and surroundings, so 
I may be recording at a level of detail that others aren't when talking 
about paths etc.


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