[Tagging] Wide steps

Peter Wendorff wendorff at uni-paderborn.de
Fri Oct 7 18:13:17 BST 2011

I stumbled upon that issue several times, yet.
I'm not sure, but perhaps the area:highway-proposal [1] is useful here.
Before we have to discuss the general pros and cons of that proposal: I 
don't think it's necessary to tag all streets with an area (but it would 
be possible, sure), and I don't think, it's useful to do so in general 
before we have tools to support that.

But I think, in cases where the line generalization of a highway is not 
enough - like it's here in the steps issue, it would be useful to do that.

The additional highway:steps would stay at separate ways "on top" of the 

Usual routers then use the "traditional" highway:steps alone, renderers 
could use the area:highway=steps polygon to render steps in the real 
size (would need special database selections to apply that rendering, 
but I'm sure, it's possible).


[1] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/area:highway

Am 07.10.2011 16:50, schrieb David Earl:
> Any suggestions as to how to represent some steps...
> These steps aren't that unusual I guess, but they aren't a staircase. 
> They form the edges of a piazza-like platform, running most of the way 
> around it. There are only 4 steps, but they are several of them, up to 
> about 40m wide: http://twitpic.com/6whcou
> I could do a polygon tagged
>   highway=steps
>   area=yes
> but then there is a problem indicating which is the incline of the 
> steps, as incline=up no longer makes sense. How would you know that it 
> is a wide, short set of steps rather than a long, more conventional 
> staircase.
> I could do a way
>   highway=steps
>   incline=right
> to indicate that the direction of the steps is across the way rather 
> than along it, though of course no renderer will understand that, and 
> one could in principle have both long and wide steps. (Indeed, people 
> who went to Girona will remember that the steps up to the Cathedral 
> there are maybe 25m wide and 50m long, wider than the building they 
> lead up to; these are currently a simple way in OSM).
> David
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