[Tagging] sidewalks and tagging for the renderer

Martijn van Exel mvexel at gmail.com
Wed Apr 11 01:04:17 BST 2012

On 4/10/2012 4:38 PM, Tobias Knerr wrote:
> Martijn van Exel wrote:
>> A sidewalk is not a lane and it should not be tagged as such. Doing so
>> would be utterly confusing. Does the lanes proposal (which I think is
>> horribly overwrought to begin with) not exclude sidewalks?
> Not explicitly. And while it is true that the examples don't include
> sidewalks, they do include cycleways, where we have basically the same
> debate whether or not they should be separate ways.

That just makes it more confusing then. If you're going to use an 
example that clearly shows a sidewalk in the aerial image, you should 
also include it in the tagging example.

> Anyway, I see no reason to exclude sidewalks here. No matter whether you
> think of a sidewalk when you hear the word "lane", the requirements are
> the same as for other "stripes" of the highway: They run parallel to the
> highway centreline, you want to define their relative ordering, they
> share properties of the highway such as its name, but you also want to
> be able to add tags to them individually sometimes.

I disagree. If you're going to include sidewalks and cycleways that run 
parallel to the roadway but are not part of them, the key should not be 
'lane' but 'road_element' or something abstract like that. How are you 
going to gain adoption for a proposal that violates the natural language 
use of the word and makes mapping more confusing for so many people?

> A sidewalk=left/right/both fails when you want to define the relative
> ordering, and separate footway=cycleway fail in practice because no
> renderer is actually able to puzzle the highway back together from
> unconnected parallel ways.

What is the use case for being able to do that? What can you do that you 
can't with a separate geometry for a sidewalk that may be as much as 6 
feet from the main roadway?

All in all, I think that this entire lanes proposal over-complicates 
things by aiming to be a catch-all for too many situations. To me, it 
violates the prime directive of OSM (well half of it): 'have fun' - and 
you won't see me use it for that reason alone.

Martijn van Exel

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