[Tagging] How to tag: Legally separated ways

Simone Saviolo simone.saviolo at gmail.com
Tue Oct 16 08:37:04 GMT 2012

2012/10/15 Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl>

> I don't understand why emergency vehicles are so important in this
> discussion.

Because OSM publicly advertises the fact that its maps are being used in
the Gaza's strip by emergency vehicles that would otherwise have no map?
Just to name one. Also because emergency vehicles may happen to operate in
unknown territory. Don't limit yourself to the ambulance that runs around
its home town.

> In the first place they have wide-ranging exemptions from traffic rules,
> which (let's be honest) we are never going to tag in OSM.

This is meaningless. We will map all restrictions; consumers will have an
"emergency vehicle" flag that will route ignoring those restrictions. Also,
while an ambulance is allowed to go the wrong way in a one-way street (when
its siren is on, of course), it is usually advised against doing so, as in
a narrow road it may find regular traffic, which would be dangerous or at
least slow down the ambulance. So, restrictions may be ignored, but drivers
should be informed about them.

> Secondly they are never going to be relying on OSM data (or indeed any
> normal sat-nav) for lane-precise routing. They are trained to use their
> eyes and brains to make split-second decisions on what is safe and an
> acceptable risk under the circumstances of that moment.

Sure. Let's make an example. There's a long primary road between towns,
with solid double lines all the way from town A to town B. Let's say it
runs North-South from town A to town B. A farmyard east of the road is
burning. It can be accessed by a road that reaches the large road; under
normal circumstances, someone coming from town A couldn't reach the
crossroad and go to the farmyard, but would be legally forced to go to town
B, turn back, reach the crossroad and go the farm.

The firemen turn on their GPS navigator, because they're being called in
from a far away city and they've never heard the name of that farmyard. The
router lawfully sends them to town A, then to town B. They go past the
crossroad and can't notice the farmyard, because it's far away and there's
a wood in between that covers it. Also they can't see on the screen that
ten kilometres ahead they would have to turn back and go back to the
crossroad they're approaching. The firemen get there fifteen minutes late
and the farmyard is a bunch of ashes. Great work dividing the way on a
legal restriction! :-)

> Thirdly, they will be about 0.0000000001% of the potential users of OSM
> data - why should we compromise "service" to the vast majority of real
> users for the hypothetical benefit of the very few.

I know who makes this consideration: commercial map providers. It's just
not worth the cost, right?


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