[Tagging] How to tag: Legally separated ways

Simone Saviolo simone.saviolo at gmail.com
Tue Oct 16 10:58:02 GMT 2012

2012/10/16 Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl>

>  Are you seriously suggesting that emergency services will trust a satnav
> in preference to their own eyes and brains?

I hope not, and I hope this is true for everyone and not only for emergency
vehicle drivers. However, not all places are within eye distance. An
ambulance doesn't need a router to see that the target is on the other side
of the road, but crossing that solid line may be a part of a much longer
route. It may be what makes the difference between a long, convoluted route
and a very short one.

> Especially a satnav driven by data with no proactive quality control and
> no-one you can sue/complain to? And seriously incomplete data? I think you
> are looking at a multi-year project to get all this information into OSM
> (read: "review and correct the tagging and topology of every road in the
> database") while all the time thousands of people are adding new "bad"
> data? A popular dutch saying "mopping up with the tap still running" comes
> to mind.

So let's shut down any publishing service of OSM data. They're incomplete!
How can you trust incomplete or inconsistent data to tell you where you
should go to go to that restaurant?

OSM's data is not "seriously incomplete". And I understand the difference
between day-to-day map needs and emergency needs. But if I were an
ambulance driver heading to an unknown place, maybe one in the countryside,
I'd much rather use OSM, where tracks are marked as tracks, than Google
Maps or Tom Tom, where tracks are usually marked the same way as a primary
or secondary road.

Besides, if an emergency service were interested in using OSM, it would be
easy for them to update the map as real-world changes happen. Not the same
with a commercial map. But I hope you know all the advantages by now.

> Let's not have a purely hypothetical debate, let's keep it practical.
> Assuming that emergency services currently use satnavs (consumer or
> special-purpose) based on commercial data, what would they say if we asked
> them "what would you need from OSM data to make it a better choice than
> your current supplier?" I can imagine that the time delay between changes
> on the ground and their availability in a map update might be one concern;
> inappropriate road classifications might be another. I would like to hear
> it from them, though. Then we can look at the requirements and assess
> whether it is a viable project.

It's not a purely hypotetical debate. Nobody here is saying that we should
use some who-knows-what tag because possibly maybe I-think-that it could be
a useful information in some absurd situation. We are just saying that
mapping a road with two non-communicating ways where the two ways would
actually have to be communicating is not only wrong from a conceptual point
of view, but it also creates errors and hard-to-understand representations
of a simple reality for data consumers. Seriously, I can't see why we're
complicating this!


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