[Tagging] Tags useful for rendering of roads in poor conditions

Richard Welty rwelty at averillpark.net
Tue Dec 31 16:45:30 UTC 2013

On 12/31/13 11:10 AM, Fernando Trebien wrote:
> I've been interested in proposing a change to Carto's style (Mapnik's
> main style) to allow visual identification of unpaved roads for any
> kind of road, much like the Humanitarian style does, which bases this
> decision on values of the surface tag. The Brazilian community has
> shown interest on this many times, since lack of this feature causes
> unaware users to classify roads incorrectly. David Bannon proposes
> (below) that we use the tracktype tag for that instead, but I've never
> seen it being used for anything besides roads with highway=track
> (therefore, not a very common practice it seems). Do you think we
> should encourage its use in conjunction with unclassified, tertiary,
> secondary and primary highways?
i've been known to use tracktype with highways other than tracks,
generally in
conjunction with setting surface=(gravel,dirt, etc.) there are rural
parts of
the US where such classification seems appropriate to me. i'm not sure
if it's
still true, but back in the 70s Vermont had state highways surfaced with

tracktype works well for this; if it's not common usage now, maybe the
wiki should be tweaked to suggest such usage.
> It seems to me that surface=compacted is quite similar in meaning to
> tracktype=grade1 (whereas surface=sand, surface=dirt, and others,
> could be equated with other grades but rarely with grade1,
> particularly because the "compacted" value exists) and so both tags
> could be used for the same rendering purpose. Do you agree?
i frequently use


in cases where the road is well maintained and able to support traffic.
many, many farm roads in the midwestern US meet this description;
they don't particularly need to be paved, but they do need to support
heavy farm equipment moving from field to field.


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