[Tagging] Wilderness huts

Dave Swarthout daveswarthout at gmail.com
Thu Apr 3 01:39:22 UTC 2014

Nico said, "As a mountaineer I was very intrigued by the hut discussion and
to share some of my knowledge on this area. I will however definitely
exceed the initial question in this message, since I'm more interested
in the differentiation between the tags."

Actually, the reason I started this discussion was to provide more
differentiation between the various hut types by making their definitions
clearer. Some of the information Niko is curious about can already be
provided by existing tags:

opening_hours=May-Oct ; Nov-Apr off

It's difficult to come up with a scheme that handles all the possibilities
especially if you consider the reality that most tag information will never
show up on a standard map. Someone just said in another thread I'm
following that if we are indiscriminate in adding tags we will soon reach a
point where for each feature we add, something else must get dropped. If
you talk about how to render all these details, it gets trickier still.

To get back to my original idea — if we can consolidate a few of these
huts, and better define what we have left, maybe it will be easier to map
them without reading through 3 pages of instructions as Janko says.

Obviously, there is interest in resolving this issue but I don't know which
direction to take at the moment.


On Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 5:45 AM, Janko Mihelić <janjko at gmail.com> wrote:

> It's great to have new people enthusiastic about tagging.
> A good side of already existing tags (alpine_hut, shelter..) is that a
> mapper not very experianced in mountaineering can tag them easily without
> reading 3 pages of text. Also, non-specialized renderers don't have to
> think too much about them. They just put 2 kinds of icons and that's great.
> I don't think experienced mountaneers and specialized renderers should
> think much about those tags. They should treat alpine_huts, shelters,
> wildernes_huts, and hotels as the same thing. What they should look at are
> the specialized tags, and render according to them.
> Of course, if there are no specialized tags, there's not much they can do
> except render it as a question mark.
> So in my opinion, we should start with defining specialized tags, and stop
> trying to find boundaries for general terms.
> My apologies in advance if I break convention or code, but I just
> recently started mapping and even more recently joined the mailing list.
> As a mountaineer I was very intrigued by the hut discussion and wanted
> to share some of my knowledge on this area. I will however definitely
> exceed the initial question in this message, since I'm more interested
> in the differentiation between the tags.
> Of my experience in the Alps, larger huts are operated in season and can
> most often be accessed off-season as well, although this might require
> you to get a key somewhere in a nearby village. Often times only a
> smaller section of the hut is available off-season. Smaller unmanned
> huts (like Ren? Maroufi mentioned) can be considered emergency shelters,
> which rarely require a key. All huts vary in size and level of comfort.
> As a user of these huts key features I'd like to know about are:
> - What does it cost? (say the typical fee for an adult)
> - Do members of an Alpine society (DE: 'mitglieder') get a rebate?
> - Who/what operates the hut? (e.g. a certain person, a certain society)
> - Are you allowed to bring and cook your own food?
> - Period(s) of the hut being manned (can be multiple)
> - Contact information (phone, website, address, via common tags)
> - Capacity? (in number of persons both sleeping and visiting)
> - Facilities (e.g. running water, toilet, mattresses, blankets,
> electricity, lights)
> - Cooking/heating facilities and available fuel (often times a stash of
> wood is available)
> - Hut book available (for writing your name whilst on trip, for
> increased change of retrieval when something bad happens.
> - Deposit box for money available (or will you have to pay in town)
> - Last changes made to the hut (thereby determining the state of the
> hut) (via common tags)
> - Elevation (also via common tags)
> - Way of supply (helicopter, cableway, carriers) (this helps determine
> the likely cost of food and drinks) (a mapped helicopter landing site
> and a mapped cableway can help determine this, reducing the need for a
> tag).
> Now looking at available tagging schemes, I do recognize quit some of
> these parameters, but not all. In my opinion the tourism:x_hut and
> shelter_type:x should be combined (or at least be clearly separated).
> Depending on the tagging options, I believe a hut can be defined as
> being all the way from a basic shelter to a small hotel, therefore
> requiring a solid set of examples (from various countries) of hut
> types.
> Personally I'd prefer a more generic set of tags rather than having
> various definitions that implicitly define location (alpine_hut), use
> (emergency_shelter), type (lean_to) or level of comfort (basic_shelter).
> Considering that most of the people on this mailing list are far more
> experienced on tagging topics, I hope that this will fuel the discussion
> necessary. Is it reasonable to start off on a new proposal as a way to
> bring the huts into unison?
> Kind regards,
> Nico Rikken (NL)
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Dave Swarthout
Homer, Alaska
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Travel Blog at http://dswarthout.blogspot.com
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