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

Dominic Hosler dominichosler at gmail.com
Mon Jan 6 00:26:23 UTC 2014

I agree these threads are nearly impossible, but to continue the discussion
could you post a link to the page on the wiki where the discussion can
continue (possibly broken into sections).

On 5 January 2014 07:05, Dave Swarthout <daveswarthout at gmail.com> wrote:

> Well said. I'm for that approach.
> These threads are nearly impossible to keep in your head as new comments
> and views emerge. I'm not sure consensus will be easy to arrive at in
> either case but it's worth a try. Create a new "unified" proposal page and
> go from there. I agree that the smoothness values should be changed from
> the "bad" and "horrible" type of very subjective words to something else.
> Also, a range of 4x4 keys/values are a good idea too IMO.
> AlaskaDave
> On Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 1:07 PM, David Bannon <dbannon at internode.on.net>wrote:
>> OK, this discussion is huge and conducted in a great manner.
>> But being so huge, I feel lost !  So, here is an attempt to summarize
>> where we are and what the options seems to be. Maybe by identifying what
>> we already agree on, we can see the way into the rest ?
>> If people think its a good idea I could post a more evolved summary onto
>> my OSM wiki page where we could all have a hack at it, might be more
>> manageable than the mailing list ? If nothing else, we need to break
>> this very complicated problem into manageable hunks.
>> Think of this somewhat like a flow chart, I just have not drawn it up...
>> Do we all agree that its important that significant maps, such as the
>> one on the OSM website, shows some indication if the road may be in a
>> state where some drivers are uncomfortable (right through to
>> dangerous) ?
>> If Yes, proceed, if No, please explain why not. You may like to address
>> this -
>> http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-07/25yo-man-dies-of-thirst-in-outback-queensland/4357380
>> There are lots more. Tourists from outside Australia are at particular
>> risk.
>> OK, assuming we agree we want 'something' ...
>> We need some tag (or tags) associated with a way that tells a rendering
>> engine this way is one that might need caution. We can try and use
>> existing tags or invent a new one.
>> The "new one" option (such as BGNO's trafficability) could be tuned,
>> based on experience, to do exactly what we want. On the other hand there
>> are currently no ways in the database using that new tag. There are 3
>> million surface= and 2.5 million tracktype= tags in there. Mappers put
>> used those tags in there for a reason.
>> If you want a new tag defined, please say so, maybe with a new subject ?
>> Continuing on, assuming we support using existing tags, which ones ? At
>> lease three 'approved' candidates, four if you include 4wd_only.
>> Surface= has about 3 million ways that are what we, in Oz, call
>> 'unsealed', dirt, sand, gravel, unpaved and so on. This is not a bad fit
>> but neither is it perfect. http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Surface
>> "To provide additional information about the physical surface of
>> roads/footpaths...." However, my experience is that a precise statement
>> about the surface does not necessarily relate to its
>> "trafficability" (thanks for the term BGNO!). I have driven sandy roads
>> that were so easy and somewhere else, spent a day with a shovel digging
>> through sand. Similarly, hard packed clay can sometimes be preferable to
>> a made gravel road that has developed severe corrugations. And a sealed,
>> tarmac road that is breaking up is a nightmare.
>> Tracktype= has about 2.5 million grade2 and beyond ways. "Tracktype is a
>> measure of how well-maintained a track or other minor road is."
>> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tracktype
>> Thats a lot closer to what someone (or a router) might be wanting to
>> know. It can and should be applied to all sorts of highway= ways, not
>> just =track and that seems to be a major problem. In some people's view
>> (Malenki..), it should be used only when highway=track. I and several
>> other people (and the wiki) disagree. The values of Tracktype are not
>> intuitive. The values are linearly expandable, to cover more extreme
>> road conditions, grade6 is already widely used but not approved.
>> Smoothness= has about 25 thousand ways. Thats drawing the line at
>> very_bad. But there are another 40 thousand 'bads' so its hard to call.
>> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:smoothness
>> I am personally convinced this tag would be used heaps more if the
>> values did not seem to make some moral judgment ! As I said before, I
>> could never label the pretty road I live on as "horrible".
>> There is some support for making a new set of values and that would be
>> cool (Fernando, Martin). But has the horse already bolted ? Surface= and
>> tracktype each have more than 100 times more use.  Further, if we come
>> up with new values, why not a new name ? Truth is, 'smoothness' is only
>> a small aspect of trafficability (there, I used it again!).
>> 4wd_only=yes.  Used 3 thousand times, more in Australia than elsewhere.
>> In hindsight, maybe it could have done with at least three values,
>> 'recommended', 'yes', 'extreme'. It does cut in somewhat beyond the spot
>> we are talking about, I get the impression that people want a road
>> labeled differently long before we get to 4wd_only=recommended.
>> Any one of the above, or a combination ? Personally, I think a
>> combination would be over complicating it. Just my view.
>> Other Issues -
>> How to render it ?  That can come later on I guess.
>> Wolfgang, Peter, Janko, Gerald  warns about subjective tags. Truth is,
>> almost everything we record is subjective to some degree. I'd take the
>> legal approach where they talk about a "reason person's view". For a
>> normal road, thats someone driving a conventional car. For a mountain
>> bike track, its someone riding a mountain bike....
>> Fernando pointed out that to make a truly objective assessment, we'd
>> need many more tags and some elaborate technology to measure. Gerald
>> suggested a smartphone app to do the measuring but is he allowing for
>> variation of suspension in the vehicle in use ?
>> David S and Dominic don't seem to want more detailed measures either.
>> David S reminds us what highway= tag is about. Its to describe the
>> purpose of a road, not in any way its "trafficability" (David S said
>> "usability but I am starting to like trafficability...). he is right but
>> the anomaly is highway=track, its use opens up, at present, the
>> tracktype modifiers, wrong, wrong....
>> One important effect of the highway= tag is "more important" roads get
>> rendered at lower zoom numbers. Useful when you want to see how to get
>> from A to B. Sadly, we hear of people taging important roads as =track
>> so their usability can be described by tracktype. And then you cannot
>> see them at all at sensible zoom levels. Sigh....
>> Now, I have not mentioned everyone nor every view, impossible !  Thats
>> why I think its time to move to the wiki, perhaps show a series of
>> options and just see who really wants to vote for what.
>> But, I really must thank Fernando for driving this issue, its very, very
>> important and damn hard as well !
>> David
>> On Fri, 2014-01-03 at 21:10 -0200, Fernando Trebien wrote:
>> >  a massive contribution...
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> --
> Dave Swarthout
> Homer, Alaska
> Chiang Mai, Thailand
> Travel Blog at http://dswarthout.blogspot.com
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