[Tagging] Opinion on meaning of tracktype, smoothness and surface for routing

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Thu Mar 20 14:29:25 UTC 2014

2014-03-20 15:02 GMT+01:00 André Pirard <A.Pirard.Papou at gmail.com>:

> Following a gentle dispute on OSM-talk-be about the class of a particular
> road, I pointed out without any follow-up  that road classification
> (primary ... tertiary, as well as national ... local on IGN maps) is very
> subjective but that the road width is very objective.

yes, the highway classification is slightly subjective but as osm shows,
the cloud can usually find a commonly accepted values, so this doesn't seem
to be a real problem (also because it doesn't really matter if a road is
classified as secondary rather than primary, and more than one class up or
down is usually not the range up to discussion). Of course everybody is
free to add a road width as well, there is the tag "width" for this, and
also the tag "lanes". Unfortunately until now, only 5% of all
highway-elements (admittedly not only roads) have the tag lanes and 1% has
the tag width.

>   Moreover, the width can be very easily measured with JOSM on Bing.

you should be careful with the spherical mercator projection though, you
might end up with different widths for the same width due to different
latitudes, I am not sure how precise those measurements in JOSM actually
are (some time ago they weren't but maybe this is fixed now).

> Of course, the closely related parameter is speed.

related to width? I do not think there is a close relation, at least not a
reliable one.

> While reading your texts, I've had a crazy idea:  measuring vibration in
> the car. There are Android vibration measuring programs like Vibration
> Monitoring.  Alas, car vibration is very much dependent on car suspension.
> But would some of us experiment this or another idea and come up with a
> solution?

this sounds interesting indeed, while I agree that it mostly depends on the
car suspension. With (unsuspended) bicycles this would be more reliable I
guess, but still the ability of the driver / rider to avoid holes in the
surface might make a huge difference (e.g. in Rome there are some very bad
roads with profund holes that get tapped every now and then but later
reopen due to the heavy traffic. If you are on roads that you drive often
you almost automatically get the habit of avoiding them, also at higher
speeds, because you know their exact locations by mind).

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