[Tagging] [OpenStreetMap] #5163: paths and tracks rendering indistinguishable: your opinion?

André Pirard A.Pirard.Papou at gmail.com
Mon May 19 19:18:24 UTC 2014

On 2014-05-19 19:41, Nelson A. de Oliveira wrote :
> On Mon, May 19, 2014 at 2:38 PM, André Pirard
> <A.Pirard.Papou at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Did you make that test: asking people which is track or path? Where
>> walkers and tractors would go? 
> Isn't this the job of the map key?
Strangely, I was just looking at the key when your message popped up. 
Did you look too?

Track 	Track
Footway 	Footway 

Just like any sensible rendering like the IGN map I've shown etc, the
key makes tracks very distinguishable from foot and more important,
although I still maintain that tracks should be wider on the OSM map, as
in reality.
But if someone cares to look carefully, *the key does not correspond to
the map at all !!!*
*It even looks like the opposite*: smaller red south is the track and
longer black north is the path !!!

In consequence, my request could also be stated "make the map like the
key (and reality)" ;-)
But yes I know the usual answer to obviously necessary improvement
requests: "wontfix".

On 2014-05-19 20:02, SomeoneElse wrote :
> The IGN map doesn't differentiate between paths and tracks by colour,
> but by an extra-long dash, something that I don't think that osm-carto
> uses (but there's no technical reason why it couldn't).
The answers to all of that is in the maps and keys I have shown.
First, differentiating (only) by color is not explicit unless you know
the colors very well.
And not very visible when the roads are thin, see map above, that's why
IGN's black is fine in that case.
Second, both IGN and standard OSM mostly differentiate ways by realistic
width, to which they add color if wide.
Colors you need not learn -- because you have width to tell importance
-- are only useful to follow roads more easily.

The net result of all this is that IGN is right: tracks and paths should
be black and tracks should be wider that paths.
IGN makes long dashes tracks to accentuate the width difference with
path dots because these cannot be narrower.
OSM might use continuous tracks if long dashes are a problem.

Extentfully yours at your request,


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