[Tagging] highway=track access

David Bannon dbannon at internode.on.net
Tue May 20 22:48:41 UTC 2014

On Tue, 2014-05-20 at 12:58 +0200, Martin Koppenhoefer wrote:
> In my opinion you shouldn't use the osm tags highway=track for 
> important connecting roads or tourist roads, even if you call them 
> "tracks" in everyday live, and even if they aren't paved. Better 
> use the highway tag according to its definition (importance of 
> connection) and use something like unclassified, tertiary, secondary, 
> primary together with surface-tags.

Sorry Martin, must disagree.
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:tracktype was intended to apply
to all roads. Please see the wiki page, note it complains that renderers
treat it  "elaboration on just highway=track, which is contradictory to
its proposal."

The definition of highway= is quite clear, it should be based on the
intended purpose of the road. So [unclassified, tertiary,
secondary ...]. That gives no indication of its state or likely
maintenance level. That means something like tracktype=, a "measure of
how well-maintained a track or other minor road".

Now, I object to seeing reference to "minor road" there, think thats
new ! Please remember that roads around the world vary over quite a wide
range, its very easy for people who live in places where all roads are
well maintained to dismiss the importance of poorly maintained roads, or
ones not maintained at all.

There has been a lot (and I mean "a lot") of discussion about a new and
better tag or redefining an existing tag to warn potential users of what
may a dangerous road to some people. However, little progress has been
made. I consider it very important in a large percentage of the worlds
land area. However, it does not interest most of the world's mappers !


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