[Tagging] New key proposal - paved=yes/no

Tomasz Kaźmierczak tomek-k at wp.eu
Sat Sep 20 21:42:03 UTC 2014


Hello all,
I've posted the below message on the forum[1],  and have been directed from there to this mailing list, thus re-posting it.
*Idea*
I would like to suggest making the *paved* key for highways (and probably other types of elements) official. Taginfo for *paved*:

http://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/keys/paved#values[2]
The above shows that the key is already being used, but the Wiki doesn't describe this key, instead redirecting Key:paved to the article about Key:surface.
*Rationale*
Currently, the *surface* key is being used as a way of saying that a given *highway* is paved or unpaved, but often the value for the *surface* key is not a generic /paved/ or /unpaved/, but a specific surface type is given.This is of course very useful for describing the particular surface type a given highway has. However, in some cases, a simple information on just whether a highway is paved or not, would be very useful. One such case would be navigation software – if a user chooses to avoid unpaved roads, the software can check the value of the *surface* key, but in practice most (all?) of the navigation software only checks for a subset of all the possible values the *surface* key can have. This leads to incorrect (in terms of what the user expects) navigation when, for example, the *surface* is set to some value that describes an unpaved road, not recognized by the navigation software – if the software assumes that all *highway*s are paved, unless explicitly stated otherwise (by recognized values of known keys), then, in consequence, it assumes that the road in question is paved.
If the *paved* key was widely used, then the navigation software would have a simple and clear way of checking whether a given road is paved or not. The default value of the *paved* key for *highway*s could be /yes/, so that it would be consistent with the assumption that *highway*s in general are paved.
I don't mean that we should stop using the /paved/ and /unpaved/ values for the *surface* key – I'm sure those generic values are useful in some cases. However, using the *paved* key would be also very useful. Also, the *surface*=/paved/ could also implicate *paved*=/yes/ and similarly *surface*=/unpaved/ could implicate *paved*=/no/, so that duplication of the information could be avoided when the generic /paved/ and /unpaved/ values are set for the *surface* key.
I believe that adding an article for the *paved* key to the Wiki would encourage people to use this tag, and navigation software makers to implement support for it in their applications.
What do you think about that? 

Regards,
Tomek

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[1] http://forum.openstreetmap.org/viewtopic.php?pid=451593
[2] http://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/keys/paved#values
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