[Tagging] highway=footway - Advanced definition: Distinction footway vs path

johnw johnw at mac.com
Wed Aug 5 09:25:27 UTC 2015

> On Aug 5, 2015, at 12:41 AM, Michael Reichert <nakaner at gmx.net> wrote:
> Hi Richard,
> Am 2015-08-04 um 16:59 schrieb Richard:
>> On Sun, Aug 02, 2015 at 11:43:21PM +0200, Michael Reichert wrote:
>>> I fully oppose highway=footpath. This is not backward-compatible and
>>> will therefore break almost all applications which use OSM data. It
>>> conflicts with existing, heavily used tagging. 
>> quite the opposite. It won't break anything. It will be ignored for some
>> time untill data consumers learn about th new tag.
> Every data user who does not support highway=footpath will loose all
> paths have highway=footpath because he expect them as highway=footway or
> highway=path. That's what I call backward-incompatible.
> Every data user has to add highway=footpath to his style sheets,
> scripts, config files etc. Please read paragraph 8 to 10 of Andy Allan's
> posting at Github 1 1/2 years ago.
> https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/issues/230#issuecomment-29238913

maybe =footpath is not appropriate, but in paragraph 10:

"So making tagging easy for them seems a priority, but is actually one step removed from the actual priority. The activity that we want to make easy is to map; that is, to represent features in our database.”

now, if this was an argument of footpath vs footway (the post is from sub_station vs substation) then I would be al for it. 

But =footway and =path mean different things in different regions, and as a noobie who showed up and started tagging, the extra baggage that =path appears to have was not visible. But it’s there. and its causing trouble. 

The point Andy’s making is that a change in the tagging scheme, espcially a new tag, makes everyone change all existing OSM renderers, etc - and that he doens’t want to see meaningless or minimally useful tag changes in (popular, rendered) tags. 

So is there a way to deal with the discrepancy of =footway, =path, and a lack of an explicit =trail option without a new =footway tag? yea. It means more strictly defining footway and path. which people don’t want to do either. 

so which change is least damaging? or do we let things drag on? the overlap and ambiguity of =path is very annoying. 


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