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

Andy Townsend ajt1047 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 6 12:50:39 UTC 2015

On 06/08/2015 12:15, Martin Koppenhoefer wrote:
> a cycleway is nothing "physical", it is a legal setting. Or what do you mean with "physically"?

... since we seem to have dipped into "highway=path" again :)

The English word "cycleway" refers to a physical object - which 
archetype is this-thing-that-I'm-mapping most like, not a "legal 
setting".  You're legally allowed to cycle on England-and-Wales "public 
bridleways" but that doesn't make them all "cycleways".

Much more elquently than me, Richard Fairhurst has explained the problem 
previously in opinion pieces such as 
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Duck_tagging and 
http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Richard/diary/20333 .

Obviously you can do stuff with surface / width / smoothness / tracktype 
/ mtb:scale / whatever else, but it's a bit like trying to describe 
something through the medium of interpretative dance - it misses the 
"this is what this thing is mostly like" part.  There are places where 
"path" really is the best description (I'm currently mapping lots of 
them in a large area of nearby woodland), but it is something of a "last 



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