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

John Willis johnw at mac.com
Thu Aug 6 15:03:03 UTC 2015

Sent from my iPhone

> On Aug 6, 2015, at 11:20 PM, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com> wrote:
> If all mappers just map cycleways and don't care for access restrictions for pedestrians we end up with the same tags meaning different things.

That is very true - which means that assumptions based on country need to be made by the routers, and presets that change based on mapping location need to be made. ("German Cycleway" and cycleway come up when searching for cycleway presets when mapping in Germany).

Just as we have a variance as to what is a "primary road" in a third world vs first world nation, we can still have a consistent regional meaning to what is a "primary" road. The same could be said of cycleway or footway.

What i consider a residential road in Japan might be thought of as an Alley in the US because of differences in expectations in how wide, easy to navigate, turn radius, pole placement, barriers and hazards, etc there are - beyond simple residential access. 

but we don't just make everything highway=yes and define the differences through subtags.

There are even more specialized tags in residential - a living street, which is a regional tag. Why not have highway=cycle-ped_path (and a couple others?) to fill in common situations? They could be rendered purple (red+blue). A regional mapper could choose the best one for their area. 

But i still feel that going by assumed purpose (a sidewalk is a footway, a bike path along a river is a cycleway) regardless of what is legal/permissive to use the way for (add foot=yes or whatever as necessary) would better reflect the "duck" qualities of the way being tagged. 

The easiest short term solution is to fill in some kind of "trail" substitute for true "trails" that are maintained, like rural hiking courses or narrow, rough paths through nature,  which would take a lot of the "path through the wilderness" burden off of =path, and set up for a change in rendering/meaning for path in the future - if you don't need to tag =path on anything, then eventually (a long time from now) it can be depreciated. 


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