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

geow ksgeo at web.de
Fri Aug 7 06:59:59 UTC 2015

<quote author="johnw"
The difference between a cycleway, a footway, and a trail can be access
rules, but mostly its *the built condition of the way* and that *will* vary
from a 1st world to 3rd would country - and from continent to

Therefore proper tags on the individual way would be helpful like surface,
width, incline, smoothness, sac_scale, mtb:scale etc.

<quote author="johnw"
Tagging implies the built condition - and assumptions made from that tagging
affect rendering - which therefore affects routing decisions or user choice
of ways. </quote> 

Rendering should never rely on assumptions but on physical values. 

<quote author="johnw"
And representing the "duckiness" of the way is extremely important
in the top key : is it a trail through the forest (where you could walk or
bike), a narrow sidewalk covered with poles and driveway entrances (but can
still legally bike on as you go to the market) or a nice cycleway along the
river (that you can also walk on as you go from village to village)? Is the
only difference surface, width, and legality? *Absolutely not!* </quote> 

I get the impression, you overestimate the importance of duck tagging. It's
not that intuitive and explicit as you think, non-native English mappers may
have different assumptions of what is semantically implied or what is usable
according to their region.

<quote author="johnw"
In places where almost every footway is for bicycle and foot, and horses are
non-existent (they are more concerned about motor_scooter=no [or whatever
scooter access is]), trying to show its usage with surface (all are paved in
urban settings), width (footway can vary greatly in just 100m, so no help
there) - the duckiness has to be found in the top tag - as it is for road
values - which =path is *useless* for. </quote> 

A footway opend to bicycles is a multi-use-path and should be distinguished
from a footway or even sidewalk restricted exclusively to pedestrians.


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