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

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Fri Aug 7 09:07:53 UTC 2015

sent from a phone

> Am 07.08.2015 um 09:50 schrieb John Willis <johnw at mac.com>:
> And their rules on =trunk through =secondary definitions are different than most other countries mapped in OSM because they follow Japanese mapping convention where the legal name /shield designation of the road

what is this legal name/ shield designation about, the relative importance of the highway as a connection in the road network? Or something else like who maintains the road (typically more politics and history than traffic logics)? 

> is the *only* information for determining which kind of road it is tagged as - 1.5 lane "primary" road a hundred years old next to a 4 lane "tertiary" bypass built 10 years ago to go around the narrow primary is common.

being an island, it won't bother people outside Japan, but it sounds neither  reasonable, nor beneficial for anyone, and it is clearly contradicting the documentation and the community consensus globally - will result likely in routing problems like suboptimal routes and increased computation time.

IMHO it is probably a sign of immature mapping that will be solved by the time when people acknowledge the problems it creates. Adopting some arbitrary national classification (usually there are several systems and classes for roads used by the public entities for planning, designing, construction and maintenance, but the system the mappers "choose" is always the signposted refs) is the simplest way of mapping that doesn't require further thinking or interpretation and avoids discussions. It is therefore often used in the beginning of mapping when people are shy of making decisions.

Be bold, analyze the situation and go by common sense: if you know an area, it is not so difficult to create/recognize a road hierarchy (unless you're in Tokyo maybe). Then start applying your findings and iterate in the following time until you come to some sort of more stable consensus. It's worth it.


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