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

John Eldredge john at jfeldredge.com
Mon Aug 10 15:24:15 UTC 2015

For that matter, there can be major regional variations within the same 
country, not to mention variations for historical reasons within the same 
city. In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, where I live, the majority of the city 
was developed post-World-War-II, meaning that residential streets tend to 
be built wide enough to allow parking on both sides, plus two lanes of 
traffic. However, there are a few named streets in what had once been rural 
hamlets, later swallowed up by urban expansion, that are only a single 
lane, with no room for two vehicles to pass each other, let alone park. 
Assuming that a given tag such as highway=residential or highway=path 
implies certain physical characteristics is a risky proposition.

John F. Eldredge -- john at jfeldredge.com
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot 
drive out hate; only love can do that." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

On August 6, 2015 10:03:16 AM John Willis <johnw at mac.com> wrote:

> 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.
> Javbw.
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