[Tagging] Layer and highway=steps

Bjoern Hassler bjohas+mw at gmail.com
Sat Jul 2 17:55:44 UTC 2016

Hi Richard, hi Simon,

thanks! The layer tag was already used widely, but I get that level is the
one to use. I'll go through the tags, and add level.

I'm working on a write-up of the discussion, as a kind of "case-study", see
http://bjohas.de/wiki/Maps/Kings_Cross. I'll contribute this to the OSM
wiki once I've got clarity on all the tags. More generally, I think such
"case-studies" could be useful, because they provide a "feature-focussed"
perspective ("I want to map XYZ, how do I do it?") rather than a technical
focus (meaning of tags). Do such pages already exist on the wiki for
various features?


On 2 July 2016 at 17:31, Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch> wrote:

> Bjoern
> The layer attribute is only used for overlapping OSM elements to indicate
> their relative position ( indoor mapping should be using "level" (the SIT
> tagging scheme has already been referenced). In a pure indoor scenario I
> would consider layer unnecessary (JOSM will naturally complain bitterly,
> but that's life, and standard renderers will simply ignore the level tag).
> BTW Kings's Cross already has some indoor mapping (all overground at this
> point in time):
> http://openlevelup.net/?lat=51.531616&lon=-0.124528&z=19&t=0&lvl=0&tcd=1&urd=1&bdg=0&pic=0&nte=0&ilv=0
> @all
> While we are on the topic, maybe it would be time to move the draft to a
> more permanent status given that none of the other proposals has gained
> traction or have substantial design issues.
> Simon
> Am 02.07.2016 um 13:47 schrieb Bjoern Hassler:
> Hi Volker,
> My question does relate to overlapping steps, see
> <http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/h5F>http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/h5F for
> context (King's Cross underground, London). Yes, layer rather than level.
> I'm thinking about accessibility, as well as ease of mapping. Suppose you
> are at a certain location, how do you determine what
> steps/escalators/elevators connect to that location (from other floors)? In
> other words, what are your access options to that layer.
> Similarly for mapping: because of the extensive network, it's hard to see
> what's what. With layer on steps you could examine the data layer by layer.
> If only footways have layers, what overpass query would you use to include
> steps?
> Thanks for note on up/down. The wiki documentation does suggest this: "By
> convention, the *direction of the way* should preferably point uphill,
> but the key incline <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:incline>=* should
> always be added to the way (see the talk
> <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Tag:highway%3Dsteps>page
> <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Tag:highway%3Dsteps>for more
> details)." So no default direction as you say, but convention and
> recommended incline tag.
> Bjoern
> On 2 Jul 2016 12:04, "Volker Schmidt" <voschix at gmail.com> wrote:
>> "layer" is not relevant here. The "layer" tag is only used to indicate
>> the relative vertical position of the object with respect to other objects.
>> So steps would only have a layer tag if they are crossing another way, but
>> not connecting to it.
>> To indicate the up or down direction of steps, you can use the tag
>> incline=up|down. There is no default direction of steps, as far a I know.
>> Your question may refer to the "level" tag. In that case your steps are
>> connecting different floor levels of a building. I would not assign a
>> "level" tag value to a stair that connects the first floor (level=1) with
>> the second floor (level=2) of a building.
>> Volker
>> On 2 July 2016 at 12:28, Bjoern Hassler <bjohas+mw at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>> What is the consensus on the  layer tag for steps?
>>> In the direction of the way, steps should normally run uphill/upwards,
>>> say from layer=-2 to layer=-1.
>>> Should the steps be tagged with layer=-2 or layer=-1? Or both (using
>>> different tags)?
>>> Thanks,
>>> Bjoern
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