[Tagging] Subject: Feature Proposal - RFC - highway=social_path

Greg Troxel gdt at ir.bbn.com
Sun Jun 12 10:46:27 UTC 2016

Bryce Nesbitt <bryce2 at obviously.com> writes:

> I've been mapping these highway=path, informal=yes.  I feel that
> *access=no* is *inappropriate* in most cases, as these trails are
> often fully legal to travel on and in many cases tolerated by land
> managers (note 1).

That makes sense. although there are other cases where the rules are
different; local conservation around me is posted to keep to official
trails only.

> However: I'm disturbed by the knowledge that when I map highway=path,
> informal=yes the majority of the rendering tools will show it as a peer to
> a highway=path, official=yes.  I often  try adding width=1 ft  or some
> other indication of a lesser status: but that usually misses the point. The
> trails are different *because* they are not created or maintained by the
> land manager, not because of any true physical characteristic.

I think you're running into the long-simmering problem of OSM where we
pretend to tag reality and not for the renderer (and mostly do, the
the default  render is deemed to be just and example, but really it's
far more important than that.  And there's a legitimate tension between
encoding more in the default render vs keeping it simple.

> Thus, there's a rendering fix for this issue.  But quite frankly a
> totally new highway tag would be a very direct route to affecting the
> rendering nearly everywhere.

It would, but that's one step above deleting them, and really crosses
into tagging for the renderer.

I have had a related frustation, which is that in
paths/footways/whatever, there is a hierachy of importance, much like
the road network, and this is not entirely tied to physical attributes.
I think this lines up well with informal trails, which are more or less
by definition less prominent than official ones.

The path/footway continues to be a problem, and to me a great part of it
is the rendering difference (in normal renders) between footway
(delicate) and path (much heavier).  It makes sense to have the delicate
red in urban areas, because typically you only want to see the footway
when zoomed in.  But a trail that goes even 2km through the woods is a
feature worthy of being rendered at lower zoom levels.  This is sort of
the same issue as prominence.  But cycleway and bridleway tend to be
more like paths.

If I were just drawing a map of many of the conservation areas near me,
I'd do two things different from most OSM renders:

  make the official/important trails thicker than the minor ones

  color trails that are official and blazed with their blaze colors

So I think we need a style change proposal (diff for committing, really)
that has the concept of multiple visual weights for trails (paths), with
mapping of a trail

  heavier: official=yes or a blaze color is defined
  lighter: official=no or no official tag and no blaze color

that's a first step; there is also the case of lesser official trails.

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