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

Greg Troxel gdt at ir.bbn.com
Mon Jun 13 12:23:58 UTC 2016

John Willis <johnw at mac.com> writes:

[dropping things replied to already]

> On Jun 13, 2016, at 8:22 AM, Greg Troxel <gdt at ir.bbn.com> wrote:

>>> Subkey: 
>>> Trail=main (usually there is some backbone path that all trails branch out from in a large park.) 
>>> Trail=official (officially designated trails in a park, where that matters) 
>> I agree there should be some tag to show that a trail/path is the main
>> one.
>> I don't think official/not-official should be related to main/not.
> I was thinking like, in a large natural preserve/park, there is a loop path or major point-to-point path that is the busiest/emphasized.
> Maybe you are trying to say we should be able to tag both values simultaneously? 

Yes.  That's all I meant.   It could be that the trail everybody thinks
is main is not official.   And non-main trails may be official and may
be not-official.  So I would like to see one tag for official/not and
one for main/not, so we can record each aspect or reality separately and
not get into trouble when there is some way of doing things that we
haven't encountered before.

>>> Trail=unofficial / social (shortcuts in a park or a city) 
>> trail:official=no seems fine for any trail which is not sanctioned by
>> the authorities.  (I don't see why you say park or city; anyplace there
>> is a notion that some places are official then others can be not.)
> If people know this is a shortcut footpath that is not normal (that
> footpath along a fence that bypasses a longer route on an official
> sidewalk) then saying it is "informal" or "social" or something would
> be good. Otherwise it would be =yes.

I don't like the word 'social'; that isn't in use around here.

Again I would like to see the primary semantics be clear first, and then
finer points.  If a path is not sanctioned/maintained by the
authorities, then it's official=no.  There are multiple kinds of these.
There are shortcuts as you say, which could be labeled shortcut.  There
are non-official access trails into conservation land.  There are other
non-official trails in conservation land.

>>> Trail=illegal (social cuts that exist but are specifically illegal
>>> because of posted signage to stay on official trails, or ones that are
>>> go into an area signed as "do not enter".
>> This feels like osm veering into judgement; that sounds like a simple
>> case of access=no.
> I think this should only be used sparingly, where it is *explicity*
> signed - similar to a driveway that says "emergency access only" - it
> is explicit.

> Many parks have official trails mapped, and where a social trail
> branches off, they put a sign there that says "do not enter/sensitive
> area" or similar - that is very very explicit. I agree it is good to
> know for orienteering to know you have reached that point. If a
> rendered map chooses to leave them off, okay - but it is good to have
> the way in the dataset so it isn't added incorrectly in the future.

It seems fine to put the sign in the db, or a tag like


to record the reason for the access=no.  I am always trying to think
about data consumers that don't know about the latest tagging schemes,
so if something is a subcategory of access, or a subcategory of trail, I
think it's good to keep them tagged in a way that one gets sensible results.

What I was really objecting to is 'illegal'.  What's law, what's
landowner rules, what's conservation commission regulation is all messy.
So I'd like to see a more detached characterization of reality.

> Just as OSM shows motorways down to driveway parking isles and rocky
> unmaintained tracks with so many different highway values, I am
> interested in showing - via tags and rendering - the different levels
> of non-car walking ways, from a wide and leisurely "path" in a city
> park, a sidewalk along a road, a social trail through the weeds along
> the top of a river retaining berm, and a signed and maintained hiking
> trail of various grades and quality in a natural park.

I agree with your goals here.   But, I think it's messier, because the
road hierarchy of primary/secondary is about importance, not physical.
I was just on an A road in Scotland, which was single-track but at least
had passing places.  Still, it was the main road.

> If we can't go beyond =path and =footpath, we need some kind of subkey

I think we can't :-(

> value or colon separated value to do it, and not rely on surface or
> wheelchair accessibility tags to imply it - it should be as explicit
> as a driveway or a grade3 track.

Agreed.  I think we need tags that are about

  the overall experience of traversing the trail

and separately

  how important the trail is in the local trail network
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