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

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemed.net
Wed Jun 15 12:43:13 UTC 2016

John Willis wrote:
> I am really having trouble understanding the reasoning behind the 
> resistance when it removes uncertainty and confusion while tagging. 

But it doesn't.

You're citing your own personal hierarchy between "trails" and "easily
traversed footways", which is fine. But that hierarchy is not ringing any
bells with me. I honestly have no idea how any of the paths around here
would be classified on such a hierarchy. We have thousands of miles of paths
which are walkable as of legal right, of every quality from wide tarmac to
barely discernible routes across ploughed fields, but we don't have any
concept of "trails" here[1] - it's largely an American/Australasian English

highway=motorway/trunk/primary/etc. works when a firm, easily understood
hierarchy can be established based on that road's importance in the
connected network. It falls down when that hierarchy is less clear-cut, and
it's very notable that road tagging is quite uniform and uncontested in some
countries (e.g. the UK) where there's a clear mapping between tag values and
observable characteristics, and less uniform in others (e.g. the US) where
that mapping is fuzzier.

For your idea of increasing the highway= options available to path mappers,
such a hierarchy would need to be apparent on the paths in most countries,
and to be documentable as such in a reasonably internationally consistent
manner. I haven't yet seen any case made that it is, and I doubt that it
could be. 


[1] other than the very few long-distance routes known as National Trails

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