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

Greg Troxel gdt at ir.bbn.com
Fri Mar 25 23:06:56 UTC 2016

Alan McConchie <alan.mcconchie at gmail.com> writes:

> Some commenters have suggested using the existing highway=path tag,
> with supplemental tags such as access=no or informal=yes, or a new
> supplemental tag path=social_trail, or adding an operator
> tag. However, these supplemental tags are too easily ignored by data
> consumers and renderers, which is problematic given the destructive
> and hazardous nature of social trails in many areas. This proposal
> argues that it is better and safer for data consumers and renderers to
> *opt in* in order to show these ways, rather than the existing
> situation where a renderer has to actively *opt out* to remove trails
> with access=no or informal=yes. The default should err on the side of
> safety.

First, this is changing tags of objects that are actually there, because
some want to hide information from others.  That motivation is suspect
in terms of OSM norms.

Second, "safety" is in the eye of the beholder.   If there's a an actual
trail present, even if prohibited, then it's better for navigation to
have it on the map, for not only use during emergencies, but for
orientation when navigating with paper maps.   If an authority wants to
prohibit trail use, that needs to be done by signage at trailheads and
at the prohibited trail - plenty of people do not use OSM.  So I find
the notion that such trails must be suppressed from maps rendered from
OSM to be a stretch.

access=no is not an esoteric tag - it's quite well established and
rendered.  It's even shown by the default render on openstreetmap.org
(the trail is show, but shaded pink) - I just checked a trail that I
marked access=no (but which actually exists, and which organized walks
have used with permission).

  - gdt (often mapping trails, and for context, mapper since 2009, 1235
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