[Tagging] Roles of route members (was: Merging tagging scheme on wiki pages of Hiking, ...)

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemed.net
Tue Aug 20 08:38:07 UTC 2019

Kevin Kenny wrote:
> There's also something to be said for using the ugly editors to 
> prove the concept, because at this point, we don't yet know how 
> to do everything, much less how to make it novice-friendly! The 
> exception is simple linear routes, and Sarah or I can give you 
> algorithms - or at least heuristics - for maintaining sort order 
> on those.

I have an algorithm like that too - it skeletonises dual carriageways and
roundabouts, hops over small jumps, and so on. But that's very different
from the steps to implement in an online editor, which has many more
constraints. (P2 doesn't have access to the full set of JTS/PostGIS tools,
for example!) _If_ the issues can be identified clearly and the realistic
steps to fix them enumerated, then we're getting somewhere.

> I do want editors minimally to observe the 'don't break the route'
> principle. About 80% of the broken-route problem can be solved 
> simply by, "when splitting a way, both the pieces become members 
> of any route relations in which the original way appeared, with the 
> same role if one is specified, preferably preserving continuity if 
> either or both endpoints was shared with the neighbouring way 
> in the relation." At least iD, Meerkartor and JOSM all do that.

As does P2, I believe (I didn't write that bit of code) - iD's code might
actually be based on P2's. That does make me wonder how much of a problem
this is in reality if the four major desktop editors already support it.

> For what it's worth, I think that the "route editing is complex"
> problem partly drives the 'startled warthog' and '1980s throwback'
> issues. In my experience, newer and prettier UI's try so very hard 
> to be pretty and novice-friendly that in many cases, they simply 
> reach a ceiling of complexity beyond which they can't cope or 
> become an obstacle to the power user.

Generally I tend to think that a data model that can't be edited with a
simple UI is a bad data model; and that "power users" are a curse on
Wikipedia and rapidly becoming the same in OSM, especially when their main
role is to generate abstruse content as self-gratification but which no-one
will ever actually consume. But that's just me being a grumpy old man too.


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