[Tagging] Trailhead tagging

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com
Fri Jan 4 15:51:18 UTC 2019

On Fri, Jan 4, 2019 at 8:30 AM Peter Elderson <pelderson at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm trying to go for the minimal tagging that supports the most of the use cases. Which is a node tagged highway=trailhead. It's up to mappers / communities if and how they will apply and embed that according to local, regional or country-specific needs or definitions. Or maybe decide it's not useful in that situation at all.

If the definition is "a designated or customary place where a trip on
a trail begins or ends," I'm entirely on board. We can add indications
in the Wiki discussion that the decision of what is a trailhead can be
informed by the presence of public parking (whether free or paid is a
local custom), guideposts, notice boards, registers, seating, toilets,
and similar facilities in locales where such things are required or
customary. In a wilderness area, a trailhead may simply be a path
going off into the forest from a road, and enough space on the
roadside to park a few cars. In a developed park, a trailhead may be
an elaborate site such as the Dutch apparently enjoy. But the key
definition is: it's where you start or end your trip on the trail.

Note that I did not say that it's where the trail starts or ends. A
long trail may have a great many trailheads. Millions of people take
trips on the Appalachian Trail each year. Only a few hundred traverse
it from end to end. When I submitted my trip log from the much less
popular Northville-Placid Trail, I was one of only a couple of
thousand registered 'end-to-enders' in the nearly hundred years of the
trail's existence. So it's not 'where the trail starts or ends," it's
"a customary or designated place to get on or get off."

 What gave me trouble was the original specification, which you were
defending vigourously until quite recently. It had so many exclusions
(must have a stela, must have seating, must have free parking, must
serve multiple trails, and indeed was restricted to trailheads that
simultaneously served foot- and cycleways) that it effectively
excluded nearly everything that I would consider to be a 'trailhead'.
Even as revised, it was a locale-specific definition that would not
have been useful to me at all.

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