[Tagging] Mapping curb (kerb) lines as the home of curb, parking, etc information

Clifford Snow clifford at snowandsnow.us
Mon Mar 4 23:56:28 UTC 2019

I recall seeing a lightning talk at the 2016 State of the Map US in Seattle
about mapping curb lines. Lou Huang gave a talk "Representing streets in
OSM with Curblines" [1] which proposed mapping streets from curb to curb as
polygons if I recall correctly. (Unfortunately I couldn't find a video of
his talk.)  His proposal overcomes some of the problems of mapping curb
lines as a separate way. But the level of detail required to map as a
polygon seems to be a real barrier to acceptance.

When I originally mapped sidewalks and footways in my small town, I added
the sidewalk=left/right/both/no tag to the street. Having just gone back to
actually map each sidewalk, having the information was helpful. But keeping
two sets of basically identical sets of information doesn't make sense. If
we add in a third linestring for the curb line, do we end up with three
sets of similar info?

Adding curb info to streets to me doesn't make much sense because streets
are longer than the curb. Adding curb info to sidewalks won't help vehicle
traffic  where it's nice to know if there is a curb.

The only logical option is to map curbs as independent ways even if it
means we might have three sets of similar information. To develop a
proposal on how to map sidewalks, curbs, and streets should be done before
we jump in to import the data. Much like Nick and UW did with the proposal
to map sidewalks as independent ways.

I know cities collect curb information. Even my small town does. The data
is there and if it's properly licensed, it could be useful in OSM.

[1] https://2016.stateofthemap.us/project-lead/


OpenStreetMap: Maps with a human touch
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