[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - footway=link

Peter Elderson pelderson at gmail.com
Sat Nov 23 08:58:36 UTC 2019


+++1
I map a lot of walking routes. Walking route relations use many virtual footways. In the old days, when sidewalks were seldom mapped, you entered the road. Now many sidewalks are available as pedestrain ways or areas, but these do not form a complete linked network, so you often have to link to roads or cycleways. Over pedestrian areas you create a footway or path with the same surface as the area. Connecting two footways over a road where no visible crossing existed, likewise. I have even come across the bus stop example, when mapping a hiking route with a bus transfer in it, through a cars-only tunnel. 

These links are supposed to show up in route maps, but should not render on general maps. Currently they do render on general maps, which creates a false impression of an actual feature. Quality of the map would improve by not showing the virtual link paths.

I would be happy to implement the link thingy in all the longdistance walking routes I co-manage, next time I do an integrity check. Adding the link tag to all the fake footways/ paths. Talking about ca 50 hiking routes between 100 and 500 Km in length, in Nederland. One each week, finished in a year.

I do hope the proposal passes quickly.

FrGr Peter Elderson

> Op 23 nov. 2019 om 02:36 heeft Nick Bolten <nbolten at gmail.com> het volgende geschreven:
> 
> 
> I'm a big fan of this proposal and like others I think it could be useful in many scenarios. Expansion beyond connecting sidewalks to streets would be great!
> 
> I would propose that under an expansive definition it be thought of this way: a "footway link" is a path connecting pedestrian-accessible ways that is not, itself, a centerline of a designated physical pedestrian space.
> 
> Examples:
> 
> 1. Connecting a dead-end sidewalk to the street (already in the proposal): real pedestrians may want to walk on a sidewalk that only extends partially down a street, then revert back to walking on the side of a street. A footway link acknowledges this transition and maintains network connectivity.
> 
> 2. Connecting orthogonal footways to the street, even when there's no designated footway (the steps example): Similar to the first example, pedestrians may want to fall back on the street network after transitioning from steps, or we may want to maintain connectivity for routing software that makes primary use of streets without having "fake" pedestrian ways connected to the street: steps connecting directly to a street across a sidewalk, a footway from a park doing the same, etc.
> 
> 3. Transitioning from a sidewalk to a crossing, where both are separately mapped: we've often run into the challenge of saying 'what is this thing?' when mapping highway=footway, footway=crossing, highway=footway, footway=sidewalk, and kerb=* to describe pedestrian spaces. It's that short path that extends from the sidewalk to the street. It isn't really a sidewalk, even though it's on top of one. It isn't really a crossing, because you're still on the sidewalk at that point. It's a link between footways! This would be helpful for QA and increased mapping: when a footway=link meets a footway=crossing, we can ask for mappers to add kerb=* using software like StreetComplete.
> 
> 4. Plazas. While it is possible to extract many plausible paths through pedestrian area features, there is value in simply mapping the most direct paths and not requiring data consumers to become intimately familiar with skeletonization algorithms or robotics pathfinding. Mapping canonical paths through plazas as links allows both options: they can be ignored (as they are acknowledged to be connections rather than distinct paths) or consumed directly.
> 
> 5. Short paths to building entrances from sidewalks, other footways. These are often not truly a designated footway, just a path from the sidewalk centerline to the building's entrance, but they can still be complicated: they might have steps along them, or have a unique geometry due to fencing or walls. A link will assist in mapping this accessibility information and remove confusing data from the map.
> 
> 6. Short paths that deviate slightly from centerlines to make use of facilities, but are still related to those other footways. For example, there may be a single clear way to navigate from a sidewalk centerline to a bus stop that is not the canonical sidewalk centerline. It's a path on the sidewalk that could be worth describing (for example, street furniture may cause it to have a narrow passable width), but it's not itself the primary sidewalk way.
> 
> Thanks for proposing this! It really scratches an itch.
> 
> Nick
> 
>> On Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 1:25 PM Markus <selfishseahorse at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hello everyone
>> 
>> As the discussion has moved from pedestrian lanes to linking ending
>> sidewalks with a road and as there haven't been any more changes or
>> suggestions to the proposal on pedestrian lanes, i'm opening the vote
>> on that proposal and requesting comments on the proposal on
>> footway=link:
>> 
>> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Tag:footway%3Dlink
>> 
>> Definition: to link steps or a sidewalk with a road
>> 
>> Best regards
>> 
>> Markus
>> 
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