[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - footway=link

Markus selfishseahorse at gmail.com
Sun Nov 24 21:50:02 UTC 2019

Many thanks for your thoughts, Nick!

On Sat, 23 Nov 2019 at 02:36, Nick Bolten <nbolten at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.

Wouldn't this mean that any footpath leading into a road would need to
be split for its last few metres, like the last 3 m of the path here?:


I doubt that this were very useful, but would only complicate mapping.
If you want to know the precise location where the footpath begins or
ends, it should be possible to get that information from the road
width or area:highway=*.

Besides, only defining footway links, but e.g. not connections of
tracks with roads (example [1]) or of roads with other roads (example
[2]) seems quite arbitrary.

I think the only situation where such links are really required is
when connecting two adjacent parallel ways (your point 1), like for
example a road and a sidewalk, a parallel cycle path [3] or parallel
steps, as such a connection isn't an extension of either way (the 3 m
in the example above is the extension of the foot path, but the
connection of an ending sidewalk with the road is neither sidewalk nor

I am thinking about a definition like "a footway/cycleway/path=link is
a way that is used to change from a road to an adjacent parallel

> 3. Transitioning from a sidewalk to a crossing, where both are separately mapped: [...] It's that short path that extends from the sidewalk to the street.

That short way definitely isn't a separate sidewalk (no lateral kerb,
not parallel to the road), but the extension of the crosswalk. In my
opinion there isn't a necessity tag it differently – if the width of
the sidewalk is specified, it is clear where the crosswalk begins.
While it wouldn't harm if people tag that short way or the extension
of a path that is inside the area of a road as footway=link, i think
that this shouldn't be a requirement.

> 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.

This is a very different situation from the connections i have in
mind. Besides, these aid ways likely aren't verifiable.

> 5. Short paths to building entrances from sidewalks, other footways. [...]
> 6. Short paths that deviate slightly from centerlines to make use of facilities, but are still related to those other footways. [...]

Could you please give me some examples for these two points?

[1]: https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/893450790
[2]: https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/506223281
[3]: https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/518400616

Best regards


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