[Tagging] Default values for surface by road category and country

Andy Townsend ajt1047 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 23 08:33:37 UTC 2019

On 23/09/2019 09:14, Volker Schmidt wrote:
>         every mapper can set his own, as you doe and I do, but this
>         means that a router has to second guess what people think is
>         standard use in different countries.
>     That is exactly how it works.
>     In general, tagging surface is almost
>     always good idea or at least nice to do.
> But this very unsatisfactory for routing. Two examples:
> If I hire a rental car in the US, the contract ays, that I cannot use 
> unpaved roads.
> If I useĀ  bicycle anywhere I would like to be able to instruct my 
> router to avoid unpaved roads.

Ultimately, where information is missing, you as a data consumer will 
need to make a decision about whether or not a road is likely to be 
paved or not.

Adding a default (even per-country) won't magically make all 
non-surface-tagged roads paved or unpaved, and where data has come from 
import (e.g. TIGER in the US) or imagery (e.g. many places in Africa, 
Australia, etc.*) it isn't always possible to tell what the surface is 
when first adding to OSM.

Best Regards,


* and also some areas in the UK, where data was taken from OS OpenData 
before imagery/surveys were available - 
https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=15/53.8724/-1.1287 being one such 

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