[Tagging] Use of highway=track vs highway=service cemeteries, parks, allotment gardens, golf courses, and recreation areas

Bert -Araali- Van Opstal bert.araali.afritastic at gmail.com
Mon Mar 8 19:06:30 UTC 2021

As promised, my analysis and preliminary proposal, or maybe better call 
it masterplan, to improve our interpretation, documentation, tagging of 
highway=*, especially in regard to highway=track. Have fun discussing it !

Every road is a track, every modification of a natural environment by 
living creatures to move from one place to another is a track.
So start your mental journey with highway=track.

Now you identified a track. First question: Can I add a social or 
economic importance to it (for humans but might as well work for animals).
If yes, find a suitable socio-economic tag, you end up with 
highway=trunk(= all strategic tracks), primary(strategic bt not crossing 
international borders), secondary (=collector), tertiary(=feeder), 
residential (=local, any local importance, can be industrial) ,service 
or unclassified if you do mean it has a socio-economic importance but 
you couldn't determine which specifically or a single key, then 
highway=unclassified (room for considering combining multiple values).
You can't or don't want to add a socio-economic importance, you remain 
with highway=track.

Can I use a tag to specify if it is modified by humans to improve the 
throughput of the road. (by access restrictions, physical modifications 
like solting it from crossing roads, making it wider or narrower).  If 
yes, use highway=motorway, path. Possible additional tags like express 
can be used.
Ask yourself the same question if you used one of the socio-economic 
keys, so any highway from the above socio-economic classes can be a 
motorway or a path. (also room for improvement, our current tagging 
guidelines don't allow multiple values in the highway key), but as far 
as I am concerned might be highway=primary;motorway or might as well be 
Possible additional values: alley etc...
No clear answer ? You still are with highway=track.

You remain with highway=track.

Missing in OSM: highway top level values to indicate how it is managed, 
however these should not be on the top level, because the tracks from 
the above can be managed by humans, taking in consideration values for 
names given worldwide.
So we need a subkey for the highway tagging to describe it's management, 
often reflected in specific names.
This could be highway:name_managed=highway, interstate, freeway, 
motorway, trunk, bypass, ringway... with additional tags for the 
operator=* and or translation so it can be understood worldwide: f.i. 
highway:name_managed:nl= snelweg, express weg, ringweg ... or 
highway:name_managed:de= Autobahn or highway:name_managed:fr= 
route_nationale, autoroute ... or highway:name_managed:hi=हाईवे... or 
highway:name_managed:zh-hant= 高速公路... or 
highway:name_managed:ru=автомагистраль... ) etc...? Add an admin_level.

Finally, ask yourself if you would like to add tagging to describe 
physical restrictions or improvements that support one of the above 
classifications, like paved/unpaved or specific surface, smoothness, 
seasonal or weather condition aspects ?
But it remains a highway=track or one of the highway=* tags above.  This 
doesn't change the top-level highway key.

In the end it remains a track, like all roads do, like all highway=* do. 
You remain with highway=track through the elimination process described 
Works everywhere, globally, in every language, simple and shows how the 
mess is actually not a mess if we all think in the same way.... which we 
do, we are all living beings.


Bert Araali
On 02/03/2021 14:53, stevea wrote:
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Australian_Tagging_Guidelines#Highways.2C_Roads.2C_Tracks_and_Trails
> really is an impressive, well-written wiki — and Bert likes it, too!
> Many thanks to Graeme for “bridging” these discussions with that particular resource while following multiple threads.
> SteveA
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