[talk-au] Hiking tracks: foot=yes or foot=designated?

Steve Bennett stevagewp at gmail.com
Tue Feb 23 23:49:06 GMT 2010

On Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 8:46 PM, John Henderson <snowgum at gmx.com> wrote:
> I forgot about the Australian Alps Walking Track, which is national,
> spanning significant distances in both NSW and Vic.

Yeah, it goes from Walhalla to Canberra, about 650km. By comparison,
one version of the Camino de Santiago is 800km. The long-distance
European walking paths seem to range from about 3-10,000km. So the
AAWT would be a shortish international walking path, or a long
national one.

> But part of that track goes through wilderness areas, where track markers
> aren't permitted.  Should we be even mapping those sections, thereby helping
> create an erosion/"localised overuse" threat?

Absolutely we should. Routes like that appear on maps. For example,
there's a part of the Overland Track where John Chapman publishes an
alternative route around Lake St Clair. There's no track, and his map
uses a different kind of line to indicate "route" rather than "track".

Any route that we publish would probably have long straight line
sections, so the paths that actual walkers would follow would vary
significantly from that anyway, depending on local vegetation etc.

> I also think that many shorter routes don't warrant a route relation, mainly
> because they can be adequately represented by a single way.

The growing trend is that renderers treat route relations as "more
significant" than mere ways. And I'm not sure your statement is true
anyway - a single bridge, set of steps or even change in surface (eg,
gravel to dirt) would need the way to be split to be fully mapped.

> And many short routes that do warrant a route relation certainly aren't
> significant enough to warrant a "lwn" tag.

Yeah, probably. How can we define "significant" though? The fact that
renderers assign zoom levels to them is actually sort of a good
starting point: is a route significant enough to know about when
you're viewing a) a country b) a state c) a region d) a national park
e) a locality within a national park f) a campsite.

IMHO, the overland, the AAWT, the lara pinta etc all easily satisfy
a). A trail like the Pinnacle Walk (roughly 4 hours return iirc) in
the Grampians will satisfy d) but probably not c). A short
interpretive walk may satisfy e) but struggle to meet d). It all
depends how many other trails there are at that level, how close they
are, etc.

(Just thinking out loud here a bit, I'm not committed to any of this.)


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