[talk-au] 4wd_only Tag - is it the right choice ?

David Bannon dbannon at internode.on.net
Sun Oct 28 01:00:57 GMT 2012

 Folks, you have every right to call me fickle.  But maybe we need to
be realistic ? This is a follow up to the discussion about advice that
appears on Australian_Tagging_Guidelines and a programme to see better
default rendering of dirt and 4x4 roads.

Firstly, I approve of the 4wd_only tag, I have used it and thinks its
a excellent description. However, putting together my arguments I plan
to present to the OSM Guardians, I have been looking at alternatives.
I have not used tracktype in the past, mainly because I did not like
its uninformative discriptions and the fact that it was described as
being "of limited relevance to Australia". Its interesting to see just
how many times 4wd_only is used compared to tracktype, here are some
stats -

4wd_only (yes and recommended)
Australia  - 930
Rest of the world -  264

tracktype (grades 1-5)
Australia - about 6000
Rest of the world - about 127,000

Now, I am not suggesting that tracktype is a dropin replacement for
4wd_only, far from it, the definition I read says to me it stops
before 4wd_only (see 
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:tracktype ) but we might find
getting a grade 6 and grade 7 (or better still, 4wdRecommended and
4wdOnly) added to tracktype easier than getting 4wd_only=recommended
added to the list. And if we do, then with all those numbers, we may
be able to get special rendering, and, importantly special routing
rules apply to them.

I just did some (naughty) tests on the main OSM map and find that at
present, tracktype is ignored for anything other than highway=track,
the tracktype wiki page complains about this too. That would have to
change. But it is closer than we are with 4wd_only= tag. Nice thing is
the two could exist side by side -

Indeed, seems that at present, all five grades of tracktype are
rendered differently. Ranges from grade one as a thin but solid brown
line to grade5's small dots. 

So, I know this is not what was discussed, but do people want to re
think the agreed position ?


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