[talk-au] When is a Road a Track

Warin 61sundowner at gmail.com
Sat Feb 11 02:21:59 UTC 2017

On 11-Feb-17 11:28 AM, Ross Scanlon wrote:
> On 11/02/17 07:00, Warin wrote:
>> The NSW LPT base map is particularly helpful for road classifications 
>> .. tracks, unclassified, tertiary and paths.
>> It is in some ways better than a survey as it looks to take into 
>> account the importance to the community and that is very hard to 
>> determine by simply travelling the road.
>> Where a 'track' travels a long distance .. say over 50 km I would 
>> argue that it is 'unclassified' as that length suggests it is not a 
>> simple service/maintenance track but a connection between distant 
>> points.
>> As far as seeking out the 'interesting/adventure' roads .. I first 
>> look for unpaved, then connecting. The old 'Tracks for Australia' 
>> garmin map is helpful but well out of date.
> So your saying above that a track like the Canning Stock Route should 
> be an unclassified road?  It's about 1800kms and is definitely a track 
> not a road.  There are some sections you could possibly call an 
> unclassified road but they are not maintained. For the majority of 
> it's length it is two wheel tracks through the scrub and sand dunes.
> I'd suggest everyone have a read of the wiki pages for track and 
> unclassified.

"roads for mostly agricultural use, forest tracks"
"classify them as usual 
<http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Highways#Classification> according 
to the conventions in your country,"
"vehicular use is dominated by field access or forest management, but 
not any heavier sort of industry. "

"*used for minor public roads typically at the lowest level of the 
interconnecting grid *"
"*The least important sort of minor roads which are either a) proper 
signposted formal parts of the public road network, or b) nominally 
private or just unsignposted but the locals use them anyway. The idea is 
that "4"-wheel vehicular use by the general public is possible, the 
general public use dominates other uses, and no single specific purpose 

* These are not clear and there is suggestions to refer to the country 

and that is not clear either.

> I've always tagged them by looking to see if they are 
> maintained/graded.  If they are graded, and that's generally pretty 
> obvious from aerial imagery as well, then they are minimum 
> unclassified.  If not then they are tracks.

How frequently are they graded? Sections of the Canning are graded. A 
track locally to me was recently graded .. last grading was probably 
done 20 years ago ...but I'd not call it 'unclassified' as it is not 
important enough. It is in quite good condition now.

> Have a look at this area in josm, with bing imagery
> http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=15/-30.0090/116.8188
> or here it is on bing maps:
> https://binged.it/2kcYMV6
> and where it's unsealed
> https://binged.it/2kd8irh
> Looking at the road that comes up from the south east and then 
> according to MRWA it continues to the north west.
> MRWA classifies the south east part as osm tertiary and the north west 
> part as unclassified.
> However I'd tag the north west part as track as it's little more than 
> two wheel tracks through the scrub and the further you go along it the 
> more it deteriorates.
>> The condition/difficulty of the road is best determined by travelling 
>> the road, I don't add that detail unless I have travelled it. I do 
>> add surface=unpaved/paved ...
>> on some bridges I remove the surface tag as I cannot be certain what 
>> is there, on a few I change it to concrete.
>> On 10-Feb-17 05:55 PM, David Bannon wrote:
>>> Do you mean without seeing them yourself Warren ?  I personally 
>>> think that you should only correct another mapper's work if you have 
>>> personally seen something that needs correction. I am sure there are 
>>> some exceptions. But here, in particular, you seem to have 
>>> "negative" information.
>>> Its also worth remembering that highway= indicates the purpose of 
>>> the road or track, a number of other tags indicate its condition. In 
>>> theory ....
>>> David
>>> On 10/02/17 10:51, Warren wrote:
>>>> I have asked this question before but did not really get a clear 
>>>> answer.
>>>> I am working off the Western Australian Main Roads data checking 
>>>> against the OSM road attributes.  Occasionally I come across lines 
>>>> that are classed in OSM as highway:unclassified or 
>>>> highway:residential that do not appear on the Main Roads data base.
>>>> I would argue that these are named tracks rather than roads but I 
>>>> wanted to check others opinion.
>>>> Do I leave them alone or change the classification to highway:track?
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