[talk-au] highway=track update

stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Tue Feb 23 09:54:18 UTC 2021

On Feb 22, 2021, at 9:42 PM, Little Maps <mapslittle at gmail.com> wrote:
> In your US-chat someone wrote, "...in the USA, "most" roads that "most" people encounter (around here, in my experience, YMMV...) are surface=paved. Gravel or dirt roads are certainly found, but they are less and less common." By contrast, in regional Australia, most small roads are unpaved/dirt/gravel. 

That "someone" was me.

Seeing how there is some blurring of gravel in Australia, it seems wise to discuss (here seems fine) what IS tagged with "gravel" and then wiki-documenting those specificities to Australia (or even specific states of Australia, if how "gravel" is tagged varies from state-to-state).

Wiki can smear a bit how people DO tag (descriptive) and how people SHOULD tag (prescriptive), with which being which not always clearly expressed.  In my experience, wiki can be either, but I've also seen a trend for wiki to endeavor towards being DEscriptive, and if it leans into the direction of PREscriptive, it is careful to say so.  This latter style of "you SHOULD tag like this..." is more often used in a wide swath of newer, as-yet-undone tagging (say, at a national level) where not much tagging has already been done in a given domain (highway tagging, park tagging...), but it is clear what the correct tagging style SHOULD be, and the wiki is making an effort to encourage consistent tagging practices.  Sensibly, these happening at national, state and even more-local levels often overlaps with collecting a variety of topics together into one wiki for a locality, state or nation.  Then, all of the various attributes that might differ from "global" (OSM-wide) wiki can be denoted there (in various sections or sub-wiki) for bicycles, rail, parks, road classifications and whatever else might diverge from "usual global OSM norms as already wiki-documented."

I think most everybody there already gets this, I thought I'd "type it out loud" as I see it and let the good tagging and wiki writing there continue, albeit with this more clearly stated.  Really, wiki are largely about "documenting what is" (in the map).  "What SHOULD be?"  Well, if you do so in wiki, at the very least state this clearly.


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