[talk-au] highway=track update

Ewen Hill ewen.hill at gmail.com
Sat Feb 27 00:59:01 UTC 2021

Thank you Josh for raising this, Michael with the history and everyone
else. In good news, I can now state to my better half, that my Gravel
Grinder bike is obsolete and I need to upgrade to a compacted bike with a
fine_gravel bike backup. You can't be too careful!

As Warin stated, road surfaces change, both overtime and the length of the
road and there is also the perception of the user.

The Wiki appears to be a shemozzle and it might be a great place to start
so that in the future we have a uniformed and easy to understand. The
Taginfo query shows confusion from the editor suggestions and doesn't allow
easy use by third party apps to render tracks etc.

Could consideration be made to move to a two tier system of surface=paved,
unpaved and then surface:paved=* and surface:unpaved=* ? Coupling this with
smoothness would make the data easier to digest and we could merge the
duplicates or extend the schema to surface:unpaved:gravel=course
surface:unpaved:gravel=fine etc. ?


On Wed, 24 Feb 2021 at 21:36, Josh Marshall <josh.p.marshall at gmail.com>

> This conversation reminded me I had forgotten to map a few dozen km of
> fire trail around Forster from a recent holiday… and it’s all sand. Some of
> which I had terrible regrets of taking my bike along (and some I even
> regret running), definitely smoothness=very_horrible.
> Anyway, it seems from the discussion to be very clear that everyone
> expects surface=gravel to match the vernacular. What are the chances of
> getting a proposal through to actually change the wiki to match this
> expectation (and perhaps introducing a ‘rough_gravel’ for very rare case of
> ballast)? Slim to none, I’m guessing by the way people are talking.
> My take is that unpaved road surfaces change quickly and I don't want to
> be fussed with too much detail. So I tend to map then as unpaved. I think
> it more important to map the 'smoothness' (or roughness) of the road if it
> is certain it will stay that way for some time.
> ...
> Personally, I feel that there’s often too much emphasis in OSM on
> precision (i.e. use detailed sub-tags) at the expense of accuracy. I
> believe most of the generic unpaved tags are accurate. I wish I could, but
> unfortunately I don’t believe many of the specific sub-tags are especially
> useful. (Sand is a goody though!).
> They do change quickly, but as has been touched on by yourselves and
> others, there appear to be two main categories that actually matter in the
> debate, both of which are compacted: those with added aggregates
> (fine_gravel? compacted?) and those that aren’t (dirt? also tagged as
> compacted?).
> I did notice in the smoothness wiki for the first time, under
> ‘fine_gravel’: "If the topmost surface is eroded or loose gravel aggravate
> please use gravel instead.” Well, that’s a huge number of the roads I’m
> thinking of.
> Maybe I should just stop worrying and use “unpaved”…
> Cheers,
> Josh
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Warm Regards

Ewen Hill
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