[Talk-gb-westmidlands] Fingerposts

Andy Townsend ajt1047 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 16 18:32:23 UTC 2020

On 16/07/2020 17:20, Alan Mackie wrote:
> Maybe:
> tourism=information
> information=guidepost
> ?
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:information%3Dguidepost
> I don't know a way of recording the directions they point save via 
> destination_sign relations.
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Relation:destination_sign
> On Thu, 16 Jul 2020, 17:00 Andy Mabbett, <andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk 
> <mailto:andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk>> wrote:
>     I've just come to map a fingerpost, never having had cause to add one
>     previously.
I had a look at this a while back because I was figuring out how to best 
render stuff in the "information" space. "tourism=information; 
information=guidepost" does seem to what people use for those, at least 
in the UK.

The tricky bit is that in England and Wales at least what might be 
described as a "fingerpost" might cover a whole range of things - it 
might be (1) a bit of wood with "public footpath" written on it, or (2) 
it might say "to St Gregory's Minster" or somesuch.  It might be (3) a 
route marker for a long or short distance path, or it might be a 
combination of some or all of these.  Even "simple public footpath 
markers" vary hugely around the place (even just around what might be 
called the West Mids) in terms of what form they take, how frequent they 
are and what other information they carry.

https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Guidepost and 
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:information%3Dguidepost describe 
what I might call "European" guideposts, which Andy's example might be 
similar to from the description, but it's not much use with what I 
suspect Phil was thinking about when he said "we tend to just use them 
to confirm the legal status of a right of way".

The tag combinations in use seem to be a bit of a mish-mash (see 
; unfortunately it looks like there aren't enough to get stats at 
).  Where someone local to me added lots of "basic public footpath 
signs" as "tourism=information; information=guidepost"I added a 
"guidepost_type" tag to the ones that I knew weren't "just" public 
footpath markers (see 
https://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/keys/guidepost_type#values ).  I 
picked "guidepost_type"because I couldn't see another option available 
and in use in England and Wales that could make that distinction - I'd 
be happy to change that tag to something else if someone comes up with a 
better option.

The idea is to make sure that there's enough information stored for a 
renderer to be able to do different things based on whether an 
"information=guidepost" (or an "information=route_marker") is one of 
(1), (2) or (3) above or a combination, and to do different things with 
it on that basis.

As an aside, I've been adding examples of (3) to the relevant relation 
(see e.g. https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/1996318 ) so that, come 
the glorious day when I manage to set up a version of osm2pgsql that 
supports doing something useful with that information you'll be able to 
see not just that there's a guidepost here but that it's actually a 
marker for XYZ long distance trail.  See 
for a bit of info about that.

Best Regards,


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