[Talk-GB] National Byway rendering on OpenCycleMap

Peter Reed peter.reed at aligre.co.uk
Wed Apr 20 12:25:15 BST 2011

As a normal contributor of content, and user of the Cycle Map I have in the
past shared some of the responsibility for tagging my local cycle network as
LCN "because is renders better". 


I've learned though, and come round to the view that this is not a good


It now seems to me that there is a difference between a local "cycle
network" and "any old piece of local cycle infrastructure", but it's not
always clear cut. 


Around here there are quite a few real local networks, sponsored by local
authorities to encourage leisure cycling. The authority gives each one a
name, puts up special signposts, and usually publishes maps and guides to
promote them. To me these are obvious "local networks". 


The more difficult cases are smaller sections of path or road, that are
signed for use by cyclists. As a general rule of thumb it seems natural to
me only to regard these as part of the "network" if they are signposted with
a destination: not otherwise. Something that is just marked as a cycle, or
shared use path is a "Cycleway", or whatever, not an "LCN". If they are
signposted as leading somewhere ("Town Centre", a school or some other
destination) then I am inclined to regard them as part of the local network.


I can't say I've tagged them consistently in past though.


While I'm on about all this, there is also an issue with rendering a basic
"Cycleway" that isn't really to do with the Cycle map. Rightly, or wrongly,
much of my local network is on shared-use paths. A lot of local cycle
campaigning is concerned with persuading people that it's safe. They don't
necessarily need to tangle with heavy traffic. So while nobody would claim
that these shared paths are ideal cycling infrastructure, they are what we
have and they are quite important. On the cycle map they are less visible
than anything rendered as part of the cycle network, but I don't think
that's hugely important. Cycle networks don't appear on Mapnik of course,
but cyclways do. The frustrating thing is that on most Mapnik zoom levels
these shared use paths are over-ridden by the adjacent road. This issue
seems to come up periodically on the mapnik rendering suggestions, but gets
lost among more complex issues. It can't be difficult to fix, but with so
many other demands it maybe needs a bit of lobbying.


Finally, I'm not clear about how different people interpret "bicycle=yes".
I'm looking at UK data here. "bicycle=yes" is commonly used on footways,
bridleways, tracks, paths and (somewhat redundantly) on cycleways. Off-road
it seems to be used to mean "this is a path or track or whatever that can be
used by cyclists". That's perfectly reasonable. However the same tag is also
used fairly widely on residential and unclassified roads, and it's not
unknown on more major roads. On-road it seems to be interpreted as "this
road can be used by cyclists, but then all the others can as well. As we
knew that already, we will ignore this tag".


Am I missing something?

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