[Talk-GB] Footway to Sidewalk?

SomeoneElse lists at mail.atownsend.org.uk
Tue Aug 21 16:17:50 BST 2012

Adam Hoyle wrote:
> On 21 Aug 2012, at 14:47, Andy Allan wrote:
>> On 21 August 2012 13:27, SomeoneElse <lists at mail.atownsend.org.uk 
>> <mailto:lists at mail.atownsend.org.uk>> wrote:
>>> Although I'd usually oppose such Americanisms, in this case 
>>> "sidewalk" is
>>> unambiguous in a way that "footway" (or "pavement") isn't, and on 
>>> the forum
>>> thread (and several years ago on a mailing list, when this was 
>>> previously
>>> discussed) I said that I wouldn't object to someone changing a
>>> "footway=left" that I had mapped to "sidewalk=left".  Not everyone 
>>> agreed
>>> with me, though...
>> I'm entirely supportive of using "sidewalk" when discussing pavements
>> in the context of OSM. "footway" is even more confusing to OSMers than
>> even "pavement" would be! For years now I've been using the term
>> "sidewalk", and explaining why that's the best word for it, whenever
>> I've discussed the topic.
> I agree - from the wiki 
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway%3Dfootway 
> <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway=footway> a footway 
> seems unambiguously to be what americans call a sidewalk.

The picture explictly ISN'T a sidewalk.  I'd probably map it as a paved 
track with foot access only

> It's totally confused me, so in the bit of UK countryside I edit I 
> have added tons of ways with highway=footway tags through woods, 
> fields etc, when in fact I am pretty sure they should really be 
> highway=path tags. I realised this a little while ago, so this thread 
> is timely.
> Do please correct me if I'm still confused as I'm slowly going through 
> the process of re-tagging them from footway to path.

I wouldn't put too much trust in that wiki page.  The perpetrator of 
this mass change has also been wikifiddling:


(and +1 to what Andy Robinson just said about conveying meaning, while I 
was writing this!)

Basically, just try and capture whatever relevant information you can - 
access rules, designation, surface, width, whatever.


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