[Talk-GB] PRoW surveying authorities (Was: Guidance for adding PRoW to OSM: prow_ref=)

Robert Whittaker (OSM lists) robert.whittaker+osm at gmail.com
Thu Jan 24 09:09:16 GMT 2013

On 23 January 2013 19:38, Rob Nickerson <rob.j.nickerson at gmail.com> wrote:
> No extra "designation" tag is needed in my opinion. If they are on the
> authorities list of streets, then they are legally exactly the same as any
> other road. Therefore highway=unclassified would be fine. The issue arises
> when they are not well maintained, narrow, or not suitable for some larger
> vehicles. We really need some way of identifying this in a tag so that
> routing engines can suggest an alternative route. I guess some people may
> use highway=track to make a distinction, but I'm not convinced this is
> right...

I would use the highway tag to record the physical
condition/appearance of the highway in the case where it's not
maintained to the standard one would expect from a normal road. So if
it looks like a farm track, I would use highway=track; and if it looks
like a service road, I'd use highway=service. To capture the legal
status, I'd then add a suitable designation tag --
designation=unclassified_highway (assuming that is indeed the case).
To capture the access rights (which data consumers may well not infer
correctly from the designation tag) I'd also add an access=yes. (There
may also be edge cases where one of these public highways is subject
to a traffic regulation order which might ban motorised vehicles for
all or some of the time. In which case it might be appropriate to add
motor_vehicle=no or something like motor_vehicle:conditional=no @
Sep-Mar in addition to the general access=yes tag.)

This way of doing the tagging is consistent with what is commonly
already done with Public Rights of Way. The highway=* tag records the
physical appearance of the way (footway, track, road, etc.), the
designation=* tag gives the official status, and access tags can be
used record the allowable users in a more standard manner. If you also
want to record more detail about the condition / surface of the way,
the tracktype=* and surface=* tags may also be useful (see the wiki
for details).


Robert Whittaker

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