[Talk-GB] Great North Trail MTB Route

Andy Allan gravitystorm at gmail.com
Mon Jul 13 10:18:14 UTC 2020

On Mon, 13 Jul 2020 at 11:04, Chris Fleming <me at chrisfleming.org> wrote:

> Secondly unsigned routes, these aren't necessarily great as they can't be verified on the ground, and often tend to be informal however they are useful, I cycled a day of the Capital trail last year and it was great being able to pull the route out of OSM. My feeling is OK on these. It would be intesting to know what the consensus is on noting unsigned - most routes I've seen just use unsigned = yes rather and name:signed=no

There are a staggering number of unsigned, unofficial mountain biking,
cycling and walking routes in the UK, from all kinds of groups,
writers, local clubs, councils etc. There are barely any paths
anywhere in the country that are not part of at least one route that
someone somewhere made up once apon a time.

We should not add any of them to OpenStreetMap, unless they are
signed. That's the only reliable way to ensure that we don't end up
with a worthless collection of scribbles all over our maps. Using the
"is it signed?" yardstick also fits in with the on-the-ground and
other verifiability principles that are key to our success. And
helpfully, it fits in with a clear way to filter out routes that are
made up from whole cloth, without having to measure up whether it's
from a somehow reliable source or just someone down the pub with a
spare website or short-run guidebook. Signed, or it should not be in
our database.

Please please please don't think that there are only a few, somehow
worthwhile to have in OSM, unsigned routes out there. That's not the
case. There are thousands. Some people have their own opinions which
are like "no but this unsigned route is more special than the others
so it deserves to be in OSM" and unsurprisingly there can be no
consensus on these subjective points of view.

And please don't think that some 'pantomine' tagging (oh no it isn't
tagging) will save us. It won't. So please don't leave these unsigned
routes in the database as if they are normal routes with just another
couple of tags added. Please either remove the relation (best), or
remove any tags that suggest that it is a route akin to our properly
signed routes.


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