[talk-latam] paved/unpaved roads

Jaakko Helleranta.com jaakko at helleranta.com
Mon Dec 15 18:34:12 UTC 2014

Hi Joost, hola Wille & tod at s,

(I'll also write in English as that will likely be better for all.. Mi
espanol no es aún suficientemente bueno para expresar cosas más tecnicas
sin problemas de comprencion.. )

First off, not sure if I've already introduced myself but briefly just in
I've been involved more with OSM since 2010 starting since the Haiti
earthquake. I lived in Haiti for three years mapping both "generally" and a
lot with HOT related activities. I've been living in Nicaragua bit over a
year now and both personally and as a HOT active I hope to be able to
extend my involvement with broader Latin America and the Caribbean's
mapping community. So, I'm very happy to see that this list was created and
has been picking up steam.

Regarding existing possible future surface visualizations/renderings:
The last larger project that HOT was involved with in Haiti in the spring
of 2013 created a map style that renders the surface tag (or the lack
thereof), the Humanitarian and Development map style (or HOT Style or HDDM
style or HDM-CartoCSS as it's also called). The style was drawn by Yohan
Boniface (who has also created uMap, CCd) and it's available in Github
<https://github.com/hotosm/HDM-CartoCSS> . This style is available both via
osm.org (as a layer) and freely via openstreetmap.fr (the TMS source for
osm.org too). Comments and improvements to the style are always most
welcomed. The style is not just a tweaked Mapnik (actually not even based
on the Mapnik style) so don't expect to see Mapnik + surface. But one of
the key needs was to include visualization of surface, so
hopefully/possibly that can serve a need that has been raised here.

On the app front, I noticed a few updates ago that the wonderful OsmAnd has
now also a very good visualization of both road surface and road surface
condition (smootheness= tag). The legend of the OsmAnd visualization is
available via the app help and OsmAnd website. I haven't (yet) made any
comments / filed bugs/issues on OsmAnd (=shame on me & note2self!) and I'm
actually not sure what's the best place to report its issues - perhaps
the Google
Groups forum <https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/osmand>?

I think that while surface (and practicability more broadly) is very
important in many parts of the world, especially in areas with heavier
rains and/or less developed road infrastructure it might not ever make
sense to add surface information to a global generic map style like Mapnik.
If the 2u (ugly but useful) would be actively maintained (.. to my limited
and quite possibly just plain wrong understanding now Mapnik-fr) then it
would have a place. But this is of course quite purely about what the
maintainers of the styles in question want to incorporate. Perhaps over
time Latin-American and/or African OSM community could create its own
version of the Mapnik style, too, as the French and German OSM communities
have done? But until that happens the HOT style can hopefully be of use for
those that would like to see Mapnik+surface.

As for LATAM/Africa mapping scheme. If I remember correctly the African
roads tagging scheme <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Highway_Tag_Africa>
was created to help harmonize road tagging specifically across
HOT-facilitated remote mapping projects. Pierre Beland (who was in Con
Datos and has been involved with essentially all HOT remote mapping
activities; he was also involved with creating the HOT map style) created
that page and is better to comment on its details than me (CC'd too). But
my understanding is that the driving factor for excluding the trunk road
was likely to keep the list simple for newcomer or relatively beginner
mappers (which is the case for many African mapping activities, both local
and remote).

In the bigger picture, I'm agree/think that discussion, benchmarking and
also iterations that help harmonize (to some reasonable extent) the
"Southern tagging" (areas with heavier weather and/or less developed road
infra) such as LATAM and Africa will be beneficial to all. This discussion
is of course part of that. I can't remember if there is yet a common
mailing list for African OSM communities? Pierre will surely know if yes.
But the HOT community list (hot at openstreetmap.org) is always open for
discussing these kinds of mapping issues (particularities of heavy weather
implications or/and underdeveloped infra mapping) if they don't fit to the
general tagging at osm list.


jaakko at helleranta.com * Skype: jhelleranta
* Mobile: +505-8131-0729 (Nicaragua) * Voice(mail) / SMS: +1-202-730-9778 *

On Sun, Dec 14, 2014 at 8:26 PM, Wille <wille at wille.blog.br> wrote:
>    Hola, joost
> En la comunidad Brasileña ya tuvimos muchas discusiones sobre la
> clasificación de carreteras y calles. Llegamos en una definición que es muy
> buena para vías rurales, pero, en mi opinión, no es todavía muy clara para
> las vías urbanas (los principales conflictos son entre calles residenciales
> y terciarias):
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Pt-br:Guia_de_Mapeamento_do_Territ%C3%B3rio_Brasileiro#Classifica.C3.A7.C3.A3o_de_vias_.28original.29
> Hay también un flowchart bastante complejo:
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/images/thumb/1/12/Br-classification-flowchart-pt.png/180px-Br-classification-flowchart-pt.png
> El problema que veo con la propuesta de clasificación de acuerdo con la
> importancia da la vía es que en comunidades con muchos colaboradores puede
> generar muchos conflictos, pues la importancia de una vía no es una
> definición objetiva. Pero si ya está siendo utilizada en África, no soy
> contra que sea utilizada en países con pocos colaboradores y con una
> infraestructura de carreteras poco jerarquizada y definida.
> hasta luego,
> wille
> On 14-12-2014 19:01, joost schouppe wrote:
> Hello Latin America,
> There were a lot of reactions to my earlier post about mapping the quality
> of roads in Latin America. I hoped we could talk about this at SOTM, but
> that didn't happen. So here I'd like to revive the discussion. I learned a
> lot since then, mostly thanks to Marco Antonio. Estoy escribiendo en inglés
> como parece más fácil para los brasileños. Puedo traducir si le hace falta
> a alguien.
> What I'd like us to do now:
> - As a Latin community we keep mapping surface and show off the progress
> we make. I'll try to make some statistics about the progess we make (and
> publish them on global.swing.eu )
> - As a Latin community we try to get surface included in the standard
> mapnik map. I made a simple mock-up:
> https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/issues/110#issuecomment-66274450.
> From the reactions, it seems that they will only consider a proposal which
> is already almost ready for inclusion in the main code. So that means we
> have to get a Tilemill running and play around with the stylesheet
> ourselves. I've got the History Renderer installed, and I'll try to play a
> bit with the xml stylesheet that uses... We would have to work out most of
> the details, and maybe even make changes to the style of tunnels or planned
> roads. If this proposal is rejected (which I have a feeling is quite
> possible), we might have to start playing it politically. Maybe trying to
> get Mapbox and HOT involved.
> Anyone have some experience with Tilemill? Or another tool to make nice
> mockups with OSM data, based on standard Mapnik style?
> In the longer term:
> - Develop an Afro-Latin tagging scheme. Now there are many different
> national interpretations of road tagging. That's not a good idea, as a lot
> of our data users are international. The African tagging scheme is good and
> simple: basically a road is classified higher if it is more important.
> Quality of the road does not count. So a terrible dirt road is still
> primary if it is the only connection between major cities. But this tagging
> scheme does not use the trunk road classification. My proposal would be to
> use this trunk road tag, but only for the most important roads that are not
> freeways, that are paved and that are at least two lanes wide. With this
> slight adaptation, I think we could happily map Latin America. And it would
> stick very close to current practice and the African practice, making it
> easy to have a common Afro-Latino scheme. In turn, that should make it
> easier to push for changes relevant to our community. Anyway, most people
> seem to agree that the only valid reason to map a road in a higher
> classification is that the road is more important (see eg
> http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Mark%20Newnham/diary/20736).
> - Even if after over six years, we do manage to get mapnik to show road
> quality, I still see a use for a Latin mapview. I think the Mapa Ecologico
> is a great example. Here rivers and roads get mapped much more prominently
> at higher zoom levels, which for the much less populated continent makes a
> lot of sense. I talked to Linhares and he would like to share his
> stylesheet. How about we make a Latin OSM portal with our own map style and
> maybe even a more pronouncable name, like www.MapaMundiAbierto.org or
> www.OtroServiciodeMapas.org?  That would allow us to highlight things
> which are more important in this part of the world. After a presentation in
> Bolivia, I got the idea that they really did get the point when someone
> asked if we could make a mapa de las fiestas! Why not : )
> So, who wants in?
> Joost
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