[Talk-us] Dirt Roads (formerly: Abandoned railway)

Tod Fitch tod at fitchdesign.com
Sat Sep 6 13:19:06 UTC 2014

On Sep 6, 2014, at 1:12 AM, Martin Koppenhoefer wrote:

>> Il giorno 06/set/2014, alle ore 07:24, Bryce Nesbitt <bryce2 at obviously.com> ha scritto:
>> BUT ANY OF THESE can be primary, secondary, tertiary or residential. 
> No, the ones that are too narrow (motorcycle) can only be path in osm

I think yes is better in response to Bryce's comment.

My view is that highway tagging conflates use and importance to the community with physical properties. And it makes assumptions on how the two correspond based on conditions in one part of the world.

It is way too late now, but I think tagging of traveled ways would have been better off it a simple highway=yes tag had been agreed to with everything else in other tags like width=*, surface=*, maxspeed=*, access=*, etc. No doubt there would still be endless discussions on the exact meanings of those descriptive tags (legal maximum speed versus what is actually possible, what type of smoothness descriptions are accurate, useful and possible for citizen mappers to determine, etc.).

Even "highway" is a bit odd to my American ears as it implies to me a main or major road, for example "highway=residential" just sounds off. I would have assumed that was a difference between British and American dialects but my old pre-Internet era Oxford English Dictionary says highway means "a public road open to all passengers, a high road; esp. a main or principal road forming the direct or ordinary route between one town or city and another, as distinguished from a local, branch or cross road, leading to smaller places off the main road, or connecting two main roads."

But that ship has sailed and we have endless conversations about what distinguishes a path from a track from a unclassified or other type of "highway".

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