[Talk-us] Proposing import of sidewalk data Seattle, WA, USA

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Tue Aug 2 13:01:36 UTC 2016


   sidewalk tagging in OSM is a complex issue. The fact that sidewalks
are not tagged as individual geometries is not purely a shortcoming,  it
is a compromise that keeps OSM data editable. Having individual
geometries for every single sidewalk on the planet will not only
massively increase the data volume but also require new and better tools
for editing, e.g. moving the geometry of a street without having to move
three parallel lines manually and so on.

There have been several local imports of sidewalk data that were removed
again because lack of prior discussion and/or because they were
single-purpose imports that did not care about integration with the rest
of OSM (for example: what should rendering engines do with sidewalks;
how do they integrate with normal footways; how is a sidewalk linked to
the road along which it runs so that routing engines can say "follow
sidewalk along XY road" instead of "follow unnamed footway"; how can
routing and rendering use individual sidewalks and still gracefully fall
back to another method where these are not defined, and so on).

People are experimenting with different ways of mapping sidewalks.
Under no circumstances should you perform an import that creates facts
before your proposal for separate mapping of sidewalks has been
discussed more widely.

Several ideas have been proposed to get around mapping sidewalks as
individual geometries, which is in many ways the most primitive way to
tackle the problem and the one that puts the most work on the shoulders
of our volunteers.

Your wiki page states that you had "feedback from the global OSM
community"; I'm surprised that these details seem to have escaped you
until now. Which sidewalk mapping experiments in OSM have you studied,
and what have you learned? Which global OSM community did you talk to
and where?


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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