[Talk-us] Erie Canalway Trail

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny+osm at gmail.com
Wed Jul 5 16:54:32 UTC 2017

On Jul 5, 2017 10:25 AM, "Richard Welty" <rwelty at averillpark.net> wrote:

> you may want to consider a super relation. some parts of the Canalway trail
> are themselves named trails, for example the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail
> from Schenectady to Albany. i think i have set up a relation for this
> one already,
> i'll go back and check.

You did indeed set up a relation for the Mohawk-Hudson
Bike-Hike Trail.

(In mapping around here, I've been trying to take a lot of my
cues from you.)

I think having an ordinary route, not a super-relation, would be
better.  In my neighbourhood in Niskayuna, the trail as placarded
leaves the Mohawk-Hudson path at Blatnick Park, backtracks along River
Road to Riverdale Road (there's a bike path on the shoulder and a
signed crossing), and then continues on Chestnut Lane, Briar Ridge,
Windsor Drive, Nott Street Extension, Orchard Park Drive, Morrow
Avenue, and Niskayuna Drive. I only recently noticed the signage over
in Old Niskayuna, and haven't yet gone over there to figure out how it
gets back to the towpath. The path shown on the web site, which stays
on the bike path all the way into downtown Schenectady, makes more
sense to me, but it is NOT what is placarded! The part of the bike
path that I use on my daily walk to work is not placarded for the
Canalway Trail.

There's nothing wrong with having a way that's a part of multiple
route relations, and that's the only way to handle cases like this (or
like a great many of the long hiking trails; the New York Long Path
uses part but not all of such trails as the Peekamoose-Table Trail,
Burroughs Range Trail, Devil's Path, and Escarpment Trail in the
Catskills; the Appalachian Trail uses a couple of disjoint sections of
the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail in Harriman Park, and so on.)

A super-relation may be needed from the point of view of data
management, because the number of member ways gets awkward to edit
otherwise. That's what I did with the Long Path
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/919642 - in that case I
somewhat arbitrarily decided to break up the route at county
lines. The handful of edits you'll see using Meerkartor from my user
name came about during the process of splitting it, because JOSM kept
crashing trying to deal with the huge relation. The bug wasn't in
JOSM, but in some sort of Java accessibility interface, and it's since
been fixed. In any case, I decided that if any of the tools struggled
that much, it was time to break things up.

I did not do the same thing with the Northville-Placid Trail
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/4286650 because the remoteness
of the country meant that I had fewer, longer ways to deal with and
didn't have to try to manage an unruly relation.
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