[OSM-talk] A new highway tagging scheme - thinking about

Peter Miller peter.miller at itoworld.com
Tue Aug 28 08:36:45 BST 2007

Comments in line

> Message: 7
> Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2007 07:02:07 +0900
> From: "Jeffrey Martin" <dogshed at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [OSM-talk] A new highway tagging scheme - thinking about
> 	tagging highways for cycling and walking as well
> Cc: talk at openstreetmap.org
> Message-ID:
> 	<bf60a2e10708271502m51c874d3k84a06c55cf5f6252 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> I don't think the highway tag should be used to describe driveability
> directly.
> The highway tag should be used to describe what the road looks like
> and then you can make assumptions about driveability from that.
> If used in this way the highway tag itself is not biased towards cars.
> However,
> it can seem that way since most of the roads being described are for cars.
> If there is a completely separate bike path then I would make it be it's
> own way
> and label it highway=bike path or something like that. It might be a good
> idea to have a highway tag that indicates mixed use.
> I'm not that concerned which tags are used as long as they are in the
> correct class.
> --

For cars, I am concerned that a tagging scheme based only on 'what the road
looks like' would not be the complete answer; what about the grand crescent
that now has a cycle plug at the end to stop through-traffic? What about the
old main road that has been cut off and is no longer is a main road? We have
an redundant dual carriageway (2 lanes each direction, central divider,
lighting, the works, that is mainly 40mph and turns directly into a
cycle-path and a B road). I have tagged it unclassified:

Photos of redundant dual-carriageway:

Map of the location:

Isn't it more appropriate to use a combination of 'what the road looks like'
and 'how useful is it for getting anywhere'? This will of course be
different for different modes of travel.

> In addition to what the road looks like I think we are talking about
> three classes of data here.
> 1. legality. Is it legal to ride a bike here?
> 2. rideability. Is it a good idea to ride a bike here? Is it only for
> mountain bikes? Is it good for thin tire racing bikes?
> 3. route class. Is the route part of some bike route classification
> scheme?
> Which tags you use are not that important as long as you keep these
> three separate.

Agreed; we have a tag for legality of cycling which seems fine
bicycle="yes/private/ permissive/ unknown/no".

We also have tags for signed routes (lcn_ref, rcn_ref, ncn_ref) which are
fine for official signed routes. Andy from GravityStorm suggests using
'route=lcn' for non-signed cycle routes which is a good concept and might be
sufficient but currently muddles the cycle network in with 'routes' for
buses and pub crawls.

Thinking more generally, there are certainly 3 different classes of bicycles
we should cater for, utility, mountain and racing and also differences of
confidence. Can we really lump all these together? What about all the other
user types, wheelchairs, buggies etc. Locally we still have footways that
are impassable to double-buggies because of the arrangement of barriers.

Should we take the bottom-up approach Harold Halone from Norway described
during the recent StateOfTheMap conference: 'Non-Vehicle Route Planning in
Experience Augmented Networks' where people self-define themselves into
groups and indicate whether a link it 'excellent', 'good', 'adequate' or
'unusable'. Here is an audio recording of his talk.



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