[OSM-talk] MBR trails

Ben Robbins ben_robbins_ at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 21 02:58:31 GMT 2007

Robert: The highway tags definition is so incredably loose.

highway=cycleway should really inply that a cyclist has some legal right to 
be there, and anything stopping them from being there is breaking the law.

Thats not the same as what a mbr route is.

This is the same problem as I mailed a few times about a bit ago, where 
highway, Permissive, Suggested, and Provicded (and even Private) all seem to 
have been crammed under "Highway", which is more than just  unspecific, but 
incorrect also.

So in relation to the above post, highway=cycleway should implie that it is 
suitable for a cyclist to go down, because the laws on the way that justify 
the use of the tag should enshore that it is suitable.  Tracktype can give a 
clear indication of what is more or less suitable to ride in differnt 
cercumstances, but OSM deciding for people what is suitable for who, 
definatly is not the way to go in my opion, as everyone is differnet.  I bet 
I could ride harder routes on a unicycle than my grandparnets could on a 
fulsus downhill bike for example, and yet osm would be saying the oposite.

To the last point.  Check the proposed "passing" tag.


As a very late reply (cause I was staying clear of this debate..but now Im 
here I'll say it), to "highway-mbr".  If there are countries wich have laws 
that specifically allow legal access for mountain bikes, and mountain bikers 
have different rules to roadies, then this tag is ok...but on the basis that 
  I really dought there is any such laws, I think this tag is incorrect.

I would suggest (and have used the following to tag woodland tracks myself) 
tracktype=__ passing=__ suggested=footway bike=yes (or 
suggested=cycleway/bridleway [without bike=yes])  If it is a specifically 
named route I would agree with Andy's suggested of useing "route" also.  But 
this way complelty goes against the current standard tags, but curently I 
think its inportant not to loose data and/or acuracy due to a tagging sceme 
that can't support it.

Nick: As for foot=no. I don't think that a tag should be saying what is safe 
todo, or what is advised.  I think foot=no should be used when it is not 
allowed.  So if a path is used as a downhill route, but people can walk down 
it as well, I think foot=no isn't suitable.  advice shoudl go elsewhere 
under some other key.  warning=may get hit by bike.

Nick: Tracktype is completly seperate to track width.  width= or passing= 
are there/proposed for that.  So a narrow new forest trail and a wide new 
forest trail with the same surface shoudl be the same tracktype.

Nick: As for rendereds, I have tracktypes, tracktypes+wood=yes, and 
tracktypes+passing all redner in differnet ways.  I link the opacity on the 
map to the significance (and to some extent visiblitly) on the land scape.  
Therfore grade 5 is very subtle, while grade1 is similar to osmarenders 
unclassified road (asuming passing is set the same).  I used unsaturated 
colours relative to the background as I use colour relative to status, as to 
a point, that appears to be how osmarenders colours are used.

SteveC: As for 1-5 being abstract.  I think its better to have flexible 
values, rahter than loads of values that only have one use.   For the point 
of going along the lines of dirt/mud/gravel... this is what it would be in 
the UK, but in other terrains would not work, and therefore this has less 
flexibilty.   Highways are done as primary, secondary, tertiary wich in 
effect is just 1, 2, 3 and because of this they are flexible and work.  The 
reason tracktypes was not propsed as primary/secondary etc is becasue those 
words inplie status, and tracktypes all have the same status (none), its the 
phisical properties taht the tag is supposed to cover.  Personally I find 
1,2,3,4,5 a million times easier than any words, but I'm awair that doesn't 
jusitfy why it should be numbers.

In short, the problem stems back to the Highway's Keys loose definition.  
Unlike values, a key should have  a definate meaning I think, otherwise 
everything beneath it (all the values) also have no really meaning.

That is all, I'm done....

(You know you've got OSMOCMD when... you can happilly blab on about the 
surface textues you ride on for half an hour)


Solve the Conspiracy and win fantastic prizes.  

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