[OSM-talk] Edit war on the wiki "map features"

Douglas Furlong douglas.furlong at gmail.com
Mon Dec 1 11:04:56 GMT 2008

2008/12/1 Matt White <mattwhite at iinet.net.au>

> Douglas Furlong wrote:
> > 2008/12/1 Richard Fairhurst <richard at systemed.net
> > <mailto:richard at systemed.net>>
> >
> >
> >     bicycle=no|yes|difficult|unsuitable
> >
> >     so you'd get
> >
> >     highway=bridleway
> >     foot=yes (permitted, no problem)
> >     bicycle:racer=unsuitable (permitted but not practical)
> >     bicycle:hybrid=difficult (permitted but challenging)
> >     bicycle:mtb=yes (permitted, no problem)
> >
> >
> > This feels like a far more suitable solution, than smoothness (and Ice
> > rink is smooth, but I doubt a racing bike would have much fun on it!).
> >
> > Having an additional rating per mode of transport seems to make
> > substantially more sense.
> >
> > I believe some one else (Matt White) has recently posted a comment,
> > wanting to know about a 4WD tag, to suggest that only 4WD vehicles
> > would be suitable. The above approach could easily (and more
> > importantly) and clearly indicate this.
> >
> > vehicle:2wd=unsuitable
> > vehicle:4wd=difficult
> >
> > For me one of the biggest problems with "smoothness" (other than it
> > being a terrible name), is that it is a generic tag, and we keep on
> > seeing issues being raised where "generic tags" are not suitable for
> > specialist hobbies/areas. We shouldn't be looking to add to this issue.
> I had a go on the smoothness talk page to simplify the tag somewhat.
> Something along the lines of a simplified 3 tag scope (eg: normal,
> bumpy, rough - or whatever prettier equivalents), where the smoothness
> tag refers to the default vehicle type (I guess car for the main highway
> tags, bike for cycleway, horse for bridle way - you get the picture).

The problem with marking smoothness for the default vehicle type, is that we
are then left in a situation where we still have to map for the non-default

So for a road, smoothness=average, to me would mean  actually nothing at all
to be honest, for example.

London side street, English Motorway, country side road, Irish back road,
Irish main road.

In all of the above a smoothness rating of "average" would be totally
different, and almost certainly have no meaning at all to a Rollerblade.

So, we come back to the same problem of how do we deal with the "fringe"
users, the racing bike riders, the Rollerblades, etc.

Which you cover below.

This makes is pretty straightforward to tag for all vehicle types easily
> - a tertiary road that has a fair few potholes could be
> smoothness=bumpy (given that car is the primary vehicle for the tertiary
> highway type)
> smoothness:mtb=bumpy
> smoothness:racing_bicycle=rough (or unsuitable)
> smoothness:tank=normal (or even "glass like" :-)
> smoothness:rollerblade=unsuitable

I really honestly can't see how the above differs from, for example.


Other than, we drop smoothness and replace it with the mode of transport in

I would strongly suggest Richards suggestion is ultimately clearer, than the
arbitrary smoothness tag.

> I don't personally like the term "smoothness" either, but I've yet to
> find a decent alternative ("surface" would be nice, but 'tis taken).
> The 4WD proposal (plug:
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/4WD_Only) is a
> little bit separate. It could be taken into account using some sort of
> smoothness, track type, surface, take your pick, but I am specifically
> looking at tracks that are actually signed as 4WD only, to be rendered
> with a nice bit of text at the end of the road name to make it obvious
> what is 4WD only (most decent AU maps of hte country side have explicit
> 4WD tags of those roads that require it). Good for routing and the like
> (where the relative smoothness can be a bit subjective)

 Where you have the sign post for 4WD only, is that an access restriction or
a suggestion?

I.E. If you go on that road with a motorbike, or a 2wd vehicle, could you
face prosecution? Or would you just be considered a bit foolish?

If it is the latter as opposed to the former, then I'd rather see some thing
along the lines of vehicle:4WD, as opposed to an access tag, which to date I
believe is being used to indicate permissibility, as opposed to suitability,
which are not the same thing at all.
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