[OSM-talk] path or byway ?

Andy Robinson (blackadder-lists) ajrlists at googlemail.com
Mon Jul 21 16:19:40 BST 2008

Nick Whitelegg wrote:
>Sent: 21 July 2008 10:29 AM
>To: Andy Street
>Cc: talk at openstreetmap.org
>Subject: Re: [OSM-talk] path or byway ?
>>What exactly are we trying to achieve with highway=byway? I can think of
>>two possible uses but both seem to have unresolved issues.
>>The first is simply to record that a particular way exists and has
>>certain access rights. In this instance I don't see highway=byway being
>>any different to highway=track, foot=yes, bicycle=yes, horse=yes,
>>motorcycle=yes, motorcar=yes and the latter would probably make more
>>sense to non-uk people.
>>The second is to record the exact legal classification of the way as a
>>byway rather than another entity with similar access permissions e.g. a
>>"Green Lane" (marked with green dots on OS maps with the key: "Other
>>routes with public access"). In this case the current practise of
>>tagging motorcar=no to indicate a restricted byway is insufficient as
>>this afternoon I walked along a BOAT that had also had a traffic order
>>preventing use by motorcars.
>>I'm personally starting to favour tagging byways as highway=track with
>>the appropriate access permissions in the same way that the map features
>>page now defines highway=footpath as highway=path, foot=yes. The only
>>issue I can see is that we would need to add a horsedrawn access tag to
>>differentiate between bridleways and restricted byways.
>I have to say I agree 100% with this, though I think we need to reach a
>consensus before changing the way we tag.

We've debated this many many times. I fu*kd up with the original map
features list by not describing the physical and administrative aspects of a
feature separately. These questions probably would not keep cropping up if I

Anyway, my take is that we should think more of the generic tagging as
representing the physical, that's what people can see on the ground and
means its not necessary to think or know about the administrative aspects.
This is what we do mostly anyway, its just that in the UK we conveniently
tidy both up in a single tag when we do something like highway=motorway.

If the byway is a track I feel it should be highway=track and then with the
extra byway=true. In that way the physical and administrative are separate
and easily understood.

Whether we would ever want to split motorways into highway=highway and
motorway=true of not I really don't know. In reality it just adds work
that's not needed when we all understand what highway=motorway means.



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