[OSM-talk] Key:smoothness

Mike Harris mikh43 at googlemail.com
Mon Feb 2 08:41:38 GMT 2009

I apologise for my misunderstanding.

I was not in fact attempting to comment on the specific proposal - I do not
have enough experience or knowledge to do that and will always refrain from
voting on proposals unless I am confident that I have relevant knowledge and
experience and understand the proposal fully.

I was - trying (:>) - to make a more general semantic point about the use of
the word "good" (and other necessarily subjective adjectives) as the value
for a key.

Now that I look once more at the specific proposal - upon which I had not
intended to comment - I am moved to suggest (very humbly, considering the
vigour of your response!) that the hierarchy proposed might not always work
too well. There appears - imho - to be an assumption that a bicycle (other
than a 'trekking bike', at least) requires a "smoother" way (requires
'intermediate' or above) than a normal car (can also handle 'bad'). On the
other hand I have just mapped a long way - part of a national cycleway -
that is easily ridden on a normal bike (narrow, with an old paved surface
but broken up by numerous deep and large potholes for miles - easily ridden
round on a bike, even a racing bike) but would be almost or entirely
impassable for a normal car without high clearance. The car could not steer
round the potholes and would probably lose its sump pretty soon - but a bike
could easily weave around them. If the assessment is to be 'solely based on
whether the way is usable by the vehicles mentioned above' it does not
actually provide that information on the way in question.

I realise that thus may be an exceptional case, but I did walk it on
Saturday (and have yet to map it).

I am not saying that this single example is a reason to reject the tag but
would simply point out that 'smoothness' may not always be the only
criterion establishing navigability.

Please forgive me for getting into the 'smoothness' debate - my previous
comment was not intended as part of that - but now you tempted me (;>) ..

Mike Harris

-----Original Message-----
From: Ulf Lamping [mailto:ulf.lamping at googlemail.com] 
Sent: 02 February 2009 03:24
To: Mike Harris
Cc: 'Sam Vekemans'; talk at openstreetmap.org
Subject: Re: [OSM-talk] Key:smoothness

Mike Harris schrieb:
> ... And by the way ... Does 'good' mean:

I guess you want to missunderstand this tag.

> Good for a motorcar? (I know of local unclassified ("OS yellow roads") 
> that cannot be driven except in a 4WD (some appear on my TomTom even).
> Good for a horse and cart? (All Restricted Byways in England should be 
> suitable - but many are not - too narrow or have stiles).

First of all, as you are talking a lot about horses indicates to me that you
not even have read the proposal page. It explicitly mentions: "the physical
usability of a way for wheeled vehicles"

Do you know a horse with wheels? Do you know a *walker* with wheels?

> Good for a horse? (How good a show jumper for those stiles - see 
> above?)

see above

> Good for a bicycle? (Many bridleways would be fine on a horse and yet 
> impossible on a bike - even where bikes are allowed)

see above

> Good for a walker?  (How fit - what constitutes 'normal' ability? - is 
> a stile 'good' or only a kissing-gate?)

see above

> ... In short "good" (or "horrible") is almost entirely subjective (and 
> also
> language-dependent) and even using a 1-5 scale is still subjective (is 
> the mapper thinking like a walker? A cyclist? An off-road quad-biker? A

see above

> ... I would probably tend to "vote" or "opinionate" against any 
> proposal using a subjective adjective as the value for a key.

Please READ the proposal and then try again ...

Regards, ULFL

P.S: I'm not involved in this proposal and I probably will only rarely use
it. But criticise it for stuff that the proposal was never meant for is a
bit strange ...

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