[OSM-talk] surface=unpaved

Asztalos Attila attila.asztalos at gmail.com
Tue Jan 11 13:18:12 GMT 2011

Hi all

As far as I can tell neither the mapnik nor the osmarender basemap 
displays surface information/modifiers (ie. if a tag like 
surface=unpaved or similar is present). Now I can definitely see how 
this is not an issue in large parts of the world, urban roads just being 
paved (as they are supposed to be in a city) and all that. However, that 
is not a general situation - I have found myself trying to serenely 
direct a cab up a residential street - that I mapped myself some while 
ago! - only to be told "sorry, this is not an ATV" by the driver (and he 
was right).

The street in question is a legit residential street with houses on both 
sides (initial segment actually paved), that also happens to turn into a 
heavily sloped "dirt-trial-type" nightmare, only to end much higher at 
the intersection of two other, by-the-book, neatly paved residential 
streets. In OSM (and any other map of the city) it looks, of course, no 
different than any other normal road; it _was/is_ tagged with "surface" 
on the segment in question, but I can't really bring myself to label it 
as a "track" even if that's what it looks like - that's just not what it 
is. Unfortunately it's also not a single case of missing pavement - I 
suppose one could consider these "in construction", if willing to accept 
that defined as "might get paved in anywhere between 5 to 10 years. Or 
maybe never", but that is a side-issue.

So I guess my point is: shouldn't we consider rendering ways with 
exiting "surface_anything_other_than_paved" tags somehow a little 
differently (yes, I know the main slippy map is a "just a mapping aid", 
but making it better still seems like a good idea)?

    - Max

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