[OSM-talk] Old Aerodromes

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Tue Apr 12 09:40:55 UTC 2016

On Tuesday 12 April 2016, Martijn van Exel wrote:
> Hi,
> I was mapping some rural area in the U.S. and noticed, not for the
> first time, an aerodrome node in the middle of a field where there is
> obviously no airport or airfield.

I am not sure here.  For small airfields the aeroway=aerodrome feature 
is a fairly abstract thing essentially indicating only that this is a 
place where aircrafts start or land.  This is not generally something 
that can be reliably determined from imagery.

This is also a problem for map rendering - map styles use these features 
to place labels and icons but these features are generally too 
ill-defined and undifferentiated to do this properly.

The real observable feature of an airfield is the perimeter fence or 
other form of delineation which then makes it a landuse mapping but 
this only works for actively maintained airfields with a clearly 
visible outline.  Otherwise the observable feature of an airfield is 
the runway - mapping this is much better defined and more useful 
information-wise than the airfield itself.

So the challenge would IMO make more sense if it would encourage mapping 
runways if they are visible rather than removing an aerodrome based on 
the fact that it is not visible on imagery.

See also here for a different angle on the problems of aeroway=aerodrome 
as it is currently mapped:


Christoph Hormann

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