Talk:Proposed features/free flying

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The "aircraft_access" optionnal tag could be replaced by the more general access=* tag, but I doubt it's a good idea since it wouldn't be much of use anywhere else than field and because it would need "yet another extension" to the access tag. And I doubt anyone cares that much about paragliders Sletuffe 16:30, 12 June 2008 (UTC)


Couldn't the takeoff and landing related tags be incorporated into aeroway=*? That is to say: keep, from the current proposal the use of sport=free_flying and combining it with natural=heath or whatever, and add, maybe, aeroway=unmotorized since the proposal claims to be for "official" spots only?

I'd prefer not to have any tags like "type"; is it describing the type of the heath or the type of the free flying sport or what, so I'd propose transition=takeoff, transition=landing, transition=both? On the other hand, if someone wanted to tag unofficial but very suitable landing places, "transition" without any aeroway tag could appear plain weird and some other use might wish to have a "transition". aero_transition=* or is the some better term for both landing and takeoff? Or use just the free_flying=takeoff etc, so if paragliders can only land it'd be free_flying=both paragliding=landing. Is to say "free_fying" is the common access mode for all unmotorized from balloons to paragliders.

But I'm not a pilot. Alv 06:47, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree with you about the too unprecise "type" tag. So ok to rename it, but since I'm not a native english speak, what does "transition" means ? Does it mean something like "changing from an element to another ?" such as from ground to sky ?
And I don't know if a common english word to describe both exists. In french there are none. We just say "this place is a takeoff, this one a landing"
Now about aeroway=unmotorized, I have no idea, I thought the aeroway=* was reserved for planes, but if it's not, then we could add unmotorized to the list and tag it this way then :
<tag k="name" v="Verel landing" />
<tag k="natural" v="heath" />
<tag k="aeroway" v="unmotorized" />
<tag k="sport" v="free_flying" />
<tag k="transition ??" v="landing" />
<tag k="aircraft_access" v="paragliding" />
Mmmmm, I find however sport=free_flying and aeroway=unmotorized a bit redundant in this case, maybe we should drop the sport tag then...

Sletuffe 11:23, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

The use of unmotorized as suggested above is a bit problematic above as there is sub-set of the sport paragliding called "powered paragliding" or "paramotoring" which includes an engine.

Should we also add some standard tags about whether this is an unrestricted site (available to all who want to fly ) or restricted in the flying sense (to those who belong to a particular club or contact the landowner etc) Maybe this is going too far.

JW Feb2009

I agree the "unmotorized" key is not good; I'll simplify the proposal. For the restiction, we could later add legal restrictions with the commonly used "access" system. What I want to tag first is the ability for both paragliders and hanggliders to take of and land. Restrictions might come later. Sletuffe 20:48, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Hi Sletuffe

I see you started it some time ago and i think it is a good idea - hopefully it can go to a vote shortly. I looked at the simplified proposal and it looks good.

Do you plan to integrate/link to the coordinates for take off / landing? One time import? Regular update?

I suspect you know raf (admin for and he is using google maps but is frustrated by some points of their API so perhaps we can get him involved with this feature at some stage. paraglidingearth now allows you to use the printable pages button to create sites guides for regions or even countries which you are interested in but the limit on number of maps for google means this is not as good as it should be. Maybe OSM can be the one in the future (cycle map now with contours is very good for pg/hg too).

I was also thinking of putting out a shout on to introduce people to the concept of OSM - lots of geeks with gps there! I think there would be a big response.... but best to get the wiki sorted first and provide clear example of how they can contribute.

JW 13 Feb2009 22:00

Yes this proposal started a long time ago but never had much motivated people to work on it with me ;-) Most probably because there are few paragliders out there !
As of, I'm allready a great fan and use all their France's poi in my GPS. But since the licence of usage of those are not clear on the pge site, I fear we cannot incorporate it in OSM, but I'll try to get in contact with pge admins, maybe we could find solutions. (whatever the technical solution might be).
raf ? no, I don't think I do, unless he his a paraglider from N-french alps ;-)
As of printing guides based on gmaps, he is surfing on risky legal issues, because the google licence doesn't permit that !
Will osm be the future, I think that too for lots of our comunity websites, I've been allready busy integrating it on my web site about hiking : and quite happy with the result.
Maybe we could meet on a forum to talk about that (much easier than this wiki) Is there a forum at paraglidingearth ? is it merged with paraglidingforum ? Sletuffe 11:16, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

GMason 09 august 2009 1130

I supprt this idea! I'm starting paraglding lessons here in Switzerland and we have a lot of spots in the area.

Unofficial landings and takeoffs

The proposal is to add some kind of modifier to be able to enter "unofficial" takeoffs and landings.

Unofficial landing: a field that for it's size and for the absence of obstacles is suitable for a safe landing and therefore can be used as an emergency landing spot.

Unofficial takeoff: a spot that has the characteristics is suitable to take off from even if it is not an "official" takeoff (with windsock, etc).

Being able to enter unofficial landing spots is especially useful for safety reasons.

Good idea, do you have a proposition for the key's name ?
  • official=yes/no ? sletuffe 12:41, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't think tagging unofficial landing sites whithout explicit authorisation is a good idea :
  1. there are so many fields through the world ! Which one should be excluded to not map them all ?
  2. the possibility to use them is not permanent (harvested or not... in case of 2m high corn, it makes a difference)
  3. in emergency case, you don't ask for landing authorisation : you just try to minimize your impact, for you and for you environment (landing on the side of the field, choosing a harvested landing field if possible...).
  4. What about the land owner's opinion about whether his field is an "unofficial emergency landing" ?
I finally think this tag isn't objective enough to be used, unless the land owner has given it's authorisation to a local club/school/group to use it as emergency landing.
The same applies to takeoff fields as the owner's authorisation is requested before use.
Djam 19:30, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
I think you are refering to France laws about landing/taking off. But maybe a few countries exists where it is allowed to land in any field ? Maybe even in France we have fields whose owner is the municipality and who does not expressly forbids landings ? (Those are all suppositions, I have no examples in mind). We could maybe explain that the free_flying:official=no tag should only be used for landings where owner as expressly allowed landing, but no maintenance or windsocks or parking is expected sletuffe 07:50, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the definition you give (adapted for take off) : Take off or landings where owner has expressly allowed free flying practice, eventually only in emergency case, but no maintenance or windsocks or parking is expected.
Djam 09:53, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
I have change the wording of the official=no part in order to express that the land owner has expressly alowed take off or landing. sletuffe 09:43, 3 August 2010 (BST)
  • network=name/none ? cquest 6 Aug. 2010
To tag official sites, it may be better to include the structure that defined it as "official". Most countries have free flight sport federations defining this. For example in France we will see network=FFVL in Italy network=FIVL. For unofficial sites, operator=none could be used. The operator tag could be used to identify the local club or school in charge of the site. Some ref could also be included as sites may also have a unique id (that's the case at least in France). cquest 6 Aug. 2010
Good idea, those tags allready exists, I'll give a word to describe what is expected sletuffe 17:11, 7 August 2010 (BST)

Other types of foot-launched unpowered aircrafts

Other proposal: "aircraft" tag: change "both" with "all" and allow to record additional aircrafts other than "paraglider" and "hangglider".

Broadening the scope to all foot-launched unpowered aircrafts allows a better future-proofness, we will be able to accommodate new types of aircrafts which don't exactly fit in the category of paraglider or hang-glider but still share the same characteristics of being unpowered and foot-launched.

Good as well, I'm changing the proposal sletuffe 12:41, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
I wonder about the need of the free_flying:aircraft=* tag : should it not be just paraglider=yes/no, hangglider=yes/no, swift=yes/no, ...=yes/no ?
Arguments for :
Argument against :
Djam 10:28, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
I am not satisfied either with the free_flying:aircraft=* syntaxe. For the exact same reason you mentioned. However I don't like the paraglider/hanglider/..=yes/no syntaxe because it looks too much like the access tags list we are used to, and that's not what I wanted to record in the first place. I wanted to record the ability or suitablility of a particular takeoff or landing to different aircraft. To summarize, I like the idea of paraglider/hanglider/..=yes/no if it records the right for those aircraft to take off or land. But I would prefer another tag, such as free_flying:paragliders_ability=yes/no to record the ability or suitablility of the takeoff or landing zone. (PS: yes I know, it is a bit subjective if a landing is suitable or not for an hanglider has it depends from the pilot's level) sletuffe 19:18, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
I then suggest to use other values than the dual one Yes/No. The following table can help to tag both ability and authorisation of a single key (example given with swift, same with paraglider & hangglider, first with most detailed description, then with most simple description. I'm ok with both)

Precise table

Suitable site for this aircraft Site not suitable for this aircraft Suitability undefined
Aircraft authorized on site yes unsuitable authorised
Aircraft not authorized on site forbidden no forbidden
legal status unknown suitable unsuitable unknown
The negative point takes preceedence, no if both aspects are negative, yes if none, suitable/authorised if one status is unclear.
The previous table can also be simplified if we consider that the reason why a site is not adapted does not import: no tags either forbidden or unsuitable sites for an aircraft :

Simple table

Suitable site for this aircraft Site not suitable for this aircraft Suitability undefined
Aircraft authorized on site yes no authorised
Aircraft not authorized on site no no no
legal status unknown suitable no unknown
Djam 18:09, 3 August 2010 (BST) modified 12:45, 5 August 2010 (GMT)
The idea of mixing "right to take off" and "suitable for taking off" in the same key confuse me. Your proposition if perfectly valid but I don't feel comfortable with it while I'm not able to explain why ;-). Also it looks a bit like "too much noise for nothing" as not suitable take off for hanggliders are generally not forbiden to them, it's just that they can't take off ! sletuffe 13:11, 6 August 2010 (BST)
I agree with you, that's why the more simple second one has my preference between both tables. The question is then : do we need both "legal" and "technical" aspects or is the dual value tag free_flying:paraglider=yes/no sufficient ? I think so, but I made the proposition above as two different tags to describe if an aircraft can both legally and technically take off there seems to me more "noisy" than a single one.
Djam 16:35, 6 August 2010 (BST)
Okay, I'm happy with simplification with a simple yes/no to record that it is "suitable and allowed" sletuffe 17:18, 7 August 2010 (BST)

Reference to "swift" doesn't sound very good to me. As far as I know, "Swift" is a trademark. It would be better to match FAI classification of unpowered aircrafts (see FAI's sporting code section 7A at -- cquest 6 Aug. 2010

Ok to change this if it is a trademark. But I only found on pp. 14-15 of document "Sc07a_HG2010.pdf" a reference to class 1 to 5 aircrafts. This seems to me too unclear to be used as values. I don't know much about swifts(R), but maybe could free_flying:swift=* be replaced by free_flying:rigid=* ?.
Djam 16:35, 6 August 2010 (BST)
free_flying:rigid=* looks much better to me because it is more universal than free_flying:swift=*. I pointed to FAI classes mainly to remind that Swift is not the only wing of this kind available. It was not my intention to propose FAI Classes as cryptic tags. -- cquest 7 Aug. 2010
I'm happy with free_flying:rigid=* as well sletuffe 16:47, 7 August 2010 (BST)

Using the free_flying: namespace and adding other types of free flying related amenities

I'd like to add some modifications :

In the same way scuba diving is used :


This way, this would help unifying tagging methods related to sport.

Thoughts ? (translated from : ) Djam 21:28, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

I have no problem in using the "free_flying:" prefix in order to categorize a bit those values, and your additions are usefull. I'll check if the old schem was or wasn't used, and wait for other comments before turning to your proposition. sletuffe 15:15, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I just counted 14 nodes sport=free_flying, that wouldn't be too much to change manually ! sletuffe 15:20, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm gonna create a new user to comment here so we don't wait too much ;o) Sly, do you know other contibutors that are concerned by free flying ? (I don't). Should we create a "Free flying project" to gather all of us and find the best tags that can apply worldwide ? Djam 18:59, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I know a few paragliders among french contributors (I'll propose them to join the talk). I don't think we need a "free flying project" page, because I think this page is allready it ! (The talk page to talk about additions, the main page to describe the last status of the prefered usage). In order to make this page more credible, it has to freeze it's tags at some point (with a vote or something) . With your proposed additions I'm currently preparing a rewrite of the page here : User:Sletuffe/paragliding, but any help is appreciated ! sletuffe 07:19, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I just change to main page to reflect you new proposed tag format sletuffe 07:44, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Don't forget towing sites... cquest 6 Aug. 2010
Good as well, I'm updating the proposal sletuffe 16:49, 7 August 2010 (BST)

New category speedflying

What about a speedflying (in addition to paragliging/hangliding)? Often the same takeoff/landings are used. And perhaps a take when the local club can put its webiste address, ir should "url" be used for that? boran 22:07, 20 October2010 (BST)

I haven't practiced speedflying myself, but if one could name a takeoff suitable for paragliders but not suitable to speedflyers, then that whould make sense. However, speedflying should then be well defined as a 18m² speedflying wing is so close to a paraglider that takeoff usage and suitability might well be the same, while this might not be true with a 10m² wing.
Also, since the voting period is allready running, I would prefere either to add it with a comment like "this addition was not voted on, and was not part of the original proposal, but might be an interesting information for speedflyers" or to add it for a next vote run. sletuffe 12:13, 22 October 2010 (BST)
I've never used the url tag or website tag or link tag, so I have no idea wich should be used sletuffe 12:13, 22 October 2010 (BST)

Good job !

Just a little comment to say that I am satisfied with the present proposition, I have no more improvement wish. And a little word for all contributors, it is a pleasure to have such constructive discussions, thank you ;o) Djam 14:50, 12 August 2010 (BST)

Oooops, I missed that comment in my watchlist. I've sent a request for comments on the tagging list here : [1], and am waiting for more people willing to join the discussion. If nothing moves in the next weeks, I'll then propose to enter a voting period in order to freeze this proposal and let people start using it without fear that it will change again. sletuffe 14:07, 24 August 2010 (BST)
Well, I've added to the proposition the free_flying:site=training value for training fields (pente-école in French).
That's a nice idea sletuffe 13:14, 18 September 2010 (BST)

Site orientation ?

Would you like a tag free_flying:cardinal=N,NE,E,SE,S,SW,W,NW to be ?

Djam 22:31, 3 October 2010 (BST)

If the site's orientation needs to be recorded, I would prefere the tag to be more explicit, such as free_flying:site_orientation=N,NE,E,SE,S,SW,W,NW or something similar. But I think that general air wind direction flyability is much interesting than orientation of the site. But I have no problems recoding both of them. sletuffe 11:57, 4 October 2010 (BST)
I fear the concept of general air wind direction flyability is hard to define. High-level medium speed winds may cause no problem on a site but cause very strong condition in lower levels when increasing. What if some general air wind direction is OK only if low level local winds (brise) is strong enough ? I understand what you mean, but I think the physical orientation can give hints to choose a site for flying and is much less subjective or leading to misunderstandings.
Ok for free_flying:site_orientation=N,NE,E,SE,S,SW,W,NW. Djam 15:01, 12 October 2010 (BST)
Describing with tags and without a long explanation what wind conditions makes a site flyable is extremely hard and subjective. I admit. But by looking at this site : [2] which has much more experience in recording paragliding sites than we have, we can see that they record both orientation and general wind flyability in order to give an hint (that's not thruth, that's an hint). Anyway, I think we are just going too far in the details, OSM only has a few paragliding sites, we still have description=* to go further with words. Okay for free_flying:site_orientation=N,NE,E,SE,S,SW,W,NW, let wind/brise consideration aside for now. sletuffe 15:29, 12 October 2010 (BST)

Meteo stations

Out of this proposal, a usefull combination is to remember :

operator=* to design either the local structure (club/school) of the national network in charge of the weather station => that should be discussed
name=Local_site_name to design the name of the place where monitoring station is placed. In case of data broadcast (for example through radio emission on an specific channel), it should correspond to broadcasted name.

Djam 22:31, 3 October 2010 (BST)