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Maximum vs Average Incline

This page needs a more detailed description. It's unclear to me whether incline=* applies to max incline or average incline! I will correct the main page to avg incline, however there should be a tag considering max incline too. If this was considered for max incline then change it back, we would then need a tag for average incline however. We could use incline:max= Value in Percentage if not noted otherwise and incline: Value in Percentage for average incline. For uses where incline is commonly given in degrees (mainly inclines over 100%), one should tag incline=40° instead of incline=40 which would signify incline=40%. --Extremecarver 13:41, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't think it's the best idea. The max incline is much more informative (to wheelchair users for instance) while the average incline can be constructed from contours, at least over longer ascents (for shorter ascent an avg incline is not really needed). Ipofanes 13:48, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
I also think this tag is used for maximum incline, as that's the number that can be found on the traffic signs as well. --Eimai 13:56, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
o.k. I will then change the guideline to maximum incline (indicating that this maximum incline should be valid for 1m at least). This still means that we have to come up with some proposal on average incline IMHO. Or do you have a better solution?--Extremecarver 14:25, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Provide ele-Tags for the nodes at the top and bottom of an incline (or at the next crossing if it is not far). You see this in topographical maps a lot and I think it is a good idea, especially for cases where the contours are messy. Ipofanes 08:19, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

don't use highway tag

please don't use highway tag for an incline--I suggest using:

incline = [up|down] (it's not a good idea to change the direction of a way if the way is for example a oneway)
incline_steep = <number, default %>

please see my comment on Talk:Proposed features/Incline - I just don't have the time to start another proposal (anybody wants to? You're welcome :) -- Schusch 23:26, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

How to map an incline on a market place?


if there is a steep area like a market place, where no footways are tagged, how will that be mapped? This is needed e.g. for wheelchair routing.


My suggestion is to apply ele=* to the edges of the area, since incline would need a precise direction in this case. --RalpH himself 20:59, 10 April 2009 (UTC)


There are some situations (e.g. steps) where you simply want to specify whether a way goes up or down and don't have precise percentages available. What do people think about using non-numeric inclines such as incline=up and incline=down for that? Using the same key seems natural because you will never use both: As soon as you know that it's a 10% incline, you don't need the vague incline=up anymore. --Tordanik 13:11, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

How about the same method that always works: Estimate the incline percentage and leave a FIXME=incline estimated?! Lulu-Ann
Well, that works, too, but it's not machine readable. An application that reads incline=50% + FIXME=incline estimated will assume an incline of 50% (that can easily be quite wrong) and ignore the FIXME tag. Whether that matters depends on the accuracy of my estimate. I could, for example, add up/down values for most steps in my area from memory, but I'm unable to even roughly estimate incline without going there. --Tordanik 16:37, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
Of course it is not machine-readable in all cases, and of course an estimation is not readable by a person in a wheelchair. It's a "maybe you can go there", and the FIXME tag is the easiest way do make someone go there soon and check it.
If you need a standard value for estimation use 7%. 6% is the maximum that is recommended for German streets for wheelchair use, so any routing for wheelchairs will not use the route. --Lulu-Ann 07:30, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting to use incline=up for "normal" roads anyway. I'd use it for features such as steps where most renderings/applications are not really interested in exact inclines, but simply want to know which of the two possible "up" directions applies. Floor plans etc. are much more likely to contain that information (as arrows or similar rendering) than an exact percentage value. --Tordanik 12:48, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
A way to indicate incline direction period is a good idea. Looking at any piece of OSM data, this is something that simply cannot be estimated, and it also proves useful for other ways, such as steps. The obvious solution is to use a mechanism similar to oneway=*. Circeus 19:44, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm also in favor of using incline=up and incline=down because it is much easier to add (you need to think less) and so would be much more popular than a concrete % or ° number, which furthermore could lead to edit wars of people changing around numbers... Maybe however I think we should have a seperate key for up/down instead of using incline. Often an easy solution is best. The value wether a way goes up or down is of imminent importance for mtb autorouting. As the difficulty is given by other tags, knowing whether a way goes up or down is all that is needed. Exact % or ° are not.--Extremecarver 11:40, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Without percentage this tag is useless for wheelchair users. --Lulu-Ann 09:10, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
People knowing percentage can add it later. But wheelchair users won't be using paths in mountain settings that swindle up or down with 15-25° anyhow.
The case of wheelchair acessibility is in fact simpler than what you think: there are specific equipment for them (such as an incline ramp added to facilitate the passage over steps). The incline may still be steep (more than 30%) but this won't be a problem for just a single step. Longer ramps with smaller incline angles (possibly with intermediary flat sections) are needed for more steps.
But along streets, there's little that can be done, except having larger footways and keeping some flat sections (even if this means a bit steeper angles elsewhere) to limit efforts and allow resting, or allowing the footway to "zigzag" without haing to go to the area used by vehicles. When a ramp is not possible, there are elevators.
When such equipement is present, we can safely ignore tagging the rest: it's important ten that the map displays these equipments intended for making the place accessible. Only in absence of equipement, we must be more careful for inclines of more than about 5% in narrow footways, and we must tag the presence of steps. — Verdy_p (talk) 17:30, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Average incline

The tag defines the maximum incline, which might be useful for most users. But sometimes it is just not possible to clearly say what the maximum incline is, but only what the average incline is. Could we not just add the tag incline:avg=* for that? Better to have an average value, than nothing. --Driver2 22:33, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Common and extreme inclines

I think the statement "Ways with a steepness of under 10% are seldom signposted" is incorrect, at least in the US. Grades of 6% and 7% on motor highways through mountainous areas commonly are posted, as a warning to drivers of heavy trucks. I don't want to just change this statement without better understanding the situation in other parts of the world, or whether something else may have been meant. --EdH 22:33, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Seems it was my personal estimate; I haven't seen many incline signs anyway; even on the Norwegian and Spanish mountain roads they were quite rare. European motorways generally don't exist in that mountaineous regions, but there might be cases like you've described. I'll rephrase it. Alv 14:38, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Use on nodes

Until recently, this page simply read "The use of this tag has limited (if any) usage, as nodes do not have any direction." The taginfo stats show that it is hardly ever used on nodes, so I wonder: Why allow use on nodes at all? --Tordanik 12:19, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

I agree, that's why I added some reasons explaining why it is bad on nodes (and probably undesired as well on very small segments where it is not significant). steep inclines (>50%) require a minimum length of a half meter, small inclines (5-15%) require longer lengths (several meters at least). This should be justified depending on the usage (longer for 4-wheel vehicles, than for cycleways, and then for footways taking care finally about accessiblity for wheelchairs or people with difficulties for walking).
If we think things in terms of accessibility and security (for respecting the maximum speed and avoiding prolongated accelerations) a node is clearly not enough, we must be able to locate at least a segment where this tag applies. — Verdy_p (talk) 17:22, 29 May 2015 (UTC)