Talk:UK Countryside mapping

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Discuss the UK Countryside mapping page here

Rights of way/permissive

Really well thought-out suggestion. The principle of "tag it if a non-default value is being used" is good.

Couple of little things on access:

  • Following from the above, highway=bridleway (within the UK) implies horse=yes and bicycle=yes. Explicit tagging is therefore not required. (A bit like highway=cycleway doesn't need bicycle=yes!)
  • We should offer a way for people to explicitly tag Restricted Byway status - it's a valuable piece of information in itself - rather than requiring them to infer it from the combination of access tags. designation=Restricted Byway would seem easiest.

On the highway tag, my take on it is that it describes the purpose of a way. Official status and condition generally follow from that.

The one thing I very, very strongly disagree with is that "highway=track... will be assumed to be private". This sets it at odds with every other highway value and is therefore hugely counter-intuitive, and there's no way, at all, that Potlatch's tagging presets (which are set to be expanded in a future release) will ever countenance an exception like this. If something is private you must explicitly tag it as such.

All that remains is to find a better way of tagging surfaces. I'd like to be able to mark up bridleways and countryside NCN routes by what type of bike they're actually suitable for - in law you could take a thin-tyred racer along a bridleway, in practice you usually can't. :) surface=gravel is a good start, it'd be good to develop it further.

--Richard 10:45, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

I second Richard's comment that it is very well thought out. It fits very well in a global OSM context, i.e. you can map to suit the U.K.'s specific conditions but nothing jars with mapping in other countries. Generally outside the U.K., the official status and designation is much less important (nobody cares or it is not clear) but physical condition is. A couple of minor suggestions from that perspective (so feel free to ignore!):

- Add a default surface type for each highway type. The simplest would be to default everything discussed to surface=unpaved.

- Perhaps not generally applicable to the UK, but I've often found it useful to use an access tag something along the lines of access=cyle_rideable, i.e it is physically possible to ride a bicycle along it and members of the public do, but that does not imply there is any actual or permissive right. Same applies to foot traffic, there is clearly a commonly used path across a patch of land, but who knows whether there is really a right-of-way.

--MikeCollinson 14:29, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Re Richard's comment about highway=track, my suggestion of private-by-default arose from the fact that most tracks through forests, etc, are private and hence it would be better to assume they're private unless explicitly tagged otherwise. Indeed, one of the major problems with OS maps is that they frequently do not distinguish between private and publicly-accessible (on a permissive basis) tracks, rendering both the same. It would be good to render public tracks with the track symbol (dashed white line) with the permissive or public footpath or bridleway symbol superimposed, to highlight which have public access. Having said that, most tracks which make it to OSM are unlikely to be private (unless surveyed from Yahoo imagery...)

Also with bridleways, how are people tagging them in general? Do most people assume highway=bridleway to be public, and use foot/horse=permissive to indicate a permissive-only access?

--Nick W 21:51, 27 April 2008 (BST)

Other Countryside stuff

OK So mappping footpaths is fine , but what about farms, landuse, woods, lakes, trees, isolated buildings, and so on?

In mapping from Yahoo! (such as South of Luton Airport), I've tended to put in fields, trees and buildings, but would appreciate, confirmation of details in places. Also should I be tagging hedges down field boundaries as well as the field itself?

In some places the field boundary IS the line of trees/hedge and whilst marking indvidual trees from Yahoo! works, I feel it's a bit excessive, when an alternate way meachanism for tagging might be just as appropriate..

And what about Crossing points, like gates, stiles and so-on? which would neeed to be included in any high zoom footpath map.. (for reasons to do with mobility impaired acess and so on). A stile is crossable for an active person, less so for an elderly walker with a stick...

I appreciate OSM== OpenStreetMap not OpenSurveyMap but why not map when the data's there in sources like Yahoo! ?

ShakespeareFan00 21:40, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Agree on all this, I generally map farms, sometimes also stiles and gates as long as I'm not in too much of a hurry :-) Also would like to map field boundaries from Yahoo where available - not so fussed whether it's a hedge or a fence (may not be clear from Yahoo), I feel the main thing is to map the boundary itself. Mapping of lakes, woods and heaths is already commonplace, from Yahoo! or Landsat.

Nickw 08:51, 26 April 2008 (BST)


status=desired has been used in some places for dirt tracks formed unofficially over open access or common land. (See Pathways of desire party) -- User:Thomas Wood 20:02, 25 April 2008

Merge into UK public rights of way

some wiki tidying

This page (so far at least) only mentions different types of footpaths. It should probably be merged onto the page title UK public rights of way. Somebody else already highlighted the duplication

If we do want to talk about other aspects (approaches for tagging farm fields using Tag:landuse=farm) I'd suggest creating a new page 'Countryside Mapping' (not UK) since they're surely hitting the similar problems in other countries. The page shouldn't be written in the first person.

-- Harry Wood 11:31, 12 November 2008 (UTC)