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USGS Topographic symbols and Utah road classification

Hello. I'm looking at the USGS Topo Map layer in Utah, southwest of the Rockwell Wilderness Study Area. I'm updating a roadway that was part of a TIGER import, classified as a Track and noted as No for Reviewed. The congruent USGS Topo symbol indicates this is an "unimproved road". I'm wondering what the typical local usage might be; for example, should it remain as Track, or be revised to Tertiary or to Unclassified? The way I'm referring to now is . Regards --Courtland.yockey (talk) 01:17, 25 November 2020 (UTC)

I am not familiar with the roadway in question, but I am familiar with both how USGS Topo maps either are or are approximated in the real world, as well as OSM highway=* classifications. In my opinion, denoting "unimproved road" with highway=track is "about right." An exception might be made if much more significance (in the road network-logical sense) is attributable to the road, where even though it might be "unimproved" (a dirt track, a gravel road, which might be considered "barely improved"...) it is possible highway=tertiary is an appropriate tag. For example, if it is the only significant connector between two hamlets or villages, highway=tertiary is logical, though that would make even more important the inclusion of the fact that it was "unimproved" (with, for example, surface=dirt). These are my opinions and not (to the best of my knowledge) wide consensus, but they do arise from the experience of a half-century of studying USGS maps and going on a dozen years of active OSM contributions. Best regards, Stevea (talk) 08:16, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the information @Stevea:. Your opinions map pretty well to my experience in editing outside the United States ... and I believe such would apply inside the US as well where other indications are not available. --Courtland.yockey (talk) 01:56, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
Hi Courtland.yockey, thanks for posting. When assessing road class, the aerial imagery is most likely better proof of ground truth than USGS Topo maps. Any ground survey by / on behalf of USGS that went into determining the road class for the topo map may have happened years or even decades ago. If the aerials suggest that this is an unimproved road, then it should be highway=track. If not, and the road has no connecting function, I would probably mark it as highway=unclassified and surface=unpaved or something more specific for surface type if you know. Only in uncommon cases where an unpaved road serves a non-local function would I tag it as highway=tertiary. Look at the Utah section of the Navajo Nation for some examples. A recent (counter?) example in an area not too far from the way you referred to is Clearlake Road northeast of Fillmore, and I decided to mark this road as highway=unclassified but if someone were to mark it as highway=tertiary I wouldn't complain about it. I rode parts of that road on my mountain bike and it's a wide gravel road that a passenger car could easily nagvigate at 40+ MPH. If you don't care about accruing some dings in your car body, that is.. Martijn van Exel (talk) 17:30, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the information @Mvexel: -- In the case of the first link you provided (10122507), the connection from a Primary makes addition of the connector as a Tertiary sensible. --Courtland.yockey (talk) 01:56, 26 November 2020 (UTC)

UDOT US-89 Project

Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has the plan for the US-89 project online. They also have a Facebook page for this project. I'm wondering if it is allowed (license wise) to use the combination of these sources to update Open Street Map data in this area. Val42 (talk) 18:32, 6 September 2021 (UTC)

If the state of Utah has "Open Records" (or "Open Data," sometimes called "Sunshine") laws on the books that essentially make state-government data like these "public domain," then yes, you can. I strongly encourage you to do your own research, but according to this, Utah does indeed have this, codified in Utah Code § 3A-1-203. As the latter link appears to be "proposed legislation," again (and I am not an attorney), I'd encourage you to track this down fully, up to and including contacting your state representative with the direct question as to whether such data can be used by OSM. Stevea (talk) 18:39, 6 September 2021 (UTC)
It looks like this is in the design / planning phase, so we have some time.. I can ask my contact at UGRC if they know someone at UDOT who could speak to this and perhaps sign a waiver make the data available under ODbL or compatible? Were you planning to put the planned expansions in as highway:proposed etc? Martijn van Exel (talk) 02:32, 7 September 2021 (UTC)
It is currently in the build stage. Parts of it are complete. I want to make the updates that are complete. I just want to make sure that making the updates from their plan and what their representative has posted on Facebook about what has been completed is kosher for adding here. I could go check physically, but the construction is still making travel there inconsistent.
Thanks for checking with your contact at UGRC. Val42 (talk) 02:41, 7 September 2021 (UTC)
Okay fantastic! I sent an email to the folks I know over at UGRC. Martijn van Exel (talk) 03:03, 7 September 2021 (UTC)
Quick update, I received an answer from UGRC and they referred me to someone at UDOT, who I just emailed. Martijn van Exel (talk) 17:10, 7 September 2021 (UTC)
I only just now thought of this, but in 2015 OSM received (from AASHTO) "similar" permission to use any given state DOT's application to AASHTO for new United States Bicycle Routes. If this (or any) state highway, (newly-designated? Interstate highway...) goes before AASHTO (for numbering, re-numbering, Interstate designation...) and OSM were able to establish a similar letter (from Bill Cullen or his modern equivalent) about THOSE kinds of highways, that letter would serve as "carte blanche" to use the state's application to AASHTO such that OSM has full permission to use it. This really gave a boost to USBRs being entered into OSM, as it was a "one and done" step with AASHTO. The thing is, routine sorts of "projects" like this that stay within a state and do NOT go to AASHTO wouldn't necessarily be covered by this and it might not be easy to know whether this would apply or not (with U.S. BIKE routes, it's easy). So it wouldn't work for everything, but it would work for new submissions that go from any given state's DOT to Washington, DC for AASHTO to "approve or not" (on a twice-yearly ballot in the spring and autumn). AASHTO almost always approves, but if OSM were to 1) Get a properly worded permission letter from AASHTO, similar to above, 2) realize that all submissions to AASHTO which fall under that purview automatically have permission to be entered into OSM, this could help such data entry. Stevea (talk) 04:31, 7 September 2021 (UTC)
A few days ago I sent a question on the US-89 Facebook page for permission to use this information in Open Street Map. I received a reply today from their representative that I can use it to update OSM.
I also noticed today that most of the project has been updated. I checked, and it was from a user who made the updates about 3 days ago, with an update about 1 day ago. It is not all up to date with the information UDOT posted on Facebook on the current state. I will be making the updates within the next few days as to what the UDOT representative said is the current state
It will also be useful to get permission through the UGRC route that Stevea is pursuing because we will be able to say that two sources gave us permission. Val42 (talk) 01:33, 9 September 2021 (UTC)
Please note that UGRC already signed a blanket ODbL waiver for the data they publish themselves through their portal (insofar the data is theirs to license). This doesn't extend to UDOT since this is a separate agency. As of today I have not heard back from UDOT. Martijn van Exel (talk) 02:27, 9 September 2021 (UTC)

Utah state highway classification

Hello all,

I've been working the past few years on Utah state highway classification, and just created a wiki account. I've prepared a spreadsheet listing what I think every state highway's classification should be, and my justification for the classification. I'll upload this to a wiki page soon, and give the link here when I do. Any feedback or criticism on the classifications is welcome and appreciated. Oregonian3 (talk) 15:05, 5 January 2022 (UTC)

Here is a link to the page. Oregonian3 (talk) 15:24, 5 January 2022 (UTC)