User talk:Alv/Path, signs and rendering

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How to read this

So you've taken my page and made this table from it, but I have no idea how to read it. It should also be noted that if there are more than one sign in the same cell, there is a difference in the traffic situation, and other than that they allow the same vehicle classes, there are other rules that are different. Tags simply have to be different as a result.

Also, make sure to understand that User:Eimai/Belgian_Roads#Paths is for paths that don't belong to a road where cars can go, and that User:Eimai/Belgian_Roads#Footpaths.2C_cycleways_and_bridleways_as_part_of_a_road is for paths next to such a road. The latter makes it just much more complex because then the situation depends on other factors, like the maxspeed of the road to give just one example. --Eimai 19:59, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Different tags yes, but not all of them - and hopefully there can be a single tag (highway, that is) that can be the most influential. The answer to "can I go?" is the same regardless of the sign, and at least that's what I'd consider or even expect to see on a map if I were cycling/walking/horseriding - or from a dedicated map if on a moped. On a "normal" map there can't be shown at least nine different types of highways for light traffic without the map becoming cluttered, especially when there are the the different types of roads visible. There has to be some generalization, such that it is globally meaningful. I chose to have the picture of a cycleway next to a road included in the table because it (and similar cases) seems like the only case where there can be a way that's accessible to bicycles but not to pedestrians. Alv 21:55, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, about paths accessible to cyclists nut not to pedestrians: in theory it's well possible, but in practice it never occurs. But given I've not seen all paths in the country, one cannot be sure. The blue square sign for example 'could' only depict a bicycle for example and then pedestrians wouldn't be allowed, or it could just have a prohibition sign for pedestrians. It should also be noted that there's an official sign for accessibility in nature reserves which means "only accessible to cyclists". But my main issue about putting both of the paths which are next to a road and paths which aren't in the same table shouldn't be done, because the same sign will suddenly allow different vehicle classes for example. But the tables on my page aren't finished anyway, several of the "n/a"'s in your table do occur, I just didn't put it in the table yet.
And I don't want nine types of highway either, in fact the four we have now seem to work quite well for Belgium (path, cycleway, footway, bridleway -- we just need something to distinguish the blue square signs as some special kind of road with a tag). Whereas you want to go back to the pre-path era when we had to twist the definition of for example cycleway really a lot to tag certain things. I want to see all the different paths there are in an unambiguously tagged method, so we know (at least in the database) what's signed with the blue round sign, or what's signed with the blue square one etc. because there are important differences. Whether you put in a highway tag, or in some other tag, the only thing not possible here is to just add a few access tags until it more or less fits, because those access rules for the same sign have changed in the past and will likely change again. And because our mappers will generally not know all the rules either, or will just forget there's something called a "horse" or a "moped". I myself still need to find out somewhere if there are agricultural vehicles on two wheels, because that could basically mean a sixth vehicle class on paths if they do exist. --Eimai 14:10, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
I only think that using path should be the "last resort" when cycleway etc. are too far from the way being tagged - not just by blue round sign/other sign. I'll keep an eye on "your table" for added rows, if they depict some of the n/a cells. Dropping footway/cycleway altogether could work but will never be accepted by the whole community. I'm after a thorough investigation into what needs to be tagged and how people are tagging already - only then there can be proposals as to how there could a consensus and exactness in tagging. Alv 19:23, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
I used to think like that myself and tagged things like "if a bicycle is allowed, it's a cycleway". Other than the fact that it would certainly confuse many people in a lot of places to see a path where most people wouldn't think of cycling mapped as a cycleway, there was also the issue of forgetting about the "other" vehicle classes: mopeds and horses were simply ignored. A path were horses could come would still be a cycleway if cyclists could drive there as well. And most mappers don't know the rules for mopeds anyway so they don't put access tags for them on the ways if the traffic sign doesn't mention any mopeds. But path has given us the option to tag the real situation here, and use tags in a smart way which immediately makes it clear what's allowed and what isn't, without the mapper needing to know about and think of all traffic rules, in a way that would never be possible without highway=path. And, it turns out that Belgium has definitions in its traffic code for for example a cycleway, which now nicely coincides with what we're using highway=cycleway for (either the blue round sign, or a path which is delimited by special road markings: long white stripes at each side). --Eimai 10:41, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
And I just started with the Belgian signs/paths because they were available - I should do at least Germany, UK and Finland too.Alv 22:10, 14 August 2009 (UTC)