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Which is best adding sidewalk=* tags or footway=sidewalk tags?

I am mapping a suburban area where sidewalks are intermittent and not always on both sides, and on some streets the sidewalk may only cover a small part of the street. Given this, should I add the sidewalk tags to the street way or just trace a separate footway and add a footway=sidewalk tag? I want to improve the map in the best possible way and improve routing wherever possible.

I was thinking about using the sidewalk=* tags but there are some spots where there are footways connecting two sidewalks and not the streets. For routing purposes and accuracy I would think that tracing footways would yield better results than using the sidewalk tags.

What are your thoughts?

Here is an example, where there is a sidewalk that only partially covers the road and where it connects with another sidewalk---which has not been added yet

asked 06 Nov '12, 20:46

redsteakraw's gravatar image

accept rate: 22%

Essentially "it depends" - both on where you are and who you talk to.

Questions about mapping sidewalks have been asked before, and also discussed at length on the mailing lists. "Where" is relevant because in some places sidewalks start out being adjacent to a road but then veer off becoming their own footpath or cycleway before joining a road again, whereas in others they don't. "Who you talk to" is relevant because, as you can see from the mailing lists, different people have different views on this. People have also said that in an urban area where sidewalks are commonplace, it doesn't make a lot of sense to map them.

You'll need to decide (together with other mappers local to you) what's best for your area - there's no "one correct answer" for the whole world on this one.

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answered 06 Nov '12, 22:03

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
accept rate: 16%

There are no other active mappers in my local area.

(06 Nov '12, 22:15) redsteakraw

Looks like you get to make the decision then!

Actually, looking at who's mapped what in apart from the Tiger import there's another mapper who's done from Danbury down to Westport just to the west of you, and someone else just to the west of that, so you're not entirely on your own.

(06 Nov '12, 23:15) SomeoneElse ♦

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question asked: 06 Nov '12, 20:46

question was seen: 5,065 times

last updated: 06 Nov '12, 23:15

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum