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A Levada is a combination of footway and waterway running integrally side by side. Those are quite typical of Madeira island. The waterway part is an artificial channel (width and depth varies, but 50 cm is often close) used to "transport" water elsewhere along mountainsides. As they are almost level, there is often a footpath next to it. Or sometimes even above it, if it is covered as some larger ones are. The path beside can be part of the artificial structure and narrow or just a (relatively narrow) dirt track beside the waterway. In any case it follows the waterway very closely.

How should it be mapped? There seems to be about as many ways as there are mappers. Some examples: - separate ways, drain and path (or footway) - waterway=drain + foot=yes - waterway=drain + highway=footway Sometimes channel or stream is used instead of drain for even more combinations. In a way the first example is correct, but it is horrible to update and the two ways ARE integrated as is the case with roads and sidewalks.

In searching for answer I run into segregated=yes (or whatever the spelling was - sorry), which would seem to do the trick. So I would think the third option would be best with the additional separation tag when the walking path is indeed separated. Is that correct and what would be the correct choice?

In case the waterway gets larger, a channel might be in order, but would the same method work with that? With stream I likely wouldn't combine the two unless the walking was in the stream.

asked 29 Sep '17, 15:21

JKTFin's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

They are great to walk along.

(29 Sep '17, 15:43) andy mackey

I recommend tagging them as separate geometries, for the reason that Madeira is a popular tourist destination, and that includes "mapper tourists" who won't know the concept of an integrated waterway and footpath from home, so they will expect this to be mapped as two geometries and they will map it as two geometries when they get involved. So even if theoretically it would be logical to use some form of "waterway=drain, foot=yes" (or "sidewalk=left" or whatever), people will misunderstand and break that relatively exotic tagging all the time.

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answered 29 Sep '17, 17:54

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%


Oh dear - not what I wanted to hear. :-) That "sidewalk=left" would have been quite nice as that would have solved the problem of recording the side. Would that be valid for waterway?

I try to estimate the real shape of the Levadas from available GPS data and that requires quite a number of points. Editing a second set next to that takes time and doesn't really add value. Is there an editor, which can offset a duplicate path from another by a given amount?

(29 Sep '17, 19:07) JKTFin

As far as routing is concerned, Frederik's suggestion of mapping two separate ways is probably the best. It's unlikely that any foot routers would consider waterways, even if they have a foot=yes or sidewalk tag.

I haven't done it myself, but I believe JOSM has an option to make a parallel way.

(29 Sep '17, 19:29) alester

Both Potlatch & Josm allow duplication of a way which can then be offset. I'm just not a regular enough user of iD to know if it has this feature.

(29 Sep '17, 19:39) SK53 ♦

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question asked: 29 Sep '17, 15:21

question was seen: 1,792 times

last updated: 29 Sep '17, 19:39

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