Mulholland Drive near the Pacific Coast Highway (the 1) (USA, California, Los Angeles area, 34.052124, -118.935919) is marked as under construction. The is a problem for a number of reasons:

  1. Because many companies (i.e. GaiaGps, AllTrails, Thunderforrest)all do the incredibly stupid thing of completely removing Mulholland Drive and so it is invisible on their maps. I've contacted the companies and they for the most part this it's an OSM problem.
  2. Second it's there and it's really not closed because you can usually drive around the signs (at least in the past).
  3. The OSM map doesn't accurately note the correct portions that are close (see for example Google Maps). When this kind of construction is happening the actual area of closure is constantly changing. I doubt the OSM is checking daily what the actually area of construction/closure is.
  4. What's the point of this feature? How should the organizations that use this information, use that particular notation.
  5. How does OSM determine if something is "under construction" or "closed". Do they send people to drive this part and report on what's really there? Daily?

asked 18 Jul, 18:21

MTJ85's gravatar image

MTJ85
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accept rate: 0%


Answering these questions in no particular order:

it's really not closed because you can usually drive around the signs

That doesn't sound particular legal, does it? I'm pretty sure I could "drive around the signs" at the checkpoints on the way into the army base just up the road from me, but it wouldn't be a good idea to try.

I doubt the OSM is checking daily what the actually area of construction/closure is.

That'll depend on whether there are OSM mappers nearby able to check on a daily basis. I've certainly seen road closure information updated in OSM on the day that it happened. That said, that can be tricky for people who update maps based on OSM data only every week or every month.

What's the point of this feature? How should the organizations that use this information, use that particular notation.

Essentially it means that right now "none of it is usable as a road". Some OSM data consumers (the default settings for the map creatr for Garmin devices was one example) may allow some access, but it's questionable whether that's correct.

Do they send people to drive this part and report on what's really there? Daily?

OSM doesn't "send" people anywhere - it's a map made by volunteers, so thank you for volunteering to have a look up here and see which bits are really open and which bits are really closed! We look forward to your updates.

... many companies (i.e. GaiaGps, AllTrails, Thunderforrest)all do the incredibly stupid thing

OSM data is available for everyone, so if you want to avoid "doing incredibly stupid things" you can create your own maps from OSM data that show whatever data you want however you want to.

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answered 18 Jul, 18:58

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
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accept rate: 15%

With regard to driving around signs: The area has houses and in some discussion groups on hiking in the area said since people that live there were driving around signs, people figured it was okay. When I drove through it there were exactly zero signs of construction or any hazard. I inferred the signs were indicating they didn't want it being used for through traffic and not trying to preclude someone getting to a destination inside the area. So you see if makes a difference how you define "closed".

With regard to updating the status: I don't know the open street map process well. But if I were designing a system which allowed people to put temporal features on permanent objects, I would implement some kind of timeout. Where the feature was removed or someone was notified after some time. I was asking if there is such a capability.

(18 Jul, 23:46) MTJ85

With regard to "so thank you for volunteering to have a look up here and see which bits are really open": I put in a comment several weeks ago asking about this. Since I don't drive this route regularly it seems like I'm not the person to do this. I could make an update but then it would quickly become obsolete. I'm not the one that put the information there and don't want to get into a reversion war. If I knew OSM had a policy on how often to update temporal features or if/how these are monitored and there was some sort of coordinated effort, I'd be happy to be part of that coordinated team that drives by and provides periodic updates. Then again maybe OSM is relying on some external source for road closure information (for example CalTrans in California). Since I have no insight, I was just asking what could exist.

(18 Jul, 23:47) MTJ85

It's interesting that you mention this, by the way, because from time to time I run across marked trails that no longer exist. Sometimes they are just over grown and sometimes sometimes they are listed as areas where they are trying to reestablish the native habitat and the sign says this is no longer the trail. I've wondered if I should remove those. But then I have seen cases where a trail was badly overgrown after years of neglect but then some group comes along and completely clears the trail. So you just never and I'm reluctant to remove someone else's work.

With regard to: "Essentially it means that right now "none of it is usable as a road". Some OSM data consumers (the default settings for the map creatr for Garmin devices was one example) may allow some access, but it's questionable whether that's correct."

Thank you that's helpful. Since the three products I cite are all hiking or mountain biking maps I was wondering if a) OSM had recommendations on how to handle features b) they hand recommendations for particularly use cases.

(18 Jul, 23:47) MTJ85
3

As user:SomeoneElse pointed out, the best way to handle this is for an interested mapper to make changes in status as the work proceeds. I have done that in the past for a big highway near me and because I also make my own Garmin compatible maps, I had extra motivation to keep OSM current. OSM itself makes no recommendations about these situations because any such effort is always decided by the volunteers.

Since most map creators don't release updates every day, their information will necessarily lag behind the actual situation on the ground but that's better than making it seem as though the road had disappeared.

(19 Jul, 00:33) AlaskaDave
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question asked: 18 Jul, 18:21

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