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Have come across a number of areas in a UK town where driveways for each house have been added as highway:service, service:driveway. This may be technically correct, however these are just short areas of garden that have been paved over to provide parking for a car - they are not driveways that actually go anywhere. They are totally enclosed within the boundaries of that property and so I cannot see any reason why they should be mapped on OSM - it's not like they are access routes to multiple properties or of a drivable length (most are barely the length of two cars).

I am tempted to just delete them, but thought I'd check here to see what others thought first. If the consensus is to keep them, then I would ask whether these sorts of driveways should be added more widely across the map - if so, someone's got a job on their hands creating about 10 million more of them across the UK (certainly have not seen driveways mapped like this in other towns)!

For an example, check - it's not only this one, but there are hundreds of others examples in the nearby vicinity.

asked 06 Mar '21, 19:37

steverob5's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


Simple answer: No, don't delete them. Destroying someones work because you don't like it is pretty much contra the ethos of OSM. These are verifiable on-the-ground features which conform with the broad good practices. Just because there is a lot of something is scarcely a reason not to map them — OSM would never have started: 1 million public roads, 200,000 km of rights of way, 30 million addresses, just in the UK.

The example you provide was mapped over 10 years ago. I think that shows that no-one has felt strongly that they should be removed. Similar mapping occurs across the globe, usually where a mapper likes to map an area in extensive detail. Just because some like to map in this level of detail places no burden on others who feel it might be excessive.

Step back a bit and consider some of the potential use-cases:

  • Driveways usually are flush with the surface of the road: they therefore represent access points for wheelchair users, people pushing buggies or lugging suitcases.
  • Driveways represent paved areas in gardens which may be a factor in determining surface runoff after heavy rain. The area of sealed surface is an important factor in calculating flooding risk. Note: driveways and other paths on private property are not mapped by the Ordnance Survey in the UK.
  • Detailed micromapping may be needed for other purposes: for instance, in making or challenging planning applications.
  • Analytical use: detailed selective micromapping, particularly if carried out in a statistically controlled manner, can be a tool to quantify the extent and density of a particular feature.
  • More accurate access information for those with impaired vision.

Finally, as you dont like them, it should be relatively trivial to filter out driveways below a certain length from an OSM data extract, and/or just not render them.

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answered 06 Mar '21, 20:46

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

I don't normally map that type of short driveway but there is nothing wrong in doing so. The major reason I don’t is that there are so many other things I consider to be of higher importance. But different mappers focus on different things and obviously some mapper thought they were important enough to enter.

All that said, I suspect that most would consider removal of those driveways a form of vandalism. So leave them be (or correct any that are wrong).

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answered 06 Mar '21, 20:23

n76's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%

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question asked: 06 Mar '21, 19:37

question was seen: 1,942 times

last updated: 06 Mar '21, 20:46

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