I'm at a bit of a loss for how to draw this feature correctly...

multi-level area

I have been using highway=pedestrian area=yes to draw a promenade area because that seemed like the semantically correct method for a wide pedestrian space, but now I'm wondering if that was a mistake? I'm fairly new to this so any advice would be very welcome.

asked 04 May, 18:13

Foomandoonian's gravatar image

Foomandoonian
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I'm guessing this is the Brighton Bandstand at https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/96655710? (Full disclosure -- this building was a little jagged and I just uploaded a changeset to make it into a regular octogon.)

[Answer has been edited to reflect info from the comments below -- thanks @alester @Kovoschiz and @SK53 for the insights!]

For the bridge, I'd probably use a linear highway=footway + bridge=yes + layer=1 without any area tags. I don't think it's necessary to map the exact extent of the bridge, but if I wanted to I'd add a separate polygon tagged with man_made=bridge and layer=1. If this picture is correct, it looks like there are steps leading up to the bridge, so I'd add a short way from the upper promenade to the highway=footway bridge and tag that with highway=steps + incline=up + layer=1. (You might even consider the steps part of the bridge, and if so they'd get the bridge=yes tag as well.)

I'd also use an octagonal linear footway to indicate the walking area around the bandstand, on the cafe roof. Mapping this as an area in addition or instead would also be possible, but I don't feel that it qualifies for highway=pedestrian since it doesn't appear suitable for any kind of emergency or delivery vehicular traffic.

As discussed in the comments below, it's possible to map a 2-D "foot area" as either =footway or =pedestrian, and one might well be more correct than the other in a particular situation, but pedestrian has long had a leg up (heh) because it's a programmed preset in iD.

Furthermore, there's a distinction between omnidirectional highway areas for mapping plazas and other situations where traffic can go anywhere and might enter and exit at a variety of locations, and linear highway areas for adding shape and width details to an already-mapped one-way or two-way linear highway. The omnidirectional areas should get two tags -- highway=* + area=yes -- and the linear areas should be drawn around the existing highway=* way and just be tagged area:highway=*. IMO either of these area methods could be used for the cafe roof, but neither is necessary. The area around the lower cafe level looks like omnidirectional pedestrian to me, and the bridge and upper promenade look like linear ways that could optionally be augmented with a separate area:highway=* way.

Whatever method you ultimately choose, take care that your upper and lower highways don't share any nodes, or routing software might send people jumping off the bandstand level to the cafe below instead of using the steps.

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answered 04 May, 20:43

jmapb's gravatar image

jmapb
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accept rate: 24%

edited 05 May, 15:17

Ah, thank you. I will try to make sense of that when I get back to my drawing tonight.

And yeah, my work that I haven't uploaded yet already includes a better octagon, so it'll be interesting to see what happens when I save! Most of the building shapes have been very rough and I'm improving them all as I progress east.

(04 May, 21:34) Foomandoonian
1

A foot area where vehicle traffic never travels (or is only accessed rarely by authorized service vehicles) could be mapped as highway=footway + area=yes

(04 May, 23:56) alester

@Foomandoonian Ah sorry about that, my octagon compulsive disorder got the best of me. I didn't add or delete anything, just re-aligned the nodes, so it shouldn't be too much of a pain. It looks like you're mapping with iD, so you should just be able to select "Keep mine" (mine meaning yours) to overwrite my changes when you save.

@alester Yep that makes sense. Haven't seen it used much but scouting around on Overpass I see that it's actually more common than I thought. But highway=pedestrian still appears to be far more common. I think one reason is that polygonal footway areas are very often called "pedestrian areas" IRL, and another is that it's rare to find one that doesn't have some allowance for emergency or delivery traffic.

(05 May, 01:11) jmapb

We have linear area:highway=footway and omnidirectional highway=footway + area=yes. "Pedestrian area" is caused by the ambiguous iD preset name seemingly not considering the definition of =pedestrian.

(05 May, 08:52) Kovoschiz

@Kovoschiz highway=pedestrian + area=yes has a long usage for mapping the areas of footways. I would agree this is not absolutely correct, and at a minimum they can be changed to highway=footway + area=yes without losing their ability to be rendered.

(05 May, 10:35) SK53 ♦

Thanks folks, I've edited my answer to incorporate your insights.

(05 May, 15:07) jmapb

@SK53 At the very least, the situation is worsened by using a preset name not carefully thought about, regardless of what common terminology may be. When created in 2007, https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Tag:highway=pedestrian&oldid=55318 already has "Vehicles may be allowed in", "The "footpath" tag seems a bit inappropriate for such things.", and "a pedestrianised road".

(05 May, 19:16) Kovoschiz

@Kovoshiz I happen to agree with you, I am merely commenting on what actually happens, not what I would like to happen :-)

(05 May, 20:21) SK53 ♦
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question asked: 04 May, 18:13

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