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I used StreetComplete on a weekend stroll through town. Many questions in this area were about surfaces of paths in someone's private property. I don't consider it my business to investigate what surface everyone in town has on their garden path. Is that even something OSM needs to know, and if so: Why? If that is on purpose: Is there at least a way to turn off questions about private property?

asked 04 Oct '21, 17:34

SebastianHelm's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


What was the actual tagging of the item that you were asked about (no need to provide the object ID, just the tags, without name)?

I've noticed StreetComplete asking me about things that I know to be private that aren't tagged in OSM as private (in error); I've not seen it ask about stuff that has been previously tagged as private.

(04 Oct '21, 17:38) SomeoneElse ♦

There were three cases that I flagged with notes. (Sorry, I only now realize that to display the notes, the URL needs to include layers=N, like this:

From east to West these were (Sorry, I don't see a way to get the coordinates or a URL for each. Also, for #3, OSM doesn't display a street number):

  1. Kurmainzer Straße 6 – Allowed Access All=private
  2. Eppsteiner Straße 22 – Allowed Access All=yes
  3. Städtischer Kindergarten Wirbelwind – Allowed Access All=yes. That may indeed be the case since it's a municipal kindergarden. It does have a lockable gate, though, which was closed when we passed there.

I am leaving those now, although I realize from @SomeoneElse's question that I could fix at least #2 by changing the access.

(04 Oct '21, 22:27) SebastianHelm

Interestingly, "Kurmainzer Straße 6" has been access=private for 6 years:


I don't think I've ever see StreetComplete prompt about private things before.

(04 Oct '21, 22:31) SomeoneElse ♦

That does seem odd. Even apart from the private tag, I thought that service=driveway was excluded from the surface quest anyway. The wiki seems to imply that the quest does not include motorways or driveways. I wonder if this is unintended behaviour.

(06 Oct '21, 18:27) alan_gr

I'm pretty sure surface quests for driveways don't appear for me anymore. According to both driveways and private roads should be excluded from this quest (assuming I'm looking at the correct code).

@SebastianHelm Are you using the newest version of StreetComplete?

(07 Oct '21, 07:25) scai ♦

Since I only started with OSM 8 days ago, I must have installed StreetComplete after the commit you cite. Maybe there is a delay between the commit and what gets installed? Anyway, I tried it again just now and now StreetComplete asks none of the questions I listed anymore. For Kurmainzer Straße 6 that may be because the code now (– I forgot how to see a diff) contains “(access !~ private|no or (foot and foot !~ private|no))”, but that doesn't explain why the other two are not being asked anymore. Since other similar paths still display the question for me, it seems more likely that the reason is that I wrote notes for these three, but I don't see that in the committed code.

(07 Oct '21, 13:04) SebastianHelm

I think it works as follows:

  • for all types of road and path, the question is not asked if access is tagged as private or no

  • for roads tagged as highway=service and service=driveway, the question is not asked regardless of access tagging.

The different behaviour you observe may arise from different combinations of tagging, e.g. some of your examples may not be driveways, they could be footpaths or other kinds of service road for example.

(07 Oct '21, 14:08) alan_gr

Yeah, that's how I read the code, too. I'll post that as an answer, with a table.

(07 Oct '21, 16:17) SebastianHelm
showing 5 of 8 show 3 more comments

There is no official stance I'm aware of on what is considered "needed" by OSM. Various groups of mapper prioritise different things, often depending on whatever use case they happen to have. I think it's conceivable that a router could advise users if their final destination address has a surface that might pose an accessibility issue, but we have much further to go on e.g. wheelchair routing before that would be considered a priority for the vast majority of mappers.

If you would like different behaviour from StreetComplete, they might be willing to accommodate requests on their GitHub page.

permanent link

answered 04 Oct '21, 19:36

InsertUser's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

That's not just a simple bug but a major feature request. I'm under no illusion that I'd be the first to think of that. Rather, the decision not to allow users to select the kind of questions must have been made deliberately on a high level in product design. If only one user would like that feature, then there is no case for it.

(04 Oct '21, 22:49) SebastianHelm

I'm not sure what you mean. Individual question types/quests can be selected in Menu > settings > Quest selection and priority.

(05 Oct '21, 01:48) InsertUser

Thanks for the reply. It's very nice that one can select each individual tag. However, this request is not about tags, but about the location in private property, as expressed in the title. In my humble opinion, StreetComplete shouldn't ask such private questions of anyone, but I could live with a solution that turns those off for me. Unfortunately, I don't see that.

(06 Oct '21, 19:42) SebastianHelm

Yes, but as the quests are already quite granular they may be willing to split a few of them if there is enough support.

(07 Oct '21, 01:26) InsertUser

Good point. Unless the problem has indeed been fixed in the mean time, as written by @scai above, I now agree that it's worth a try to write a request.

(07 Oct '21, 13:04) SebastianHelm

Looking at the code of the commit @scai linked to, and under the assumption that there was a delay, as I wrote in my post of 3 hours ago, then it makes sense, as @alan_gr surmised. The table below shows a few instances I checked. At least the current behavior can be explained this way. As Kurmainzer Straße 15 shows, last week's behavior may have shown differences, but that's water under the bridge now.

number in OP address or name highway= access some other tags asked last week? asking now?
1>Kurmainzer Straße 6 service all=private service=driveway yes no
2>Eppsteiner Straße 22 footway all=yes - yes no
3>Städtischer Kindergarten Wirbelwind footway all=yes - yes no
->Kurmainzer Straße 15 service all=private service=driveway no no
->Im Flemetz 1-7 footway all=yes - ? yes
->Im Flemetz 9-13 footway all=yes - ? yes
->Im Flemetz 2-4 service all=yes - ? yes
->Steinweg 20 service all=yes service=parking_aisle ? yes
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answered 07 Oct '21, 16:25

SebastianHelm's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

It appears this website has a problem displaying the table. That's odd since it displayed it nicely in the preview. ☹

(07 Oct '21, 16:27) SebastianHelm

I'm rather surprised you can embed HTML at all :)

(07 Oct '21, 16:33) SomeoneElse ♦

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question asked: 04 Oct '21, 17:34

question was seen: 1,015 times

last updated: 07 Oct '21, 16:33

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