I've seen these all over the U.S. Many are very obviously not fords (such as sidewalks on a road bridge). For example: Wisconsin Colorado

They're created by different users, so it's probably not the product of a bad bot. What is it though? What caused multiple people to make these bad edits?

asked 28 Aug, 03:08

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njtbusfan
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highways, including highway=footway, crossing a waterway without a bridge or ford are flagged by a couple of QA tools. If one is simply trying to silence the QA warnings the simplest thing is to mark the location with ford=yes. So this is one step removed from a bot: Untrained users removing warnings by making the map worse.

In both of the cases you show there probably should be bridges (I'd have to look at the imagery to be sure). And since they are footways along a motor vehicle way the separate bridges should be mapped as a whole. I haven't done that type of bridge mapping but I believe that involves putting a bridge area around the ways that are tagged with bridge=yes. Obviously, doing it right is harder than just adding a ford=yes.

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answered 28 Aug, 05:51

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n76
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The issues where flagged in iD and it seems the contributor simply resolved them to a ford instead of a bridge, something IIRC iD would also do automatically and isn't actually "more work".

(28 Aug, 07:07) SimonPoole ♦

I see what you mean in iD. It seems to me that highways and waterways crossing is a relatively low priority issue, and should not give prominent notifications.

(28 Aug, 23:15) njtbusfan

There's a bunch of them near me. There's a ford tag even tho there might be water in them only 1 hr/yr and you could jump over it. I thinks its database noise.
https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/8713403106

(29 Aug, 02:07) bradrh

Regarding places where there is only water occasionally, there is a intermittent=yes tag that can be used. In the semi-arid areas near me where roads and trails often just cross the normally dry waterway, I use that tag on the ford. It would be nice to be able to distinguish between places where water runs maybe one hour a year (or less) from those that are seasonal but last I recall the tagging email list was unable to come to a consensus on that.

(29 Aug, 16:20) n76

@n76 do you use the tag on the ford as well as the waterway it crosses? (I am interested as there are a lot of these near me too, and while it may be easy to cross on all but a few days of the year, if you happen to be hiking shortly after heavy rain it is useful to know about these places as they may be impossible to pass on those days).

(29 Aug, 18:52) alan_gr

The usual case is a single node where the waterway and trail cross and I just put the ford tag on the node. There are some trails that actually follow the waterway, for those I typically dual tag the way as the two sets of tags do not conflict but some have given me grief telling me that I should have two ways for that situation. In either case, if the trail follows the waterway for a while then I tag that section of trail with ford=yes.

(29 Aug, 22:31) n76
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question asked: 28 Aug, 03:08

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