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How would you tag a set of wide steps, like those found in a brick-surfaced park or palazzo? When using "highway=pedestrian; area=yes", connecting these areas that are on different levels with a single way just doesn't cut it.

asked 02 Dec '11, 14:45

wambag's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

What's wrong with "highway=steps" ?

(02 Dec '11, 16:03) Vincent de P... ♦

highway=steps is for ways and therefore a rather poor solution for connecting large areas which have one wide stair instead of one or more narrow ones. One could tag an area between those two other areas as highway=steps, but then something like a direction tag is needed to indicate the direction of the steps.

(02 Dec '11, 16:16) scai ♦

I also wanted to ask that. It applies to more objects that are usually linear, but sometimes they are not...

(02 Dec '11, 17:45) LM_1

I've thought of this as analogous to river/riverbank, where a way (waterway=river, or highway=steps) can show the flow direction and an area (waterway=riverbank, or highway=steps; area=yes) the exact boundaries.

More discussion on OSM-Talk last year. Some combination of highway=steps; area=yes with a way to denote up/down seemed popular.

Another proposed option is here: Proposed Area Relations

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answered 02 Dec '11, 17:01

neuhausr's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%


Thank you all who commented. Yep, I figured this was an issue that must have been discussed, I just did not know in which forum. Funny, seems like this is a recurring theme that an agreed-upon area relation could handle in many situations, not just with steps but with any way that is not best described by a line. As with the river/riverbank case, it is an awkward marriage of the technical and aesthetic aspects of mapping.

(03 Dec '11, 04:14) wambag

There is no established solution for this yet, so it is too early to answer the question.

You should definitely create a highway=steps way. Today's applications will usually not understand anything else.

It is likely that future solutions to the problem will still involve a highway=steps way indicating the up/down direction, which also serves as a fallback for more primitive applications. The area covered by the steps can be mapped in addition to this, similar to the banks of large rivers. A tag that has been proposed for this purpose is area:highway=steps.

Other approaches under discussion include Area Relations, as well as a draft for Stairs Modelling (German text with images) that would provide all the information necessary even for 3D visualization, but is still unfinished and cannot be used as a tagging guideline at this point.

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answered 02 Dec '11, 18:21

Tordanik's gravatar image

accept rate: 35%

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question asked: 02 Dec '11, 14:45

question was seen: 5,955 times

last updated: 03 Dec '11, 04:14

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