OpenStreetMap

Thought it worth posting this.

After much frustration I have come up with what I do regarding amenity=parking and highway=rest_area (plus details) and have been running this way for 6-12 months. This is live data input (my eyeball/camera/recording etc) as I drive through. I think there have been maybe 1200-1400 objects so far!

I have generally adopted a formal vs informal data set. Formal is almost based wholly on site signs and informal on a mix of triggers and interpretations.

This generally only applies to regional places, not so such towns and high population areas.

There are always contentions! I have come across many (other mapper) highway=rest_area objects that are not “my formal”, as I make no allowance for locations that “could be”. Indeed any parking area could be an informal rest area, so are informal ones needed at all? In the end I sometimes use informal=yes or informal=no to clarify.

So looking at the SA and WA govt databases and my limited travels, SA calls everything “rest areas” and their naming system starts “RA”. This is also seen on roads where virtually every stop has a rest area sign at 1km before, followed by a “P” or two. WA calls everything “stopping places” with a plain number designation. It’s almost as if “P” locations in WA are not allowed to be rest areas! There is also a distinct lack of HGV defined “P” in WA where I wonder if trucks actually get stuck in small ones! Of course Qld is quite unfriendly in defining large areas with useful facilities as HGV only, but that’s another story!

The “informals” are basically NHVR Green Dot, Stockpiles/gravel pits and any place that looks like a truck has been parking for a few years! I also map gravel pits that “could be” used for parking.

So onto the process.

MAIN DECISIONS

  • A formal sign saying rest area or the usual graphic tree and table; highway=rest_area also implies additional amenity:parking object and sub tags
  • A formal blue “P” parking; amenity=parking access=yes (public) hgv=yes if self judged that an HGV will fit and no other HGV signs exist
  • A formal blue HGV “P” parking; amenity=parking hgv=designated
  • Any formal “no truck signage” hgv=no (ie hgv are prohibited.) access=yes (public)
  • Any formal “no car/LV signage” in a dedicated HGV location hgv=designated access=no

Rest area objects are most often nodes only with just the name. No other tags. (except a possible informal as mentioned above) Parking objects contain maximum tag details. A rest/parking area that has multiple signs only usually has two objects, the parking one containing both access=yes and hgv=designated etc A rest area sign implies parking exists within it, but a parking sign does not imply a rest area exist

  • Any informal site hgv=yes if that is the current usage or will fit hgv=no if the entry/exit is too tight Then above are also in precedence order. Example - some formal parking areas were formerly NHVR green dot type, so the formal tagging is used with description including prior NHVR status. (unless the green dots are removed…)

INFORMAL vs not tag

  • A formal sign, obvious high expenditure and/or listing in a formal (waivered) government database informal=no or no informal tag Road type that routes to is always highway=service, service=parking_aisle and goes through a parking=surface. If parking objects are nodes they are placed on the service road. Alternatively parking=street_side adjacent the existing road. capacity:hgv is NOT used bin=yes or bin=no lit=yes otherwise not tagged name=Formal or anecdoctal name Description=Anything special. Examples may be “Informal turnout, low speed vehicles”, “HGV LV Stopping Bay”, “HGV only Stopping Bay”, “LV only Stopping Bay” - preceded by relevent blue sign

  • The NHVR green dot areas informal=nhvr Road type is always highway=track and goes through parking=surface (area or node) In most cases surface=unpaved of both the parking and through road. It is however possible to see asphalt, fine_gravel and so on. Alternatively parking=street_side adjacent the existing road. capacity:hgv=1 (or more) as a judgement of how many moving 25x4m shapes can independently arrive/leave. bin=yes or bin=no description=NHVR informal parking (Green Dot) area

  • Stockpile or gravel pits that are or are likely to be used for parking informal=stockpile Road type is always highway=track and goes through parking=surface (area or node) In most cases surface=fine_gravel of both the parking and through road. Alternatively parking=street_side adjacent the existing road. capacity:hgv=1 (or more) as a judgement of how many moving 25x4m shapes can independently arrive/leave. Allow for the piles of dumped gravel reducing that number, the rule of thumb being just one lane width going through bin=yes or bin=no description=Stockpile site with possible use as truck parking area OR Stockpile site with evidence of use as truck parking area OR Stockpile site, possibly too tight for HGV with hgv=no.

  • Any other informal places that are or are likely to be used for parking informal=yes In most cases parking=street_side adjacent the existing road is used, else any through road type is always highway=track and goes through parking=surface (area or node) In most cases surface=unpaved of the parking object. capacity:hgv=1 (or more) as a judgement of how many moving 25x4m shapes can independently arrive/leave. description=Anything useful but most often left blank

Other objects at parking areas

  • Picnic shelter and if provided bin and lighting
  • Picnic tables
  • RV dump points
  • Toilets with normal iD full details including lit=yes if so. I also enter the rest area etc as name if known.
  • When creating parking objects directly on both sides of a road offset them slightly so the left side “comes first” (for navigator routing engines)

Comment from Marcos Dione on 5 January 2023 at 12:57

Would you tag highway=rest_area also those highway stops that are bigger than just toilets + picnic tables? For instance these guys:

https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=17/43.41499/6.45305

Comment from bob3bob3 on 5 January 2023 at 14:20

Hi Marcos

I only tag highway=rest_area if a formal rest area sign exist. (commonly a tree and picnic table graphic) In any case I create toilets and picnic tables as separate objects.

And I distinguish between formal or not, amenity=parking also based on a sign (commonly a white/blue “P”)

Please be aware that most of my work is on remote Australian roads where many stopping places are not formal and often not paved.

Cheers


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