OpenStreetMap

Help required for adding access information to gates/ gated communities

Posted by jguthula on 12 March 2020 in English (English)

Dear OSM Community,

At Amazon, we have observed that ~94% of gates mapped in OSM do not have access information updated (based on study in Florida). This poor coverage of gates lead to routing issues such as allowing general public to restricted areas; specially to gated communities (find the below example for reference). We plan to take up the task of updating the access information for gates in the US. Picture 1 OSM link: https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=16/27.3912/-82.4276

In the above example highlighted polygon contains a gated community with 3 gates situated at three different places. Red points indicate restricted access (residents only) and green point indicates access allowed for general public/ deliveries along with the local residents.

How will we get the access information about gates and add it to OSM?

Whenever our delivery partners route through publicly non-accessible gates/ gated communities, they will collect the access information for those gates and share it with mapping team. Our mapping team will only add access information to gates if both - drivers feedback and OSM data sources match same information. If there is no supportive data, our editing team will drop a note for local community to add appropriate access information using local knowledge. How to add access information to gates in OSM? In our research, we observed most of the access information added to gates are using the “key: access”. Though there is not much coverage of access information to explore for gates, the different gate access scenarios we identified that can be added are:

Key Value Description
access no Gates with permanent closure using boards of “do-not-enter”
access private Gates with which general public or deliveries are not allowed through
access permissive Gates open to general traffic until the time owner revokes the permission
access delivery Gates from which only ‘deliveries’ are allowed
access discouraged A legal right of way exists but usage is officially discouraged. Will only add this information if a traffic sign exists

Please do let us know if there are alternative ways of adding access information to OSM dataset. If you are aligned to our approach, we would like to initiate adding ‘gate access’ in Florida followed by other parts of the US.

Comment from Minh Nguyen on 12 March 2020 at 17:22

Thank you for prioritizing gate access restrictions! This is an oft-overlooked detail (among mappers in general, not just your team). It matters a great deal for accurate routing, not only for to-the-door routing but also to avoid situations where a user winds up in the wrong neighborhood, with the right neighborhood taunting them through a locked gate. 😬

As you add these access restrictions, remember that the access tag can affect multiple modes of transportation, not just driving. For example, it may be possible for pedestrians to walk around a gate. Unless sidewalks have been mapped separately, it may be necessary to add foot=yes in that case.

How do you plan to tag a gate at the front of a gated residential community (common in Florida) that allows both residents and delivery vehicles to enter but not the general public?

Comment from Mateusz Konieczny on 12 March 2020 at 18:27

Note that access=delivery means that residents are not allowed to use this entrance, only delivery is allowed.

What kind of specific information you want to map?

Is access=no/private/permissive/yes sufficient to cover your needs?

Comment from Rovastar on 12 March 2020 at 18:40

Personally I woudl have probably just used delivery for “delivery and resident access”. Or as I would interpret any access tag “delivery” and “authorized people” (in this context the residents). As I would say it is common sense that “authorized people” are allowed to access matter what the tag. Even the most prohibited tag value of “no” allows “authorized people” The language around the access tag for this is ambiguous at best. If you (Minh, Mateusz) there is a better well used tag please share

Comment from maxerickson on 12 March 2020 at 20:16

Please think about trying to group tasks into reasonable chunks to ease review for community members. It’s a lot easier to look at a geographically compact changeset with a few dozen changes and understand what it is about than it is to review and understand 3 dozen separate changesets.

Of course I’m making an assumption about how you might proceed based on how driveways are added, my apologies if I’ve made a bad assumption.

Comment from ᚛ᚏᚒᚐᚔᚏᚔᚋ᚜ 🏳️‍🌈 on 12 March 2020 at 20:32

I suggest you talk to the StreetComplete team, to see if it should support a “quest” to add access tags to gates, with the possibility of Amazon submitting a patch. SC’s ‘on the ground’ survey support helps OSM, and hence you routing. It’s a form of direct, capacity building support Amazon can do, rather than just another organised editing team.

Don’t forget access=yes

access=discouraged is very rare, and risks being a subjective tag, which is a big no-no. I suggest you don’t use that until you can address that concert.

Please follow the Organised Editing Guidelines and write a wiki page about this specific task.

Comment from Magick93 on 12 March 2020 at 20:43

Writting on phone. To solve the afore mentioned scenarios.

Proposition 1: The multiple-value approach. Use a semicolon character “;” to separate different values. Example: The tag access=private;delivery will effectively keep the general public away but allow delivery vehicles. It’s simple to use and understand, and getting more support over time in software and parties involved.

Proposition 2: If you think a unique tag is needed then access:delivery=permissive will be good enough. In this case you would need to add both tags access=private access:delivery=permissive

Best. Magick93.

Comment from Rovastar on 12 March 2020 at 20:44

And I will just thanks Amazon as I would any user that took up this task.

maxerickson do they normally do things in large changesets? I have mostly/always seen some changeset of the size of the local changes. YOu imply that they don’t do this and have a few global changesets?

Ihavenoideawhatyourusernameis,

I’m not StreetComplete needs to be used for this, if someone (Amazon) has information about access to these things and other users do not then they have

tbh they have semi-“on the ground” information here. They have had someone that has been there taht has seen the access gates, etc . It is just someone else is relaying that info to complete OSM.

We don;t need explicitly define access=yes it is presume for everything.

BUt yes they should follow the over the top OEG

Comment from Rovastar on 12 March 2020 at 20:45

MAgick94,

just access=delivery will keep the general public away and allow deliveries

Comment from maxerickson on 12 March 2020 at 21:31

Rovastar, I’m saying that they do things 1 at a time. So if they add 48 driveways to a stretch of highway, they do it in 48 changesets, which is not optimal. It makes it more difficult to review the changes, it makes it more difficult to analyze history, etc.

It’s of course a problem of finding the right balance, huge changesets aren’t good either, but 1 at a time is not the correct lower bound for the sorts of edits they are doing.

Comment from Rovastar on 13 March 2020 at 02:19

Yeah I get that. But if you are doing a group of entrances around an estate like the pic (and in context like they meant) then that is cool - a managable amount for a changeset for the area.

Comment from ᚛ᚏᚒᚐᚔᚏᚔᚋ᚜ 🏳️‍🌈 on 13 March 2020 at 08:24

@Rovastar: Yes, Amazon mappers don’t need to use StreetComplete. But Amazon is a big company with many skilled programmers. If you submitted patches to StreetComplete, you would be helping OSM in general. Isn’t that what you want. (😂 my OSM page explains my username)

Comment from jguthula on 14 March 2020 at 20:30

Please find my responses below:

For example, it may be possible for pedestrians to walk around a gate. Unless sidewalks have been mapped separately, it may be necessary to add foot=yes in that case.

In case we get the information on non-resident pedestrians to walk around, we can add “foot=yes”. @Minh Nguyen Please confirm if there are any challenges using this tag.

How do you plan to tag a gate at the front of a gated residential community (common in Florida) that allows both residents and delivery vehicles to enter but not the general public?

Only allowed for delivery vehicles and local residents, we can be adding “access=delivery; private” (suggesting as per @Magick93 inputs) restricting route to public transport.

Is access=no/private/permissive/yes sufficient to cover your needs?

Not in all scenarios. In certain cases we are coming across situations where only delivery agents were allowed to travel through. In such situations we can add “access=delivery; private”. Let me know if this is not possible.

Please think about trying to group tasks into reasonable chunks to ease review for community members. It’s a lot easier to look at a geographically compact changeset with a few dozen changes and understand what it is about than it is to review and understand 3 dozen separate changesets.

Thanks for your inputs, ideally we are planning to fix one community in one changeset. But again, if the changeset is taking too much time or too many gates to cover, we will be splitting in to multiple changesets to avoid conflicts.

access=discouraged is very rare, and risks being a subjective tag, which is a big no-no. I suggest you don’t use that until you can address that concert.

Yes, we are expecting the same as well. We didn’t come across any scenarios so far on this, but if we come across explicit sign boards stating the same, then we will be adding “access=discouraged”.

Please follow the Organised Editing Guidelines and write a wiki page about this specific task

Sure will do that once the task is finalised. Will also update the Amazon OSM wiki.

Proposition 1: The multiple-value approach. Use a semicolon character “;” to separate different values. Example: The tag access=private;delivery will effectively keep the general public away but allow delivery vehicles. It’s simple to use and understand, and getting more support over time in software and parties involved.

Thanks for your suggestion @Magick93, following this approach can answer few questions raised earlier. Waiting for more community feedback on this.

I suggest you talk to the StreetComplete team, to see if it should support a “quest” to add access tags to gates, with the possibility of Amazon submitting a patch. SC’s ‘on the ground’ survey support helps OSM, and hence you routing. It’s a form of direct, capacity building support Amazon can do, rather than just another organised editing team.

Thanks for the inputs, will explore this option as well.

Regards, Jothirnadh

Comment from Minh Nguyen on 14 March 2020 at 21:51

For example, it may be possible for pedestrians to walk around a gate. Unless sidewalks have been mapped separately, it may be necessary to add foot=yes in that case.

In case we get the information on non-resident pedestrians to walk around, we can add “foot=yes”. @Minh Nguyen Please confirm if there are any challenges using this tag.

Yes, foot=yes is appropriate if pedestrians can walk past the gate. If the general public is blocked from entering by foot or car, then the usual access=private tag suffices.

Not in all scenarios. In certain cases we are coming across situations where only delivery agents were allowed to travel through. In such situations we can add “access=delivery; private”. Let me know if this is not possible.

access=delivery would be appropriate for gates that admit only delivery people. access=private;delivery and access=delivery;private would imply the delivery+residents case I mentioned above. However, I’m unsure if the most popular OSRM-powered routers support multiple values in access. For example, it doesn’t look like OSRM recognizes semicolon-delimited values this way (#1571, #2643). In my opinion, it’s a sensible tagging scheme, but access=private plus access:delivery=designated may be safer. You might want to test out either approach first to see if it gives you the desired behavior.

Comment from Rovastar on 15 March 2020 at 17:52

As stated before I think access=delivery;private is not needed and just makes the whole things overly complex creating higher barriers to entry to osm. Delivery implies delivery drivery AND (and always and from what I can understand) authorized personal (eg residents in this case)

I am not sure access=delivery;private say anything more then what access=delivery is.

Comment from Minh Nguyen on 16 March 2020 at 21:25

I guess the question is whether delivery is mutually exclusive of the other access values. If we assume residents are authorized to use any access=delivery entrance, then we’d need an additional tag to clarify delivery-only entrances that residents are not supposed to use. A resident won’t expect to be routed through it, because it won’t get unlocked for them.

By the way, delivery is also used in other situations besides gated residential complexes, and access is also used on amenity=parking. For example, I’ve mapped plenty of light-industrial facilities with three entrances: a driveway leads to the loading dock has a “Deliveries Only” sign, an access road leading to a parking lot has an “Employees Only” sign, and another access road leads to a smaller parking lot has a “Visitors Only” sign.

Comment from Verdy_p on 28 March 2020 at 18:21

The example at top of this page is clearly a case where such addition of access tags for gates is completely unnecessary ! (and this is demonstrated on the map that shows the gray-dotted lines on the highways, that were correctly tagged.

The “access=*” tags on HIGHWAYS connected to the gate are ENOUGH.

And remember that gates are not necessarily only nodes, they can be ways as well, cutting through the highways (with an intersection node which should be positioned as a valid intersection, but that does not necessarily needs to be tagged as a gate, if the way drawn for the gate passing through that intersection node is already tagged as a gate).

Comment from Verdy_p on 28 March 2020 at 18:33

As well some large gates (and other kinds of barriers) could be draw as areas (notably those passing under a building or under a large fortified wall, or with special equipment on the ground over a large surface, including possibly an elevating bridge left under water or above ground when the gate is closed, or plots raising from the ground that will be brought down to open the access only for some authorized vehicles with remote controls, or multiple parallel barriers)

So limiting to the case of tagging nodes with access is a stupide idea !

In fact the access restriction ALWAYS apply to a larger area starting at these nodes. So it’s much better to tag access restrictions ONLY to the connected highways (or to surfaces containing them) !

Comment from Verdy_p on 28 March 2020 at 19:14

So the comment saying that 95% of gates are not tagged is just indicating that they DO NOT even need to be tagged at all, as the access restrictions applicable to connected highways are clearly enough in 95% of cases (the same!)

Comment from Minh Nguyen on 29 March 2020 at 18:12

Unfortunately, as far as I’m aware, no OSM-based router is currently capable of “rewriting” intersecting barrier ways onto the node that joins the barrier way to the road way.

Amazon has been tagging access tags on road ways – even to the point of tagging every driveway as private. But tagging access restrictions on barrier nodes is useful. For one thing, it’s quite common in the U.S. for an impassable gate to separate two roads that otherwise are otherwise passable. Communities often install such gates as traffic calming measures.

Comment from Verdy_p on 30 March 2020 at 05:27

But almost all barriers in OSM are between highways with different access rules; tagging the barriers themselves does not add any value, given that you cannot go further on the restricted roads already tagged with access rules.

My comment was about the statement made above that 95% of barriers (and most probably even more!) are not tagged, but in fact they don’t even need it ! And almost all barriers that have been tagged with access rules could have been left without such tagging.

So don’t spend much time to update tons of barriers where the real need is to tag the highways (or areas). I bet that such need is needed only in very rare cases (e.g. as trafic calming measures and only when there are other unrestricted accesses to these areas, so this only concerns accesses to quite large areas such as quarters, large hospitals, harbours, airports), or motorways with toll for general access (other accesses being closed by barriers with restrictions for service/emergency and only if there’s no specific restricted service highway to join them)

Comment from Verdy_p on 30 March 2020 at 05:33

And note that massive automated tagging of highways made by Amazon is completely in contradiction with OSM policies. Those automated edits should have been blocked and reverted (not all driveways are private, notably those connecting commercial areas, hotels, campings, tourism parks, hospitals, or other services that are open with some restrictions to the general public at opening hours or for limited goals such as temporary paid residence and delivery).

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