When new values start appearing in OSM…

Posted by naoliv on 13 September 2016 in English (English)

and developers just don’t care if they are wrong or not…

Comment from EdLoach on 13 September 2016 at 16:38

This isn’t new. crossing=zebra has been valid since the early days of OSM. Or has someone amended the wiki since then? Or have I misunderstood the issue?

Comment from BushmanK on 13 September 2016 at 18:03

Actually, Wiki doesn’t declare crossing=zebra as an obsolete tag - it only calls it “UK shortcut”, while current tagging scheme encourages usage of crossing_ref= to indicate UK-specific properties such as zebra, tiger, and so on (which makes perfect sense to do).

However, the coexistence of shortcuts and detailed tagging scheme creates an ambiguity because, in other countries, where “zebra” is only a variant of road marking, shortcut tag crossing=zebra usually does not make any sense. In the UK, this shortcut doesn’t stand for just a type of road marking - it’s a pedestrian-only crossing without a traffic light, marked with zebra stripe pattern. So, when someone outside the UK uses crossing=zebra just because it’s among the other presets of the iD editor, this mapper likely adds incorrect information since zebra-marked crossing is not necessarily uncontrolled.

Yes, it’s always possible to say, that mappers should be responsible for that. But since this thing is both country-specific and obviously provoking wrong tagging, it makes perfect sense to get rid of this ambiguity in presets in favor of the more detailed current scheme. It also would help to process data, since UK-specific crossing_ref= tag can be just completely disregarded outside the UK (because it doesn’t carry any valuable information), while currently, anyone who wants to find all uncontrolled crossings outside the UK, has to use some sort of telepathy to guess, if this specific crossing was actually marked according to UK-specific meaning of crossing=zebra or it’s just some amateur tagged it with iD preset.

Keeping this shortcut there seems like a disregard of international nature of the OSM project in favor of nation-specific tradition. Doesn’t sound good for me.

Comment from SomeoneElse on 14 September 2016 at 10:32

“zebra” is a type of crossing, it’s not in any sense a “reference”.

Comment from BushmanK on 14 September 2016 at 15:46


It could be a bad choice of key name, but it was approved and it actually doesn’t really matter, how to call this key. It’s a UK-specific thing, so it would better stay in a separate dedicated key.

Login to leave a comment