yes, agree strongly. Surface= is a good tag, provides important info but
it is far too fine grained. Someone setting up a route cannot be
expected to sift through all the possible values.

Similarly, we may well have a chance to get the renderers to respect a
clear, on/off tag like the proposed and show it on the maps too.

I see no problem with both tags being used.

I think sometimes we put too much detail in the database and risk making
the data unusable because of that. Mention making the data usable, we
see charges of "tagging for the renderer". But this is important, I have
detailed life threatening issues resulting from unclear maps. This
proposal will provide valuable, dare I say "usable" info for consumers !


On Sat, 2014-09-20 at 23:42 +0200, Tomasz Kaźmierczak wrote:
> Hello all,
> I've posted the below message on the forum, and have been directed
> from there to this mailing list, thus re-posting it.
> Idea
> I would like to suggest making the paved key for highways (and
> probably other types of elements) official. Taginfo for paved:
> The above shows that the key is already being used, but the Wiki
> doesn't describe this key, instead redirecting Key:paved to the
> article about Key:surface.
> Rationale
> Currently, the surface key is being used as a way of saying that a
> given highway is paved or unpaved, but often the value for the surface
> key is not a generic paved or unpaved, but a specific surface type is
> given.This is of course very useful for describing the particular
> surface type a given highway has. However, in some cases, a simple
> information on just whether a highway is paved or not, would be very
> useful. One such case would be navigation software – if a user chooses
> to avoid unpaved roads, the software can check the value of the
> surface key, but in practice most (all?) of the navigation software
> only checks for a subset of all the possible values the surface key
> can have. This leads to incorrect (in terms of what the user expects)
> navigation when, for example, the surface is set to some value that
> describes an unpaved road, not recognized by the navigation software –
> if the software assumes that all highways are paved, unless explicitly
> stated otherwise (by recognized values of known keys), then, in
> consequence, it assumes that the road in question is paved.
> If the paved key was widely used, then the navigation software would
> have a simple and clear way of checking whether a given road is paved
> or not. The default value of the paved key for highways could be yes,
> so that it would be consistent with the assumption that highways in
> general are paved.
> I don't mean that we should stop using the paved and unpaved values
> for the surface key – I'm sure those generic values are useful in some
> cases. However, using the paved key would be also very useful. Also,
> the surface=paved could also implicate paved=yes and similarly
> surface=unpaved could implicate paved=no, so that duplication of the
> information could be avoided when the generic paved and unpaved values
> are set for the surface key.
> I believe that adding an article for the paved key to the Wiki would
> encourage people to use this tag, and navigation software makers to
> implement support for it in their applications.
> What do you think about that? 
> Regards,
> Tomek
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