Are pedestrian areas tagging for the renderer?

I created a ticket at JOSM because I find it irritating that nameless pedestrian areas such as this one are reported as errors. I got an answer from a technician that I’m tagging for the renderer and thus I am wrong.
How does the community feel about this?

To clarify, from reading your ticket, it sounds like they said that a nameless pedestrian area covering a street with a name is tagging for the renderer, which I’d likely agree with. It does not sound like they’re saying that pedestrian areas themselves are tagging for the renderer. Is your post here disagreeing with them and indicating you think leaving the name off the area when there’s an overlapping street that has the name is OK?

I could believe that there are nameless pedestrian areas, but am also at a loss for where I might find one at this moment (maybe an obscure part of a college or corporate campus?).


looking at the map, it seems that these should rather be 2 areas, one for Wiijngaardstraat and one for Tegelpoort. (I do not know the area and have only looked at the OSM link, not on aerial imagery). I guess these could be tagged as area:highway=* although for pedestrian areas, arguably the combination with area=yes is more established.

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That looks like tagging for the renderer. This is a perfect case for area:highway=pedestrian.


I see them quite often in parks. Just like foot paths in parks are often nameless, larger paved areas for pedestrians are often nameless too.


I agree that the noname warning is annoying.

I mostly see and use highway=pedestrian+area=yes for public squares.

It is widely accepted that things in that area that are not walkable should be excluded from the pedestrian walkable area. Like buildings, fountains or greenery.

In my option it is best to add all names to a place=square object that encompasses the buildings, roads and other objects, and that the highway=pedestrian+area=yes represents the walkable area for pedestrians over a square. I then also think that it is a bit double to add names to the pedestrian walkable areas. As in that case the represent only the paved area’s of a square.

For example:
pedestrian walkable area


In contrary; all these areas should be glued together to a huge multipolygon representing the city’s pedestrian area. But to keep things simple and editable it’s split into multiple areas, not necessarily being streets.

It’s not about the name. It’s about indicating that this is a pedestrian area.

Yeah that’s also possible.

My main point is that these are areas, not streets. Sometimes you can argue that “one feature, one element” is not kept here but that’s how it goes. Streets are mostly line elements and these areas are, well… areas.

definitely not. There would be no advantage from this, only problems :slight_smile:

When you try keeping things “simple and editable”, the best way is to make them also “meaningful”, so that others can build on it. Why splitting these arbitrarily if you can add information by splitting at well-considered borders?

Find quite a few cases of squares (piazza) that normally would go with place=square, but they’ve been mapped as pedestrian areas and then the fun starts as it’s ‘pedestrian’ but no connecting ways have been mapped to be able to route across, all these ways ending at the outline.


Of course, when half is paving stones and the other half is asphalt, split to your liking.
But that doesn’t mean these areas have to have names.

Can you show us?

you can have both, highway=pedestrian area(s) and a place=square object, for the same square. For place=square, a name is mandatory, for the pedestrian area it isn’t. If mapped detailed and well, the place=square should cover the whole square (i.e. it would typically connect to the adjacent buildings or similar), while the highway=pedestrian area should only cover the actual pedestrian space (i.e. no buildings, no fountains or flowerbeds or other non-walkable surfaces, etc.)


I’ll post a snapshot when I come across the next one (IIR). AFAIR there’s only one router been mentioned that has omnidirectional routing capability i.e. is able to go across these ‘areas’, the name escapes me momentarily.

area:highway of all types does not render (yet) as a surface in Carto, traffic islands, pedestrian, the large motorway zones we have at the toll gats, one a measly 32 lanes wide. Lots of white blobs of the map and always checking… “was this area mapped?”.

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Think we discussed such an object before, a post office building on St Peter’s square… invisible in Carto.

And yes, those pedestrian areas are often drawn connecting along the edges of buildings, and 1 or 2 QA progs flagging that and they do at least on occasion ‘insist’ on a name too.

yes, there are edge cases with temporary objects, but if it sits there stable, I would exclude it from the pedestrian area because it isn’t then, it’s a post office (in a container, for years).

that is a really bad idea, please do not do this

I am torn is this specific case is a legitimate square or tagging for renderer. Can you provide some photos of the location?

(Mapping fake squares with area=yes highway=pedestrian where there is merely sidewalk is a common mistake, here it is not so obvious is it bad tagging)

I mapped all this myself to keep it simple.

Neither of both.

I will.

It’s not a fake square (a square would be place=square) it’s a pedestrian area.


OK, then I think my reading of Stoeker, the JOSM dev’s reply is different than yours. I read them as saying that pedestrian areas are OK, but leaving it nameless is invalid. I do not think they were saying pedestrian areas are tagging for the renderer on their own, but they thought you were leaving it nameless in order to avoid a second label of the street on OSM Carto’s rendering of the pedestrian area over the street with the name. I think clarifying your goals directly with them would go a long way towards resolving your question/issue.

That said, at least in the United States, a pedestrian area that overlays a street with a name would be referenced by that name by someone describing it, so I would consider it invalid to leave the name off here, but I understand that may be different elsewhere. Still, I personally appreciate a validator that would catch names as missing and at least warn about it (but not block the edit).

This particular example is mapped both as a linear street and a pedestrian area. You could probably make a case for either of those, but not both.

As numerous people have said ^^ I’d have thought that something involving area:highway was the better solution here.

That said, sometimes JOSM’s warning’s don’t match reality (various people have already mentioned valid pedestrian areas without names). I’ve always found JOSM’s warning that highway=tertiary should all have names amusing, for example.


Two streets, one area.

As I wrote earlier, the city’s pedestrian area is one thing and should be mapped as one thing. Only for editability it’s cut into parts.