Feature Proposal - Voting - highway=scramble

Yes they are. Yes, people will disagree on some sections, just as they disgree on whether a terrain is scrubland with some trees or low density forest. Most mappers would then say: OK, I would have mapped this as a forest, but I can see why it’s mapped as scrubland, and leave it at that. Same with scrambles: most people would have to scramble, and people who wouldn’t would still understand that most people would have to scramble. At the same time some would say it was heavy climbing, while still acknowledging it as a scramble for most people. This is the kind of fuzzy clearness found everywhere in mapping. It is not solved by stricter definitions, but by tolerance and understanding. Bandwidth thinking and respect for choices.
There is no single objective measure for scramblyness. Still people will agree on most occasions. If not, there wouldn’t even be a word for it.


Sure, I don’t disagree with that and nowhere have I said there has to be one objective measure for scramblyness. What I did do give you multiple scenarios to use to tell me what a scramble is or isn’t and you can’t even do that. No one expects tagging to be an exact science, but if someone gives you 15 possible options and asks which ones fit the definition of the highway=secondary tag you should be able to provide a half coherent answer that isn’t just handwaving about forests.

The issue with that analogy is that the whole purpose of this tag is to stop people from hiking terrain that isn’t safe for then to hike on. I could really care less if there’s some level of disagreement, but that level at least has to be low enough for the tag to fit it’s purpose of supposedly mitigating dangerous hiking. Which it doesn’t do if every other mountain pass is tag subjectively because “people will disagree on some sections” or whatever. Whereas, the bar just isn’t that high for something like if whether a terrain is scrubland with some trees or low density forest. Since it doesn’t 100% come down to the ability of the tags to save lives like highway=scramble was supposedly specifically created for. Just like there has to be a clear definition of what a defibrillator is from the onset and stay that way or emergency=defibrillator would essentially be worthless as tag.

Nowhere the proposal says that. The rationale states, that this tag is about giving consumers a means to assess if a way is appropriate for their clientel, in such a way, that they just cannot turn a blind eye to it. This is the non-negotiable part.


Rationale Many data consumers that have no interest in non-walkable paths evidently have been failing to filter those out for years now."

Why exactly would data consumers have no interest in non-walkable paths and why would need to be filtered out if it wasn’t for safety reasons? Just for the chuckles?

Personal note of the author of this proposal, who is not afraid of scrambles

So it has with safety, but your not afraid of scrambles. Sure dude. What are you not afraid of then?

Later during the voting phase you replied to something I said with “The language you ridicule is taken literally from the worlds most renowned difficulty rating schemes for mountain hiking.” The difficulty of a hiking path literally has to do how safe it is.

I’m sure I could find more if I wanted to, but the purpose of the tag is clearly to stop people from hiking terrain that isn’t safe for them to hike on.

Are you saying you couldn’t identify a scramble section when you see one in front of you?

The single purpose of a defibrillator is to save lives. Mapping them has the purpose of showing where they are. A scramble does not have the purpose to save lives. Mapping scrambles has the purpose of showing where they are, because people would like to know where they are, for various reasons, including just because you see them, and because it might prevent people from getting themselves into trouble, and because it is interesting to know, just as it is interesting for hikers to know surface, ferry sections, landmarks and picnic sites. It doesn’t have to be a single important purpose.

Yes, scrambles exist, and yes, people want to know/see on the map where they are. Sac_scale values tell you that you probably will have difficulties such as scrambling sections, but they will not tell you where the difficulties are. An explicit scramble tag does just that. Personally, I have confidence that OSM-mappers will be reliable enough to map most sections I would call a scramble, as a scramble.

I have hiked in Germany and Switzerland along trails marked as “Klettersteig”, meaning that there are scrambling sections. In fact most of those paths were easy paths, smooth incline 0-10%, with often just a single scramble-section, easily avoidable by a planned detour around the section. And the opposite, trails marked as easy paths, still with scramble sections I could hardly manage (which doesn’t say very much, except that it is really scrambling and certainly not climbing), and I have seen people returning looking for a bus to get them to the next stay location. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a map showing both the scramble section and the detour?

I asked you to identify a scramble. I’m not going to answer my question just because you apparently can’t answer it. Your the one who is saying they exist so the impetuous is on you to prove it. I’m not doing your job for you.

Sure, but my comment specifically had to do with why @Hungerburg created the proposal. Not why some random user might map a scramble. Along those lines, the last time I checked the title of this discussion is “feature proposal - Voting - highway=scramble”, not “lets discuss why rando users might map trails certain ways.” I assume you get the difference. Personally, I’m here to discuss the proposal and if the proposal makes sense or not as it’s currently worded or whatever. That doesn’t have anything to do with what Joe Blow hiking some random back trail is doing. Obliviously.

At the end of the day I don’t really care if they exist or not. What I care about is if there is an objective way to map them or not. Your the one that said there is. So I asked you how we do that. Again, your the one making the claim that they can be objectively mapped. Just saying they exist or that people disagree about things sometimes doesn’t answer my question. This isn’t that difficult dude. You say they can be objectively mapped. Cool, how do you objectively map them then?

Scramble are no more no less objective than the judgment call every mapper does when tagging tracktype=x.


Cool for tracktype. I didn’t know there was a proposal for it that was currently being voted on or discussed :roll_eyes:

Hey, I just want to know how to objectively map scrambles. I really don’t get why it’s so hard for someone to tell me how to :joy: Being able to say how to use a tag is pretty basic and fundamental. If people who support it can’t even muster meeting that low of a bar without this much deflection then I don’t really know what else to say about it. Except that the tag is clearly unverifiable nonsense :man_shrugging:

“signs of actual use” as in traces/manifestations that humans use the path, it’s not referring to a physical sign or board.

Tagging highway=scramble also doesn’t exclude further specification with sac_scale= and/or UIAA=.

Not sure why there is this big insistence on secondary attributes that can already explain everything. We also don’t tag every road as highway=road with a lot of attributes, but have different values for functionally quite different roads like motorway, living_street, pedestrian. Why can’t we have more diversity in the footway/path space as well?


scramble is significantly more objective than tracktype:

  • it is yes or no, not a choice of 5
  • “do I need to use my hands” is an easy test

I don’t necessarily have a problem with the whole “do I need to use my hands” thing, but there’s three problems with it IMO.

  1. People are notorious for overestimating their own ability.

  2. Users shouldn’t have to climb a specific hill, mountain, or whatever to map it.

  3. There’s plenty of trails where someone might have to use their hands one day but not the next depending on their health at the time, the specific conditions of the trail, the season, Etc. Etc. Especially with alpine trails, which is the main place this tag will probably be used. Like someone brought up using this tag on ice trails. There aren’t really consistent conditions for ice trails. Same goes for a lot of the higher altitude more mountainous trails out there.

That said, I’m sure scrambles can be objectively mapped given the perfect set of conditions and the perfect trail, but we all know that’s not how mapping works. More so in this case because the proposal makes it clear that the tag is suppose to be used on a wide range of trail types and with a number different conditions.

Examples were given in this RFC/CFV. Let’s not repeat everything. Whether each individual example is a scramble or not, there is no single objective judgement (as is often the case when mapping things). I’ve answered that, without claiming that there is. It does not prevent useful mapping.

A bit clearer but to be frank many scrambles are bolder fields with no real indication that the trail is used by humans except if the trail has been trailblaze marked. Typically at places that are less likely to be covered by snow.

Part of the ask for the Rationale section of the proposal it compare the proposal to other tags already in use and explain what your tag adds the other existing tags don’t already provide. Simply stating you can still use these tags doesn’t address how this tag does a better job than these existing tags at identification especially when the definition of scramble crosses multiple stages of sac trail rating making it less precise than the existing tagging. If you fail on making this case then “but you can use it with the new tag” still is a red herring argument that distracts from the fact that this doesn’t justify the need for a new tag when these existing one do a BETTER job at identifying the same thing and hence violate one tag, one thing OSM best practices!

[quote="eginhard, post:89, topic:5228] Not sure why there is this big insistence on secondary attributes that can already explain everything. We also don’t tag every road as highway=road with a lot of attributes, but have different values for functionally quite different roads like motorway, living_street, pedestrian. Why can’t we have more diversity in the footway/path space as well?

I’d actually be one that would argue the inverse that we don’t need as many types of roads the main trade off being people don’t want to stop and label every road as (cars only - motorway) (pedestrians only - pedestrian), this was a short cut to avoid having tor accurately mark number of lanes and what traffic can use which lanes.

This itself is broken as lanes initially get defined as lanes that can support motor vehicle traffic so bike lanes then get the left or right side of the road treatment as an after thought. Now we have places where right turn traffic crosses a bike lane meaning the bike lane is between two traffic lanes and neither left or right.

Sorry for the tangent the point is I don’t agree that making paths more like roads is the right solution if anything I wish roads worked more like paths with easy to implement side views that capture the whole of right of ways and was designed for mixed uses first not as an afterthought which is why roads are now broken in a lot of ways.

None of the examples that I asked you about were in the RFC/CFV. So I’m not really sure what your talking about or how I’m repeating everything, let alone anything, in either one.

Again, I’m not asking for a single objective judgement. I gave you specific examples and wanted to know what your opinion about them was. That’s it. It should be pretty simple to answer if a part of a trail is a scramble if 10 people used their hands and 7 didn’t. Your the one saying it’s objective. I’m posing an objective question about what makes something a scramble or not. It’s a simple yes or no, if 10 people used their hands on and 7 didn’t is that a scramble? I don’t see why you can’t just answer it without the deflection or miss-characterizing things.

So, in other words it’s subjective? Why didn’t you say that in the first place :man_facepalming:

As far as I can tell only one example image in the proposal has signs of actual use and it’s just a part mark on a rock. So either the examples don’t represent scrambles in real life or they don’t have signs of use :man_shrugging:

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I think this is the first mention of needing to modify sac_scale=* (which should be separate proposal anyway - if really wanted, and not a joke/sarcasm). (meta: everybody please always explicitly indicate use of sarcasm/irony, as it may often be misunderstood in international forums)

sac_scale=demanding_mountain_hiking (T3) does say “Use of hands for balance potentially needed.”, is that incorrect? Or am wrong in interpreting your “So much on the praised precision of sac_scale” as unhappiness about its applicability to scramble? Do you consider only T4 as scramble, or something else? Can you elaborate on that?

I think it should’ve been more clearly stated instead of being implied, e.g.

the whole purpose of this tag is to stop people from accidentally hiking terrain that isn’t safe for them to hike on.

(added emphasizes mine). Then you would both agree on that @Hungerburg and @Adamant1 I suppose? (as it seems to me that in this instance at least you’re saying the same thing)

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If someone wants to tell me that there is an obscure way up the mountain, I would rather they had actually been there, which strike me as a rather fundamental feature of OSM


That’s essentially what I was trying to say and I don’t think @Hungerburg would disagree with it given their other statements to that effect :+1:

I did. You said I claimed objectivity. I didn’t.

I would rather they be there to, but I don’t think we should intentionally create tags that force them to be either. Maybe that’s me though :man_shrugging: