How do I tag normal-height kerbs?

TLDR: The wiki page doesn’t make it clear which tag should be used for regular kerbs. The examples section suggests kerb=regular. However, this tag was rejected in a 2020 proposal. The opposition votes imply that regular kerbs should use kerb=raised, despite all the examples for that tag being of higher-than-normal kerbs.


The wiki documentation for the kerb key details how to tag kerbs that are dipped, flush or absent. But how do I tag a crossing with kerbs that are the same height as all the “normal” kerbs around it?

kerb=raised appears to mean that a kerb is taller than average, e.g. to be on the level of buses. However, the table doesn’t clarify this. This led me to check the Examples section.

The examples include a photo of an extra-high “raised” kerb at a bus stop, agreeing with my initial idea. A second image confirms this, showing a “raised” kerb that’s significantly higher than normal. It also appears to answer my question, labeling the normal kerb as kerb=regular. Why is this apparently-simple case not mentioned in the table?

This issue has been brought up on the talk page, where the discussion links to a 2020 proposal for kerb=regular. However, it was rejected, and the vote comments suggest that normal-height kerbs fall under the kerb=raised tag.

Does the wiki page need to be updated? Do I misunderstand the proposal? Or is kerb=regular correct after all?


For some additional context, kerb=raised has 13% usage, and kerb=regular has 0.25% usage, under the kerb key. (taginfo)

kerb=raised is tagging used for that.

2020 proposal was trying to redefine the existing value “raised” and change its meaning despite that it was used already in a different way.

I made an edit to wiki in Difference between revisions of "Key:kerb" - OpenStreetMap Wiki removing one of examples mismatching actual tag use and rejected in 2020 proposal. Maybe further edits would be useful.

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Thanks for the insight. I think the term “raised” threw me off, as it suggested that the kerb had been raised from it’s normal height. Another case of confirmation bias? :upside_down_face:

It’s also good that the wiki no longer contains conflicting information. I’ll take a look at the page myself tomorrow and see if I can clarify things.

If you look at Bus stop with raised kerb on the wiki it’s still clear that “raised kerb” was meant for above normal height.

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Yes, and we currently have no tagging for actually raised-above-normal-level kerbs.

I wonder whether people inventing initial tagging scheme provided option for “this is normal kerb with about 10cm height”

From looking at Key:kerb - OpenStreetMap Wiki it seems that it was missing, with predictable results.

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Looking at Proposed features/kerb - OpenStreetMap Wiki, I guess the “standard” height was meant as default value with no tag. The purpose of the tag being “Properties of a kerb to aid with accessibility” where elderly people and people with wheelchairs can use public transports thanks to raised platforms, the initial intention for “raised” was IMHO obvious. I don’t get how the meaning has changed overtime.

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Looking at Proposed features/kerb - OpenStreetMap Wiki, I guess the “standard” height was meant as default value with no tag. The purpose of the tag being “Properties of a kerb to aid with accessibility” where elderly people and people with wheelchairs can use public transports thanks to raised platforms, the initial intention for “raised” was IMHO obvious. I don’t get how the meaning has changed overtime.

I agree, I always understood the “raised” value to mean a kerb that is higher than what you’d normally expect (expectations may vary across regions, but that’s probably a different issue)

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I also agree, in that I’ve always understood “raised” was for sections of kerb raised above normal height. Usually found at bus stops to help passengers that would have problems with a change in height.

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I’ve always tagged everything higher than a lowered kerb, as raised. No matter if it’s 5cm, 10cm or 15cm in height. If they are particularly high, like on bus stops, I added kerb:height with the appropriate value :man_shrugging:t2:

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And that was a mistake, people will want to tag also such info (otherwise you cannot distinguish between “not mapped” and “default applies”).

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Although this requires more detailed OTG check it is definitely the most accurate solution to avoid any misunderstanding of the term “raised”.

kerb=raised + kerb:height definitely adds the needed data, but unfortunately it lacks semantics: if I’m using OSM data, it’s usually much more helpful to know the type of kerb. This is especially true as kerbs vary in height across regions, making it difficult to distinguish two different-purpose kerbs from each other.

Having said that, the existing scheme does a good job of this 95% of the time, so it’s not a massive issue.

Right, but it’s the same for oneway=no, except that we can add oneway=no. Adding later kerb=normal instead of changing the meaning of raised to “raised or normal”. So we have: lowered,(fine), unknown (OK) or raised(maybe raised maybe not). So we have only one interesting case of two (normal or unknown).

No, do you walk with a decimeter all the time, if not or if you’re using street view (Mapillary for instance) you can’t answer when it’s really raised, do you? You can’t enter the height. So the current schema is missing 50% of the end-user useful target. Before the raised redefinition it was missing no target, “only” quality assurance targets: for the end-user if you don’t know if it’s raised or not, you’ll avoid the kerb if possible.