Mapping kerbs along the street?

I’ve recently moved from Germany to the UK and now started to improve my neighbourhood. And around here I’ve seen something I’ve never seen in Germany before: All the kerbs (ALL!) along streets mapped as paths with barrier=kerb and kerb=lowered. E.g. here. Is this usual in the UK part of OSM?

The wiki page mentions the possibility, but it sounds more like it should only be done at significant locations where people would eventually cross that kerb. Not that ALL kerbs should be mapped. But then, they’re there in the real world. Any opinions?

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There were a lot of kerbs in London, possibly added by the same user ( Mikhail1412, currently blocked for another 8 years ), which had kerb=lowered incorrectly applied along the entire length. I removed the incorrect tag where I came across it in the course of other mapping, but there’s a lot of the nonsense they added still to fix. I treat all their edits as discardable if they’re not supported by an OSM-compatible source.

I’ve removed kerb=lowered from kerbs >20m long in Greater London added by @Mikhail1412 and still at v1 in Changeset: 152144481 | OpenStreetMap

There are instances where a long section of barrier=kerb + kerb=lowered or kerb=flush are correct. These are along stretches of parking bays on the footway and some (semi-) pedestrianised streets with distinct sidewalks.

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One could wonder how many represent a routing obstacle.

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It isn’t all unique to the UK as I’ve seen this happening in Germany too at one point: OpenStreetMap
Overpass also tells me that only certain neighbourhoods in UK are really affected by them (they otherwise are mostly used for traffic isles which is an understandable use of them).

It’s pretty safe to say that these are efforts of micromapping and with how few gain there is (for starters, it requires separate sidewalk mapping IMO), it’s easy to see why only few users make any effort in doing this and why they tend to appear in limited areas.

Is this usual in the UK part of OSM?

it doesn’t really matter, the question should rather be whether it is correctly representing the situation on the ground.

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Mapping kerbs as lines (ways with barrier=kerb) is an important information in my opinion (and from my mapping experiance), as they are one of the main structuring features of the street space. They are the border between the “vehicle” and the “pedestrian” world and a structural and geometric reference point for much street furniture and street parking. So they also help mapping the space in more detail/greater accuracy, e.g. when mobile mapping objects like trees, lamps or street cabinets.

Unfortunately, only few map styles render them. Maps like Straßenraumkarte Neukölln show the potential that can be realized with such data (note that kerb mapping and highway area mapping are closely related imho):

But of cause you don’t need to map them. Just map what you are interested in!


From the instances I saw, the barrier=kerb lines represented the situation on the ground. The only thing which was wrong with them was an incorrect kerb=lowered tag.

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I’ve never seen linear barrier=kerb where I map.

I’ve been slowly introducing the sidewalk=separate next to highway={foot,cycle}way+{foot,cycle}way=sidewalk pattern around here along major roads because it helps define and visually shape the map’s representation of space while providing routing details, and it works nicely with StreetComplete’s Pavement layer too :slight_smile:

We get a lot of somewhat extra area=yes tagging here in some areas (like this or this), often on poor early Bing alignments and usually incomplete. I’m always wondering if I should delete it or try to rescue it. They’re an active mapper though, and I don’t want to just be destructive.

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