Poi that represent steps and escalators


I was wondering why in OSM you don’t have points which represent “steps”, “Escalator”, “wheelchair ramps” (you can draw them, but only with lines). In some cases I plot footpath from ground level to building podium level when this path goes indoor. I know that there is a path, but definitely can’t correctly plot it inside the building. Also at some point if you need to create ramp + escalator + steps + lift the indoor area simply become a mess. Would it be good to have a kind of indoor pois for “steps”, “escalator” and for a “ramp”?

What i would like to map:

How it feels right now:

in such case creating - especially temporarily - highway=steps point is fine

what you exactly mean by that? You can assign the same tags to a point

(and yes, validators will suggest to map detailed ways)

My suggestion is to add two approved by the community objects:

  • point with tag “highway=steps”
  • point with tag “highway=ramp”

Then for visualisation this objects may have simplified icons similar to the ones on the screenshot that I’ve shared. Both points will work similar to “elevator” object: for example, footpath can enter such point on the first floor and then exit on the second floor.

Later smn who is specializing on indoor mapping can replace this point by a full way.

In your example (where you want to arrive), the steps are drawn as ways not points, and also in much greater detail than the OpenStreetMap example you give and which doesn’t distinguish the landings from the steps.

Generally drawing steps or ramps as nodes seems incompatible with detailed indoor mapping, but of course as Mateusz points out, everything is possible in OpenStreetMap .

We should decourage this, no advantages. It would force imprecision because both objects tend to be long (e.g. minimal stairs length for small level height, including landings, and divided by 2, is about 6m, why would we represent this as a node?)

Thanks for your comment dieterdreist. As I’ve mentioned my comment is about separating indoor mapping and outdoor mapping. I’m outdoor mapper, but somehow need to guess what is inside the building if I’m working with a footpath that goes from outdoor on floor 1 to outdoor area on floor 2. As a result me and many others just plot some nonesense that would represent indoor steps, escalators. So such drawings wouldn’t represent reality. However I couldn’t simply not plot indoor steps, because they are necessary or you will have “non connected” footpaths and outdoor navigation would break.

Signs with “escalator”, “steps” and “ramps” are common even for indoor mapping. Why wouldn’t we introduce such simplification?

You argue that in some cases mapping them as points would be a good first step. But you can map them as points already. What you are proposing is to treat them as valid as way mapping.

You also mention that in some cases it would be useful to represent steps or other such object with an icon, not with a styled line. This is also possible already.

please never do this

if point is all what can be mapped, map point, not a fake geometry

also, can you give examples of such nonsense that would benefit from mapping as points, at least for now?

Thanks for your suggestion. But I’m not considering mapping steps as a point with non-approved tags, because such logic wouldn’t be used in navigators and route planners. This will break their routing logic. Imagine a person following the route and not expecting steps and then seeing them.

So let’s get back to my example. Why steps are different from lifts? Are you plotting exact height of the shaft of the lift? I assume that for the lift you just use one point with corresponding tag. So why are you plotting every meter of the steps, but not depicting full route of the lift?

lift typically goes up and down, as result points depict full route of a lift

Steps are typically having some length, while lifts are typically up and down.

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Hi, found another good example of using poi with an icon that describes steps, escalator and etc. Basically, once again you don’t need to plot all steps to explain that there is a way down:

Same image in OSM which will give you illusion of being in the labyrinth:

these are cartographic decisions that have to be dealt with in the rendering styles, for escalators I agree an icon could make sense when zoomed in (this doesn’t require the feature to be mapped as point, a way could display as point).

The elevators are already rendered, for example Node: ‪AS12 VGL2‬ (‪4037948671‬) | OpenStreetMap

The other issue, the labyrinth: often this is the case with train stations and other big buildings because all levels are rendered at the same time, it is a compromise to show as much as possible (and having only a part may be confusing as well), because the style is thought for mappers, but it is true that these are not ideal :wink: (to me the google version is still worse)

rendering icon based on level or location can be done already