[RFC] Feature Proposal - Extended playground equipment

Anyone who maps playground equipment from time to time might be familiar with the issue: The playground values from the wiki represent only a small range of possible playground devices, for many others you have to get creative, come up with your own tags or dig through TagInfo to see how other mappers might have mapped a device.

As a group of mappers who regularly map playgrounds, we are proposing more values to the list of documented playground equipment to better map typical devices that had no documented value before.


Please discuss this proposal on its Wiki Talk page.


What is the difference between the old and new definitions of playground=map?

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Oh, thanks for noticing that. The value was part of the proposal, as we mistakenly thought this commonly used value was not part of the wiki list. We must have overlooked it. I removed map from the proposal (there is no difference between the values).

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Hmm, the fundamental issue I see is that some values are too specific and thus lead to the situation where that list will never be even close to being somewhat complete. This in turn makes it somewhat impossible to have any reasonable software support for it, even down to just giving it a name and icon.

For example, the swings. There is a normal swing, but also a tyre swing, a rope swing, but then, you are missing already a hammock swing, a wheelchair swing, a tall swing (oh well, that’s another axis) and a trunk swing. Really, there is any number of things that could be made to swing.

To the point: use subtags. playground:swing=tyre. playground:rotator=disc. playground:sand=excavator. Etc.

Will, I guess the hard part here is to find what categories should exist. Maybe the best would be to go by activity: balance, sand, water, climbing, makebelieve, thrill (?.. acceleration, velocity, stuff like spinners, swings, ziplines,…)

Unrelated to the above, why would you want to map a (climbing) structure in any other way than as a POI or an area, i.e. why map platforms, bridges etc at all?


Playground platforms and bridges can pretty extensive sometimes. Almost to the point of being board walks. It’s
not the greatest image but you can kind of see an example of that here. Same with this image. Although admittedly most playgrounds aren’t that extensive, but we are usually creating new tags for the exceptions anyway. Well, maybe not. It sounds smart though. So that’s at least what I’m going to tell myself :sweat_smile: I do think that’s how new tagging schemes are created sometimes though.

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At an earlier stage of the proposal, we considered subtags (see, e.g., this discussion), but have noted that this does not meet acceptance nor is it compatible with the existing way in which playground devices are mapped. Instead, the proposal introduces the concept of fallback values (e.g. balance or climbing). To us, this seems to work very well in practice and the rate of devices whose tagging remains unclear has decreased extremely.

In fact, the tyre_swing example is one of the last ones where I am still unsure whether it is solved well. After all, special subtags have already been established for baby or wheelchair swings, which an data consumer should take into account anyway. Maybe it would be better to map tyre_swings as swings, but with material or something? Other opinions on this?

(The various playground device values are also grouped into different categories in the wiki. Here we need to merge the old and new categories into a new system.)

Of course, there will always be individually designed devices for which no documented value will fit and which are difficult to match with a fallback value. But the “typical” range on playgrounds (predominantly Western, due to our point of view) seems to us to be well covered now, even after we have searched through many catalogs and websites of international manufacturers.

Yes, a value like megaphone might seem very special and could be skipped, but that’s the way we map playground equipment in OSM. I don’t think it would be useful to try to agree on something like playground=audible + playground:audible=megaphone instead - such a kind of system would only have disadvantages compared to a simple tagging as playground=megaphone, where evaluators can decide for themselves whether such a value is relevant for them or they just treat it as generic “rest”.

Structures can be very different and mapping it’s parts is a way of making that evaluable.

It is not only about categorizing structures into size categories (from mini to giant adventurous), describing possible activities and listing that a structure consists of X bridges, Y platforms and Z climbing elements (which would already be interesting enough!), but it is also possible that detailed structure mapping can be used to make age and target group statements (which also affect an automated “age categorisation” of the entire playground).

In my surroundings, for example, there are about 50 playgrounds with structures and some of them I perceived as perfect at a certain age level of my child, others, however, as unsuitable (e.g. due to the type of bridges, number of steps on ladders and stairs, height of the elements, age group-appropriate possibilities to enter the structure…). We want to make things like this visible and evaluable in an automated, differentiated way.

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