Best practice for maping groups of features. (Rock climbing)

Hi all,

I have been working for a while now to add support for rock climbing to open street map (See Climb The World app on github), and also helped a lot with the climbing wiki page. (Sorry I am only allowed to put 2 links in one post right now).

My question is: Is there a “best practice” approach when trying to group physical elements into logical groups, and then have groups for this logical groups as well?

The problem I am trying to solve:

  • The physical object is called a climbing route. (usually mapped as a point of start location)
  • Routes can be grouped in crags. A crag usually maps to one face of the wall.
  • And then crags can be grouped in climbing areas.

The solutions I have so far:

  1. Very simplistic way to map climbing related spots. Mainly using point to represent routes starting locations (climbing routes are usually vertical so a line doesn’t really help), and also using points to map crags and areas. This sort-of work when just drawing the elements on the map, but it doesn’t when trying to do some more advance searching.

  2. My second approach was to use relations. Basically all routes mapped to OSM will be part of the “Crag” relation. For example this Crag. And then all the crags will be part of an area relation. The corresponding area for the previous crag. This seems to be a good solution, the only problems I am having is visualizing the area of areas.

  3. The third option I can think of is to draw the actual areas on top of OSM (I don’t know how searching will work on this yet byt maybe it should be fine). The problem I can see with this is overcrowding that will happen since usually climbing spots are in forests and parks. and what I can see usually there are areas already mapped in OSM to represent the forests and the parks.


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