RFC: More detailed mapping of steps

Just a quick note to ask for input about adding more detail to highway=steps objects.

Currently the following keys are widely used with steps: step_count, handrail[:*], surface, tactile_paving.

There are some other aspects of steps which I think could be captured which would be of assistance for people who might not find negotiating steps easy (restricted mobility, respiratory problems etc.). These are:

  • Number of flights (and implictly or explicitly landings). For longer series of steps people may need to pause on a landing, and there’s a big difference between step_count=32 and two times step_count=16. This can be captured by micromapping, which is also valuable for tagging placement of tactile paving as nodes at the top & bottom of steps, but it is not a convenient way to capture information, especially for objects which have already been mapped. Currently there are 3 instances of the key flights applied to steps, two created by me in the English East Midlands, and one independently in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Syntax is either a single number being the count of flights or a semi-colon separated step count for each flight. There is a single use of steps:flights (also by me). This latter key is probably better as less ambiguous. Storing step counts in two places obviously is prone to inconsistency (as witnessed by one of the examples), but providing step_count is regarded as definitive I think the extra information conveyed outweighs this.
  • Riser height. The riser height is the height of each step, and contributes to how easy a given set of steps might be, particularly if there is no handrail. There is an undocumented steps:height but I think this refers to the total height (so riser_height = steps:height/step_count).
  • Going. The depth of the tread on each step. We have flat_steps to indicate going of over 1 metre. I don’t see a reason why we might want to capture more than this at present, so added for completeness.

I’d welcome views, and suggestions as to the most suitable way to capture this sort of information. I think keys of the form steps:* are less likely to result in confusion.

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Ce sujet de discussion accompagne la publication sur https://community.openstreetmap.org/t/rfc-more-detailed-mapping-of-steps/106795