My Plan of Action. Opinions Welcome

I live in the most sparsely-populated county in New York south of the Adirondacks. That being the case, almost none of the roads here had been captured before I started doing it myself.

At first, I wanted to capture all the “major” roads (I use the word “major” very loosely here) and some of the minor roads. But I think I may be doing mappers and the public in general more of a favor by concentrating on the numbered County roads, especially the treacherous ones that really should be avoided if at all possible.

The reason I say this is because when I first moved here about 10 years ago, various navigation programs routed me over “roads” that were really more like single-lane trails with thousand-foot escarpments and no guard rails. I’m talking really, really bad roads that even the locals avoid.

Usually the problems with the numbered roads aren’t so dramatic. Most of them aren’t dangerous, but many are narrow with lots of bends and less-than-wonderful surfaces. Also, most of the numbered roads have no posted speed limits, which most folks mistakenly think means 55 mph in New York. But it doesn’t. It means prima facie with a maximum of 55 mph.

Because of this, many nav apps assume 55 mph for these roads and calculate accordingly, which mainly throws off ETA’s when a road can’t realistically be driven at that speed because of its twists and turns, width, surface conditions, and so forth. It would, I think, be good to have pictures of these roads online for both mappers and the public at large to see what kind of roads they are.

So in a nutshell, I think I need to shift focus from the bigger roads to the secondary and tertiary roads. It’s a decent bet that a State or US highway is probably a decent, paved road. The guesswork comes with the smaller secondary and tertiary roads. I think that’s where I can do the most good.

Opinions are welcome. Thank you.


I say go for it! That’s interesting about the speed limits and nav in your area… I think your plan of action sounds great you can always change it up as you get going, if needed. Be safe!

Welcome to the community forum :slight_smile:


I’d say capture what you would with none to low inconvenience to your actual route. But overall, there is a higher possibility that someone transiting would capture major roads, so focusing on minor ones as a local makes sense


Thank you.

Hi Richard.

First of all, could you please share link to area where you plan to do al this action. When you will upload new mappilary photos then I am interested to use it to improve opeenstreetmap

Regarding wrong speed limit, openstreet map have a few useful tags to describe real speed limit.
First one is surface.
Another one , is smoothness
Also there is maxspeed:practical

Hello. Sorry for my brief absence. Lots of work-related problems this past week (with machines, not people).

Here’s where I’ve been so far. I’m centering on Delaware County, New York, with occasional excursions into Sullivan, Otsego, Scoharie, and Ulster Counties.

I may also cover other interesting areas in New York and Pennsylvania, or wherever my travels take me. But my focus is Delaware County, New York.

I tend to stay at or slightly below the speed limit when mapping. It results in better clarity of the pictures. Tailgating really isn’t an issue here, especially when I have the camera mounted. I think most people have the good sense to know what I’m doing and appreciate it. I’ve had a few conversations with people, all of whom have been pleased to know that someone is finally doing this.

The past few days I’ve been too busy to map, which is actually okay because it’s also been hot and hazy out. I know no one is especially interested in the scenery, but I like the pictures to be attractive. My first few sequences were horrid. Now I take a more aesthetic approach. Form and function are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

I got up at 5:45 yesterday morning, worked until 2:45 this morning, and got back up for work again at 6:15. I got the most critical work done by about 1:00 p.m., but was too tired to start driving around. Hopefully I’ll be back on the roads later this week, or maybe even tomorrow, depending on whether I have to put out any more fires.


Hi @GeekOnTheHill ,
I am impressed, your 360 photos are good! I could see it is Go Pro Fusion, so regarding it price you are really addicted by mapillary :slight_smile:
I followed two latest sequence, this area have a good satellite coverage and your photos could be used for road sign and building levels. Also I already found road junction that was reconstructed to roundabout on your photo but on satellite it is previous triangle state. I edited it, so I hope we already made good for people because voice hint is different for such junction.

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Thank you. I appreciate that. It is indeed addictive.

When I first moved here from New York City some years back, I found myself being routed over some really, really horrible roads. I figure this is one way to spare others the same experience. I also like the county I live in and was disappointed that almost none of the roads had ever been captured; and the easiest way I could remedy that was for me to go ahead and do it myself.

I have some more images I took today while running errands I’ve been putting off. Nothing dramatic. I basically just filled in a few gaps. It’s still transferring from the camera to the PC, much more slowly than usual for some reason.

I intentionally did a full turn around that roundabout at 357 and 28 to provide a full view. I’m glad you picked up on it and fixed the map. I made a notation about it on OSM hoping someone would fix it.

Someone also sent me an email earlier today about the Finkle Road sequence (a dirt road off 28 in Bovina, I believe, where the Palmer Hill scenic overlook is). That’s another trail through the woods pretending to be a road. I’m glad that’s been updated, too.

My next harrowing road will probably be Mary Smith Hill Road when I have the time to get over there. That’s another one that nav apps like to route people over because it appears to be a good route between Delaware and Sullivan counties. But it’s basically just a dirt trail through the forest.

I got a great deal on the Fusion 360, but I wound up spending what I saved (and then some) building a new computer to speed up the rendering. :joy: It’s all good, though. I needed an excuse to build a new machine, anyway.

Thanks again for your kind comments.

Another one of our lovely “roads,” Bush Hill Road in (I think) Andes, New York:

People don’t get routed over that one, however, because it’s officially a dead end. There’s another trail coming off the end of it, but it’s not on any maps that I know of.

I’d like to get Cross Mountain Road at some point before the winter. That one does get some nav app traffic because it connects CR 54 to NYC 9 (and then to NY 28) by way of Mill Brook Rd Road. But it’s not a road most people would want to drive on.

Last time I checked, however, Mill Brook Road was closed. I have to check on whether it’s physically impassible (unlikely) or merely signed as closed to discourage through traffic (more likely). Lots of times “closed” roads aren’t really enforced as closed around here because people do live along them. The authorities just want to discourage through traffic.

nice to see people over there actually understand and appreciate what you are doing

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A neighbor tells me Mill Brook Road is closed at Hinkley, which is farther than I need in order to do Cross Mountain.

If it’s the road I’m thinking of, Mill Brook is no prize, either, down past Hinkley, so eventually I’d like to get that one, too. I’m not sure, though. I haven’t been on it in a few years.

Hi @GeekOnTheHill
I have a question regarding this place

Is this route is correct? As I see from your photos there is no turn on the left from the parking because of the continuous yellow line.

Hi Zufir,

It is permissible in New York State (and most other places I know of in the U.S.) to cross a double-yellow line for the purpose of making a left turn from a driveway, provided there is no signage prohibiting it and it can be done safely.

The sign typically would be directly across from the driveway on the opposite side of the road, but sometimes would be at the end of the driveway before the road. As there is no sign at that driveway (at least as far as I can tell from the 360 image), it is legal to make the left turn onto 28 South from that driveway.



OK, I see.
And what about turn from 28 South to the left on this driveway. Is it possible or vehicle should drive via roundabout?

Sorry, I already found is is allowed

Double solid lines: You can not pass or change lanes. You cannot go across the lines except to turn left to enter or leave the highway (e.g., to or from a driveway or to do a U-turn see Chapter 5).

Yes, I’m sorry. I should have clarified that crossing the double yellow is allowable for turns into or out of a driveway if not specifically prohibited and if it can be done safely.

I captured the entire length of Cross Mountain Road yesterday.

This is by no means the worst of our local roads, but it’s one of the worst roads that unsuspecting non-local drivers are routed over. I suspect that’s because it looks like part of a shorter route between Roscoe (which is the southern terminus of NY-206 and where NY-17 / Future I-86 passes through) in Sullivan County, to points east of Arena in Delaware County on NY-28 and NY-30 (which briefly meet in Margaretville).

This road is commonly encountered by out-of-town travelers from New York and New Jersey who choose the Palisades Interstate Parkway -> US-6 -> NY-17 route to or through the Catskills to avoid the tolls on I-87, especially if they choose the “shortest route” option. The typical routing from Roscoe in that case would be NY-206 -> Beaverkill Road -> CR-54 -> Cross Mountain Road -> Mill Brook Road -> BWS 8 - > NY-30 or NY-28. Because NY-30 and NY-28 meet in Margaretville, that “shortcut” could be part of a route to many different destinations in New York State.

The reason it looks like a shorter, faster route is because NY-30 meanders along the shores of the East Branch Delaware River; so in terms of distance, it probably saves a few hundred yards compared to joining NY-30 farther west if one’s destination is east of Arena.

The problem is that Cross Mountain Road is actually a single-lane dirt trail with steep drop-offs on either side, depending on where along the road you are, and no guardrails for most of its length. It’s not a road that any sane person would want to drive on unless their destination happened to be along it. Even the locals avoid it, usually opting for Barkaboom Road instead. It can be a downright harrowing experience for out-of-town drivers.

You can view my images of the road starting here. That’s the northern end of Cross Mountain Road where it branches off from Mill Brook Road.

looks like lane/surface/smoothness data in your area is non existent

Pretty much. That’s why I changed my emphasis to the bad roads, especially the ones that people tend to be routed over by nav apps that don’t know any better.

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