Forest Routes

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Forest Routes

Frederik Ramm
Hi,

apparently you have something in the US called "Forest Routes"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Highway

which even has its own kind of shield! (Yes I know, there are *many*
shields. I've followed the discussions!)

Is there some common understanding of how to map these, if at all? I've
looked around a bit and found some roads marked "ref=FS<something>" but
these were few and far between.

Bye
Frederik

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Re: Forest Routes

Roff, Thomas (FHWA)
FrederiK:
The US Forest Service is part of the Department of Agriculture(USDA) and has quite an extensive network of all of their roads including logging trails.
In fact it is almost too much.
Here is a link to the Authority,  I hope it helps.

https://data.fs.usda.gov/geodata/

Tom Roff-
HPMS/ ARNOLD Project Manager
 Federal Highway Administration

-----Original Message-----
From: Frederik Ramm [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 11:40 AM
To: [hidden email] Openstreetmap <[hidden email]>
Subject: [Talk-us] Forest Routes

Hi,

apparently you have something in the US called "Forest Routes"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Highway

which even has its own kind of shield! (Yes I know, there are *many* shields. I've followed the discussions!)

Is there some common understanding of how to map these, if at all? I've looked around a bit and found some roads marked "ref=FS<something>" but these were few and far between.

Bye
Frederik

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Re: Forest Routes

Martijn van Exel-3
In reply to this post by Frederik Ramm
Frederik,
I don’t remember it being widely discussed / agreed upon.
When I map these roads I include the FS number (just the number) as a ref, since that is how they are signposted in the field. https://dcasler.com/2011/06/16/owl-creek-pass-getting-there-from-ridgway/ has an example (very bottom image) but other variations of such a sign are common as well.
The printed maps I have include these numbers as well and generally they are an important guidance instrument when navigating FS terrain.
Martijn

On Nov 20, 2018, at 9:39 AM, Frederik Ramm <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi,

apparently you have something in the US called "Forest Routes"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Highway

which even has its own kind of shield! (Yes I know, there are *many*
shields. I've followed the discussions!)

Is there some common understanding of how to map these, if at all? I've
looked around a bit and found some roads marked "ref=FS<something>" but
these were few and far between.

Bye
Frederik

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Re: Forest Routes

max
In reply to this post by Frederik Ramm
As other have mentioned, there are many numbered roads managed by the
USFS. They range in development from closed, abandoned log roads to
well maintained pavement. I map them using the FS prefix.

For the general public one of the main uses is the publication of
motor vehicle access conditions:

https://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/ohv/ohv_maps.shtml


Max

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Re: Forest Routes

Evin Fairchild
Worth noting that most people just call them forest service roads. I've never heard anyone call them "forest highways."

On Tue, Nov 20, 2018, 9:27 AM Max Erickson <[hidden email] wrote:
As other have mentioned, there are many numbered roads managed by the
USFS. They range in development from closed, abandoned log roads to
well maintained pavement. I map them using the FS prefix.

For the general public one of the main uses is the publication of
motor vehicle access conditions:

https://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/ohv/ohv_maps.shtml


Max

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Re: Forest Routes

Martijn van Exel-3
In reply to this post by Martijn van Exel-3
It is worth noting that the current shape file available from USDA seems to be more comprehensive than the forest service roads layer available: https://data.fs.usda.gov/geodata/edw/datasets.php?dsetCategory=transportation 

Perhaps the layer was created based on a filtered or older version of this file. I don’t know who maintains it but it may be due for an update.

Martijn

On Nov 20, 2018, at 9:57 AM, Martijn van Exel <[hidden email]> wrote:

Frederik,
I don’t remember it being widely discussed / agreed upon.
When I map these roads I include the FS number (just the number) as a ref, since that is how they are signposted in the field. https://dcasler.com/2011/06/16/owl-creek-pass-getting-there-from-ridgway/ has an example (very bottom image) but other variations of such a sign are common as well.
The printed maps I have include these numbers as well and generally they are an important guidance instrument when navigating FS terrain.
Martijn

On Nov 20, 2018, at 9:39 AM, Frederik Ramm <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi,

apparently you have something in the US called "Forest Routes"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Highway

which even has its own kind of shield! (Yes I know, there are *many*
shields. I've followed the discussions!)

Is there some common understanding of how to map these, if at all? I've
looked around a bit and found some roads marked "ref=FS<something>" but
these were few and far between.

Bye
Frederik

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Re: Forest Routes

Clifford Snow

On Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 9:44 AM Martijn van Exel <[hidden email]> wrote:
It is worth noting that the current shape file available from USDA seems to be more comprehensive than the forest service roads layer available: https://data.fs.usda.gov/geodata/edw/datasets.php?dsetCategory=transportation 

Perhaps the layer was created based on a filtered or older version of this file. I don’t know who maintains it but it may be due for an update.

Martijn,
I added the USFS roads as an overlay in JOSM sometime back. I'll compare it with https://data.fs.usda.gov/geodata/edw/datasets.php?dsetCategory=transportation and update the background if its more current.

BTW - around here they are called forest service roads, aka logging roads, and believe me we have thousands of them.

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Re: Forest Routes

Kevin Kenny-3
In reply to this post by max
On Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 12:27 PM Max Erickson <[hidden email]> wrote:
As other have mentioned, there are many numbered roads managed by the
USFS. They range in development from closed, abandoned log roads to
well maintained pavement. I map them using the FS prefix.

For the general public one of the main uses is the publication of
motor vehicle access conditions:

https://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/ohv/ohv_maps.shtml


I have shaped shields for them. I work from road routes, rather than direct tagging of the ways (I've discussed in the past why direct tagging of the ways is NOT workable for the complex overlays of route networks in North America.) The FS routes that I'm currently capable of rendering are not quite consistently tagged. I recognize, equivalently, network=US:FS, network=US:NFSR:*:NFH and network=US:NFSR:*:NFR. In both of the latter cases, the * has the name of the national forest in question, which is on the sign.

For the ref=* tagging on ways, again I don't see quite a consistent system yet. Over in Vermont east of me, I see ways tagged with ref=USFS 70, ref=FS 67 and ref=FR 224; all of these are the same network. Elsewhere in the country, I also see FSR nnn, NFSR nnn, and probably others.  I'm continuing to pursue rendering based on route=road, on the 'build it and they will come' principle.

Many of these roads need unsigned_ref, since many of them aren't signed at all (with any sort of directional signs, and often they lack hazard signs as well).I wouldn't advise importing reference numbers without some sort of verification that they are indeed bannered. (And yes, the Forest Service will publish closures *by number* on unsigned roads. Go figure.)

The forest service roads range from two-lane hard-surfaced roads that can support heavy truck traffic at 90 km/h (55 mi/h is a typical posted speed limit on these) to rutted dirt tracks with far more than the usual quantity of rocks and roots, requiring an off-road vehicle to navigate.

There are a lot of them. http://kbk.is-a-geek.net/catskills/test4.html?la=35.9283&lo=-81.8602&z=12 isn't atypical for the national forest road network. (Note that my renderer does rendering in a style like Carto's if a road has ref=* but is not a member of a road route - that's where the plain rectangular shields are coming from.)


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Re: Forest Routes

Clifford Snow
In reply to this post by Clifford Snow


On Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 9:50 AM Clifford Snow <[hidden email]> wrote:

On Tue, Nov 20, 2018 at 9:44 AM Martijn van Exel <[hidden email]> wrote:
It is worth noting that the current shape file available from USDA seems to be more comprehensive than the forest service roads layer available: https://data.fs.usda.gov/geodata/edw/datasets.php?dsetCategory=transportation 

Perhaps the layer was created based on a filtered or older version of this file. I don’t know who maintains it but it may be due for an update.

Martijn,
I added the USFS roads as an overlay in JOSM sometime back. I'll compare it with https://data.fs.usda.gov/geodata/edw/datasets.php?dsetCategory=transportation and update the background if its more current.

From a quick comparison between Nov 2018 and what's available in JOSM, there is no discernible difference.  The JOSM version is using March 2018 data from the same source.


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Re: Forest Routes

Minh Nguyen-2
In reply to this post by Martijn van Exel-3
On 2018-11-20 08:57, Martijn van Exel wrote:
> When I map these roads I include the FS number (just the number) as a
> ref, since that is how they are signposted in the field.

I think the ref tag on the ways should have a prefix and not just
consist of a bare number. Otherwise, it's just as ambiguous for data
consumers as the (123) refs all over New Jersey, since the U.S. doesn't
have a highway tag that corresponds one-for-one with forest routes.

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Re: Forest Routes

Minh Nguyen-2
On 2018-11-28 01:57, Minh Nguyen wrote:
> On 2018-11-20 08:57, Martijn van Exel wrote:
>> When I map these roads I include the FS number (just the number) as a
>> ref, since that is how they are signposted in the field.
>
> I think the ref tag on the ways should have a prefix and not just
> consist of a bare number. Otherwise, it's just as ambiguous for data
> consumers as the (123) refs all over New Jersey, since the U.S. doesn't
> have a highway tag that corresponds one-for-one with forest routes.

(I hit send too soon.) Lots of shields show only the number and no
prefix, such as the U.S. Route shield, but we still use the "US" prefix
anyways.

Data consumers really should be using route relations instead of ref
tags on ways whenever possible. Some ambiguity is unavoidable on way
refs, which IMO should reflect what's on plain-text signage or in
publications. If one thinks of the way refs as a compatibility shim,
then "FS" doesn't seem unreasonable as a prefix.
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Re: Forest Routes

Martijn van Exel-3
On Wed, 28 Nov 2018 02:07:45 -0800
Minh Nguyen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 2018-11-28 01:57, Minh Nguyen wrote:
> > On 2018-11-20 08:57, Martijn van Exel wrote:  
> >> When I map these roads I include the FS number (just the number)
> >> as a ref, since that is how they are signposted in the field.  
> >
> > I think the ref tag on the ways should have a prefix and not just
> > consist of a bare number. Otherwise, it's just as ambiguous for
> > data consumers as the (123) refs all over New Jersey, since the
> > U.S. doesn't have a highway tag that corresponds one-for-one with
> > forest routes.  
>
> (I hit send too soon.) Lots of shields show only the number and no
> prefix, such as the U.S. Route shield, but we still use the "US"
> prefix anyways.
>
> Data consumers really should be using route relations instead of ref
> tags on ways whenever possible. Some ambiguity is unavoidable on way
> refs, which IMO should reflect what's on plain-text signage or in
> publications. If one thinks of the way refs as a compatibility shim,
> then "FS" doesn't seem unreasonable as a prefix.

I think you are right. It would be good if we can arrive at a common
prefix and document it on the wiki. 'FS' makes sense. Perhaps even a new
page dedicated to roads that are maintained directly by federal agencies
(NPS, USDA, others?) would make sense. I'd be happy to help set it up.

Martijn

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Re: Forest Routes

Minh Nguyen-2
On 2018-11-28 06:49, Martijn van Exel wrote:

> On Wed, 28 Nov 2018 02:07:45 -0800
> Minh Nguyen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On 2018-11-28 01:57, Minh Nguyen wrote:
>>> On 2018-11-20 08:57, Martijn van Exel wrote:
>>>> When I map these roads I include the FS number (just the number)
>>>> as a ref, since that is how they are signposted in the field.
>>>
>>> I think the ref tag on the ways should have a prefix and not just
>>> consist of a bare number. Otherwise, it's just as ambiguous for
>>> data consumers as the (123) refs all over New Jersey, since the
>>> U.S. doesn't have a highway tag that corresponds one-for-one with
>>> forest routes.
>>
>> (I hit send too soon.) Lots of shields show only the number and no
>> prefix, such as the U.S. Route shield, but we still use the "US"
>> prefix anyways.
>>
>> Data consumers really should be using route relations instead of ref
>> tags on ways whenever possible. Some ambiguity is unavoidable on way
>> refs, which IMO should reflect what's on plain-text signage or in
>> publications. If one thinks of the way refs as a compatibility shim,
>> then "FS" doesn't seem unreasonable as a prefix.
>
> I think you are right. It would be good if we can arrive at a common
> prefix and document it on the wiki. 'FS' makes sense. Perhaps even a new
> page dedicated to roads that are maintained directly by federal agencies
> (NPS, USDA, others?) would make sense. I'd be happy to help set it up.

One page already documented an "NFH" prefix on ways and
network=US:NFSR:<forest> on relations. [1] I think I added that entry to
the table after seeing it on some forest routes in California. [2] But
I've changed it to an "FS" prefix since so many more ways are tagged
with that prefix. [3]

[1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/United_States_roads_tagging/Routes
[2] http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/E5V
[3] http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/E5W
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Re: Forest Routes

Eric H. Christensen
In reply to this post by Martijn van Exel-3
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‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Wednesday, November 28, 2018 9:49 AM, Martijn van Exel <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think you are right. It would be good if we can arrive at a common
> prefix and document it on the wiki. 'FS' makes sense. Perhaps even a new
> page dedicated to roads that are maintained directly by federal agencies
> (NPS, USDA, others?) would make sense. I'd be happy to help set it up.

I've noticed that some of these "roads" are showing FS, FT, and another F something when they were imported.  Should all these ways use 'FS' or should they use the different prefix based upon what type of way they are (outside of the proper tagging for the way)?

Eric
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Re: Forest Routes

Paul Johnson-3
In reply to this post by Minh Nguyen-2


On Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 3:58 AM Minh Nguyen <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 2018-11-20 08:57, Martijn van Exel wrote:
> When I map these roads I include the FS number (just the number) as a
> ref, since that is how they are signposted in the field.

I think the ref tag on the ways should have a prefix and not just
consist of a bare number. Otherwise, it's just as ambiguous for data
consumers as the (123) refs all over New Jersey, since the U.S. doesn't
have a highway tag that corresponds one-for-one with forest routes.

Agreed, I tend to follow the Forest Service's own convention of going with FS for 2 digit routes and NFD (National Forest Development) for 3 and 4 digit routes. 

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Re: Forest Routes

Paul Johnson-3
In reply to this post by Eric H. Christensen
On Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 2:51 PM Eric H. Christensen <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wednesday, November 28, 2018 9:49 AM, Martijn van Exel <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think you are right. It would be good if we can arrive at a common
> prefix and document it on the wiki. 'FS' makes sense. Perhaps even a new
> page dedicated to roads that are maintained directly by federal agencies
> (NPS, USDA, others?) would make sense. I'd be happy to help set it up.

I've noticed that some of these "roads" are showing FS, FT, and another F something when they were imported.  Should all these ways use 'FS' or should they use the different prefix based upon what type of way they are (outside of the proper tagging for the way)?

Note that the Forest Service uses the same numbering scheme for trails, with 2 digit Forest Service routes being the main routes (be it a hiking trail or a road), 3 digit and 4 digit routes being of lesser importance in the overall network and usually being referred to as National Forest Development or NFD trails/roads.

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Re: Forest Routes

Michael Patrick
In reply to this post by Frederik Ramm
I'm not familiar with OSM routing, but these roads enter and cross some of the most inhospitable mountainous terrain in the United States.

Some, like the 101 mile long Magruder Corridor ( https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5109483.pdf ) are only open a few months of the year, or never open at all ( especially when fire fighting is going on ). So it would behoove the mapper to research the routes in detail. Elk Mountain Pass in Wyoming is  11,171ft and has 14 passes over 10,000+ alone.

Even if they are 'open' the weather can make conditions untenable in a heart beat. The US Forest Service sometimes requires that an axe,shovel and a bucket be carried in your vehicle when traversing on USFS property and roads during fire season and states follow the lead of the USFS.

Hmmm ... maybe there needs to be 'Local Knowledge' tag.

Sigh. Makes me home sick.

Michael

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Re: Forest Routes

Jack Burke-2
In reply to this post by Paul Johnson-3
Oh I am so happy that Frederik brought this up.  I've been thinking
about this topic for a while, but just haven't said anything.  I love
the ensuing discussion, too.

So, first, the wiki page on now to tag the refs
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/United_States_roads_tagging#National_Forest_Road_System
says to use NFR and NFH, as Kevin Kenny does.  I use neither.  As
others are doing, I use FS for Forest Service.  I'll note that on the
wiki page's Discussion tab, there are several people who question the
use of NFR/NFH, which seems to have been arbitrarily selected by one
person and added to the wiki without any real discussion about it.

Just to pick nits, Martijn, I'd like to point out that the example
sign for forest road 858 on that page you linked to has "National
Forest" on it, not FS or Forest Service.  If we were to go purely by
the sign, we should be using NF.  The National Forest Service
website's Interactive Visitor's Map at https://www.fs.fed.us/ivm/ uses
exactly that in an underlay layer for those maps.

That said, I still prefer FS because that's generally how most people
seem to refer to them (forest service).

Side note:  there are several forest service roads in north Georgia
that are represented on Mapillary and OpenStreetCam, if anyone wants
to "drive" one of them from the comfort of your living room.  (More
are apparent on Mapillary than OSC because of the different ways those
two services process sequences that don't have a matching OSM road.)

--jack

On Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 4:03 PM Paul Johnson <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 2:51 PM Eric H. Christensen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> On Wednesday, November 28, 2018 9:49 AM, Martijn van Exel <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> > I think you are right. It would be good if we can arrive at a common
>> > prefix and document it on the wiki. 'FS' makes sense. Perhaps even a new
>> > page dedicated to roads that are maintained directly by federal agencies
>> > (NPS, USDA, others?) would make sense. I'd be happy to help set it up.
>>
>> I've noticed that some of these "roads" are showing FS, FT, and another F something when they were imported.  Should all these ways use 'FS' or should they use the different prefix based upon what type of way they are (outside of the proper tagging for the way)?
>
>
> Note that the Forest Service uses the same numbering scheme for trails, with 2 digit Forest Service routes being the main routes (be it a hiking trail or a road), 3 digit and 4 digit routes being of lesser importance in the overall network and usually being referred to as National Forest Development or NFD trails/roads.
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Re: Forest Routes

Kevin Broderick
Doesn't the Forest Service use FR for "Forest Road" at the reference? I'd think that, or NFR to distinguish from state forest roads, would be the more appropriate ref, as FS is ambiguous (it doesn't distinguish between a forest road and a forest trail).



On Thu, Nov 29, 2018 at 2:49 PM Jack Burke <[hidden email]> wrote:
Oh I am so happy that Frederik brought this up.  I've been thinking
about this topic for a while, but just haven't said anything.  I love
the ensuing discussion, too.

So, first, the wiki page on now to tag the refs
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/United_States_roads_tagging#National_Forest_Road_System
says to use NFR and NFH, as Kevin Kenny does.  I use neither.  As
others are doing, I use FS for Forest Service.  I'll note that on the
wiki page's Discussion tab, there are several people who question the
use of NFR/NFH, which seems to have been arbitrarily selected by one
person and added to the wiki without any real discussion about it.

Just to pick nits, Martijn, I'd like to point out that the example
sign for forest road 858 on that page you linked to has "National
Forest" on it, not FS or Forest Service.  If we were to go purely by
the sign, we should be using NF.  The National Forest Service
website's Interactive Visitor's Map at https://www.fs.fed.us/ivm/ uses
exactly that in an underlay layer for those maps.

That said, I still prefer FS because that's generally how most people
seem to refer to them (forest service).

Side note:  there are several forest service roads in north Georgia
that are represented on Mapillary and OpenStreetCam, if anyone wants
to "drive" one of them from the comfort of your living room.  (More
are apparent on Mapillary than OSC because of the different ways those
two services process sequences that don't have a matching OSM road.)

--jack

On Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 4:03 PM Paul Johnson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 2:51 PM Eric H. Christensen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> On Wednesday, November 28, 2018 9:49 AM, Martijn van Exel <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> > I think you are right. It would be good if we can arrive at a common
>> > prefix and document it on the wiki. 'FS' makes sense. Perhaps even a new
>> > page dedicated to roads that are maintained directly by federal agencies
>> > (NPS, USDA, others?) would make sense. I'd be happy to help set it up.
>>
>> I've noticed that some of these "roads" are showing FS, FT, and another F something when they were imported.  Should all these ways use 'FS' or should they use the different prefix based upon what type of way they are (outside of the proper tagging for the way)?
>
>
> Note that the Forest Service uses the same numbering scheme for trails, with 2 digit Forest Service routes being the main routes (be it a hiking trail or a road), 3 digit and 4 digit routes being of lesser importance in the overall network and usually being referred to as National Forest Development or NFD trails/roads.
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Kevin Broderick

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Re: Forest Routes

Paul Johnson-3
On Thu, Nov 29, 2018, 14:14 Kevin Broderick <[hidden email] wrote:
Doesn't the Forest Service use FR for "Forest Road" at the reference? I'd think that, or NFR to distinguish from state forest roads, would be the more appropriate ref, as FS is ambiguous (it doesn't distinguish between a forest road and a forest trail).

Maybe on visitor brochures, but on signage they get keystone shields for two digit routes and either a vertical or horizontal rectangle sign (depending on whether or not motor vehicles are expected to travel) for minor routes, and the numbers all constitute a single network regardless of if it's a road or a trail.

I seem to recall when I lived near a national forest that TIGER and the USGS would use Forest Service XX when spelling out major routes, and National Forest Development XXX or NFD XXXX on the minors.

In either case, most people that travel in or near national forests regularly will find FS and NFD immediately recognizable.

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