path vs footway

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path vs footway

Mike Thompson
I am editing trails in a US National Park of which I have first hand
knowledge.  Nearly all trails in this area have been tagged
"highway=footway" although most of them are open equally to foot
traffic and horse traffic. Any reason to leave them as "footways"? The
wiki suggests that "path" is more appropriate. It would be nice to
have consistent data, otherwise it suggests that one trail is
different from the next when if fact they are not.

By the way, might this be an artifact of the defaults in Potlatch?

Thanks,

Mike

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Re: path vs footway

John Willis
AFIK - footway and path are more toward the width, surface, smoothness, maintenance level, and expected use of the way. a sidewalk often gets tagged as footpath, as would be a concrete walkway in a garden.

Paths are usually less maintained, less even, narrower, and lower grade surfaces.

footpath doesn’t imply horses=no, it implies cars=no.

to me path implies wheelchair=no.

if they are wide, well maintained, somewhat smooth and hard, and easily passible, then they are footpaths.

if it is a track for emergency access vehicles that is usually open for hiking, horses, and bikes, then label it is a track instead, cars=emergency or whatever that exact tag is.

horses can fit on pathways and paths (and pedestrian, for that matter)  - I don’t think the trails you are talking about are exclusive horse paths (a bridleway) so it would just have access for horses added to the path, like bicycle access on a footway vs a Cycleway where the intended purpose is bicycle access.

Javbw



> On Nov 4, 2014, at 7:38 AM, Mike Thompson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I am editing trails in a US National Park of which I have first hand
> knowledge.  Nearly all trails in this area have been tagged
> "highway=footway" although most of them are open equally to foot
> traffic and horse traffic. Any reason to leave them as "footways"? The
> wiki suggests that "path" is more appropriate. It would be nice to
> have consistent data, otherwise it suggests that one trail is
> different from the next when if fact they are not.
>
> By the way, might this be an artifact of the defaults in Potlatch?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Mike
>
> _______________________________________________
> Tagging mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/tagging


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Re: path vs footway

Warin
In reply to this post by Mike Thompson
On 4/11/2014 10:30 AM, [hidden email] wrote:

Message: 6
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 2014 08:14:11 +0900
From: johnw [hidden email]
To: "Tag discussion, strategy and related tools"
	[hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Tagging] path vs footway
Message-ID: [hidden email]
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8

AFIK - footway and path are more toward the width, surface, smoothness, maintenance level, and expected use of the way. a sidewalk often gets tagged as footpath, as would be a concrete walkway in a garden. 

Paths are usually less maintained, less even, narrower, and lower grade surfaces. 

footpath doesn’t imply horses=no, it implies cars=no. 

to me path implies wheelchair=no. 

if they are wide, well maintained, somewhat smooth and hard, and easily passible, then they are footpaths. 

if it is a track for emergency access vehicles that is usually open for hiking, horses, and bikes, then label it is a track instead, cars=emergency or whatever that exact tag is. 

horses can fit on pathways and paths (and pedestrian, for that matter)  - I don’t think the trails you are talking about are exclusive horse paths (a bridleway) so it would just have access for horses added to the path, like bicycle access on a footway vs a Cycleway where the intended purpose is bicycle access. 

Javbw


I'm afraid the difference between footway and path are not well definded, overlap and can be tagged to be excatly the same. Thus your and my confusion!
I take the view that footway generally is paved + urban, paths are generally unpaved + nonurban. If there is firm documented differences then they should be made evident by the reduction in avalible tags for each. For the moment at least you can chose what ever you like ... preferably the same as used near the area your are working on. I have seen both tags used on similar features in the same park by two different contributors, leading to confusion. So try to keep it the same. Good Luck.

Bicycle access on a footway I depreciate as the rendering is the same, making the bicycle access tag useless. Thus I use highway=cycleway with pedestrian=yes as that alerts users to the bicyle aspect.

I'm not aware of the rendering of bridal trails. But possibly these too could benifit from the same teartment.




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Re: path vs footway

Dan S
In reply to this post by Mike Thompson
One of the most important differences is that for highway=footway, we
know that pedestrians are allowed (unless other tags alter the access
explicitly). With highway=path we can't always assume that pedestrians
are allowed along it. I know there are routing systems that care about
this difference.

As others have said, the choice of which to use is very very fuzzy,
but if you use highway=path please make sure to use some access
tagging to say what kind of traffic may pass along it.

Best
Dan


2014-11-03 22:38 GMT+00:00 Mike Thompson <[hidden email]>:

> I am editing trails in a US National Park of which I have first hand
> knowledge.  Nearly all trails in this area have been tagged
> "highway=footway" although most of them are open equally to foot
> traffic and horse traffic. Any reason to leave them as "footways"? The
> wiki suggests that "path" is more appropriate. It would be nice to
> have consistent data, otherwise it suggests that one trail is
> different from the next when if fact they are not.
>
> By the way, might this be an artifact of the defaults in Potlatch?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Mike
>
> _______________________________________________
> Tagging mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/tagging

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Re: path vs footway

dieterdreist
In reply to this post by Mike Thompson

2014-11-03 23:38 GMT+01:00 Mike Thompson <[hidden email]>:
Nearly all trails in this area have been tagged
"highway=footway" although most of them are open equally to foot
traffic and horse traffic. Any reason to leave them as "footways"?


You can (IMHO) change them to path.

To give some historical background: initially there were only footways, cycleways and bridleways in OSM, and the suggestion then was to use the tag for the "higher"/"more important" means of transport and eventually add additional ones (e.g. cycleway and foot=yes). Then it was argued that there is no preferred/higher/more important means of transport on a general purpose way for single tracked vehicles (nor is there on a shared cycle-pedestrian way), so highway=path was introduced, allowing all means of unmotorized transport equally by default and allowing to override the exclusion of motorized vehicles (e.g. snowmobiles, motorcycles).

This new path tag was designed so generically that it was in theory able to replace the well introduced tags footway, cycleway and bridleway by adding additional access tags to the path (e.g. path and foot=designated equals footway). In practise people continued to use in these cases (way dedicated to one means of transport) the well introduced simple tags like footway, while they adopted path for ways that can be generically used or that allow more than one means of transport equally (something like highway=footway, bicycle=yes still has its place, e.g. for spots where pedestrians have the right of way but bicycles are allowed when driving carefully).

cheers,
Martin


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Re: path vs footway

Richard Mann-2
Interesting interpretation of history. Slightly different version:

The path tag was introduced by people who couldn't deal with highway=cycleway being shared with pedestrians, and wanted something less mode-specific than highway=footway and highway=cycleway.

In practice, this use is fairly limited: highway=path has been used far more for unmade paths in field and forest.

The footway/cycleway issue largely continues to be dealt with by the meaning of cycleway being a bit country-specific; in some countries highway=cycleway (in cities, alongside roads) means probably-not-for-pedestrians, and in others it means probably-for-pedestrians-too-so-cycle-with-due-care.

Personally I use highway=footway+bicycle=yes if it's low quality and legal for cycling, and highway=cycleway (which implies foot=yes in the UK) if it's halfway decent for cycling. And highway=path in field and forest.

Richard

On Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 9:48 AM, Martin Koppenhoefer <[hidden email]> wrote:

2014-11-03 23:38 GMT+01:00 Mike Thompson <[hidden email]>:
Nearly all trails in this area have been tagged
"highway=footway" although most of them are open equally to foot
traffic and horse traffic. Any reason to leave them as "footways"?


You can (IMHO) change them to path.

To give some historical background: initially there were only footways, cycleways and bridleways in OSM, and the suggestion then was to use the tag for the "higher"/"more important" means of transport and eventually add additional ones (e.g. cycleway and foot=yes). Then it was argued that there is no preferred/higher/more important means of transport on a general purpose way for single tracked vehicles (nor is there on a shared cycle-pedestrian way), so highway=path was introduced, allowing all means of unmotorized transport equally by default and allowing to override the exclusion of motorized vehicles (e.g. snowmobiles, motorcycles).

This new path tag was designed so generically that it was in theory able to replace the well introduced tags footway, cycleway and bridleway by adding additional access tags to the path (e.g. path and foot=designated equals footway). In practise people continued to use in these cases (way dedicated to one means of transport) the well introduced simple tags like footway, while they adopted path for ways that can be generically used or that allow more than one means of transport equally (something like highway=footway, bicycle=yes still has its place, e.g. for spots where pedestrians have the right of way but bicycles are allowed when driving carefully).

cheers,
Martin


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Re: path vs footway

dieterdreist

2014-11-04 11:17 GMT+01:00 Richard Mann <[hidden email]>:
The path tag was introduced by people who couldn't deal with highway=cycleway being shared with pedestrians, and wanted something less mode-specific than highway=footway and highway=cycleway.


the guy who proposed the tag path is a passionate horse rider and had mainly issues for riders in mind (basically all paths by that time were tagged either highway=cycleway or highway=footway, but most of them hadn't any horse tag attached --- despite the fact that many were accessible for horses --- because few mappers cared of even thought of horses).

 

In practice, this use is fairly limited: highway=path has been used far more for unmade paths in field and forest.


personally I am adding the tag "informal=yes" to paths that are not made on purpose but have emerged by using them.

I'm careful to express statements about the dominant global use case for a tag with more than 3 million occurences, because I can only speak for the areas where I am mapping.

cheers,
Martin

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Re: path vs footway

Tom Pfeifer
In reply to this post by Dan S
In a national park, I would prefer highway=footway for the built-up
and paved ways, e.g. close to the visitor centre, that are often
prepared for wheelchair=yes and attract people for a Sunday stroll.
Any longer, more natural paths for longer hiking I'd tag as
highway=path with tagging as Dan pointed out below.

Warin wrote on 2014-11-04 04:17:
 > Bicycle access on a footway I depreciate as the rendering is the same,
 > making the bicycle access tag useless.

A tag is not useless just because one particular renderer does not
evaluate it. There might be other renderer and data consumer that
are interested in this tag.

 > I'm not aware of the rendering of bridal trails.

highway=bridleway is rendered in the main map style, here is one:
http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/25798603

Dan S wrote on 2014-11-04 09:19:

> One of the most important differences is that for highway=footway, we
> know that pedestrians are allowed (unless other tags alter the access
> explicitly). With highway=path we can't always assume that pedestrians
> are allowed along it. I know there are routing systems that care about
> this difference.
>
> As others have said, the choice of which to use is very very fuzzy,
> but if you use highway=path please make sure to use some access
> tagging to say what kind of traffic may pass along it.
>
> Best
> Dan
>
>
> 2014-11-03 22:38 GMT+00:00 Mike Thompson <[hidden email]>:
>> I am editing trails in a US National Park of which I have first hand
>> knowledge.  Nearly all trails in this area have been tagged
>> "highway=footway" although most of them are open equally to foot
>> traffic and horse traffic. Any reason to leave them as "footways"? The
>> wiki suggests that "path" is more appropriate. It would be nice to
>> have consistent data, otherwise it suggests that one trail is
>> different from the next when if fact they are not.
>>
>> By the way, might this be an artifact of the defaults in Potlatch?
>>
>> Thanks,
>>
>> Mike
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Tagging mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/tagging
>
> _______________________________________________
> Tagging mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/tagging
>


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Re: path vs footway

dieterdreist
In reply to this post by dieterdreist

2014-11-04 11:28 GMT+01:00 Martin Koppenhoefer <[hidden email]>:
2014-11-04 11:17 GMT+01:00 Richard Mann <[hidden email]>:
The path tag was introduced by people who couldn't deal with highway=cycleway being shared with pedestrians, and wanted something less mode-specific than highway=footway and highway=cycleway.


the guy who proposed the tag path is a passionate horse rider and had mainly issues for riders in mind (basically all paths by that time were tagged either highway=cycleway or highway=footway, but most of them hadn't any horse tag attached --- despite the fact that many were accessible for horses --- because few mappers cared of even thought of horses).


sorry, even if this sounded logical, it might not be the true story ;-) (honestly thought this was it, but by looking up the wiki it seems that the tag has been proposed by 2 guys, CBM e hawke):
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Approved_features/Path

cheers,
Martin

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Re: path vs footway

Richard Mann-2
(hawke = snowmobile enthusiast, or at least that's the impression he gave, for anyone coming late to this debate)

On Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 10:35 AM, Martin Koppenhoefer <[hidden email]> wrote:

2014-11-04 11:28 GMT+01:00 Martin Koppenhoefer <[hidden email]>:
2014-11-04 11:17 GMT+01:00 Richard Mann <[hidden email]>:
The path tag was introduced by people who couldn't deal with highway=cycleway being shared with pedestrians, and wanted something less mode-specific than highway=footway and highway=cycleway.


the guy who proposed the tag path is a passionate horse rider and had mainly issues for riders in mind (basically all paths by that time were tagged either highway=cycleway or highway=footway, but most of them hadn't any horse tag attached --- despite the fact that many were accessible for horses --- because few mappers cared of even thought of horses).


sorry, even if this sounded logical, it might not be the true story ;-) (honestly thought this was it, but by looking up the wiki it seems that the tag has been proposed by 2 guys, CBM e hawke):
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Approved_features/Path

cheers,
Martin

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Re: path vs footway

Richard Welty-2
In reply to this post by Tom Pfeifer
On 11/4/14 5:33 AM, Tom Pfeifer wrote:
> A tag is not useless just because one particular renderer does not
> evaluate it. There might be other renderer and data consumer that
> are interested in this tag.
+1

we are not tagging for one specific renderer, we are tagging for the
potential suite of data consumers which includes renderers,
routers, and things things that haven't been thought of yet.

richard

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Re: path vs footway

Richard Fairhurst
In reply to this post by Mike Thompson
Mike Thompson wrote:
> I am editing trails in a US National Park of which I have first
> hand knowledge.  Nearly all trails in this area have been
> tagged "highway=footway" although most of them are open
> equally to foot traffic and horse traffic.

This is pretty much the canonical definition of highway=bridleway, at least here in the UK - a multi-user trail of limited maintenance quality, usually unsurfaced, where motor traffic is not permitted. That's what I'd suggest.

If you do use highway=path, which I would recommend against, then absolutely:
1. add access tags, as per Dan's suggestion
2. add surface tags, as per http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Richard/diary/20333

> By the way, might this be an artifact of the defaults in Potlatch?

No.

cheers
Richard

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Re: path vs footway

Philip Barnes
In reply to this post by dieterdreist
On Tue, 2014-11-04 at 11:28 +0100, Martin Koppenhoefer wrote:

>
> 2014-11-04 11:17 GMT+01:00 Richard Mann
> <[hidden email]>:
>         The path tag was introduced by people who couldn't deal with
>         highway=cycleway being shared with pedestrians, and wanted
>         something less mode-specific than highway=footway and
>         highway=cycleway.
>        
>
>
>
> the guy who proposed the tag path is a passionate horse rider and had
> mainly issues for riders in mind (basically all paths by that time
> were tagged either highway=cycleway or highway=footway, but most of
> them hadn't any horse tag attached --- despite the fact that many were
> accessible for horses --- because few mappers cared of even thought of
> horses).
>
Surely highway=bridleway has been around forever? It was certainly there
when I started editing in 2007.

Phil (trigpoint)





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Re: path vs footway

Richard Mann-2
In Germany, highway=bridleway was interpreted as horses *only*. It's the same issue as for bikes.

On Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 1:01 PM, Philip Barnes <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Tue, 2014-11-04 at 11:28 +0100, Martin Koppenhoefer wrote:
>
> 2014-11-04 11:17 GMT+01:00 Richard Mann
> <[hidden email]>:
>         The path tag was introduced by people who couldn't deal with
>         highway=cycleway being shared with pedestrians, and wanted
>         something less mode-specific than highway=footway and
>         highway=cycleway.
>
>
>
>
> the guy who proposed the tag path is a passionate horse rider and had
> mainly issues for riders in mind (basically all paths by that time
> were tagged either highway=cycleway or highway=footway, but most of
> them hadn't any horse tag attached --- despite the fact that many were
> accessible for horses --- because few mappers cared of even thought of
> horses).
>
Surely highway=bridleway has been around forever? It was certainly there
when I started editing in 2007.

Phil (trigpoint)





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Re: path vs footway

dieterdreist
In reply to this post by Philip Barnes

2014-11-04 14:01 GMT+01:00 Philip Barnes <[hidden email]>:
Surely highway=bridleway has been around forever? It was certainly there
when I started editing in 2007.


surely this was there, but the German sign for a bridleway excludes pedestrians and bicycles and is rarely found in the real life, while ways without any signs aren't that rare, but no-one in Germany would think of calling those "bridleways"

cheers,
Martin

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bridleways / Re: path vs footway

Tom Pfeifer
Martin Koppenhoefer wrote on 2014-11-04 14:30:
>
> 2014-11-04 14:01 GMT+01:00 Philip Barnes <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>>:
>
>     Surely highway=bridleway has been around forever? It was certainly there
>     when I started editing in 2007.
>
> surely this was there, but the German sign for a bridleway excludes pedestrians and bicycles and is rarely found in the real life, while ways without any signs aren't that rare, but no-one in Germany would think of calling those "bridleways"

Thanks Martin, I just learned that such a sign exists,
defining the bridleway in the German traffic code (StVO):
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/72/Zeichen_238.svg/240px-Zeichen_238.svg.png

Thus what is tagged in my area as bridleway is typically
a forestry track on which a small sign, more like the UK one
in the OSM wiki, by which the forest operator keeps the horses
on particular tracks. I conclude that highway=track with horse=yes/no
would be more appropriate.

I am tempted to add that conclusion to the wiki...

tom

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Re: path vs footway

Mike Thompson
In reply to this post by dieterdreist
Thanks for everyone's comments.

Based upon the information you have provided I believe these trails
best fit "highway=path" as long as the appropriate access tags are
added. I will also use "informal=yes" when appropriate as well as
indicate surface type and smoothness.

For those few cases where the trails are paved, and/or wheelchair
accessible by design, I will use "footway."

Mike

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Re: path vs footway

fly high
In reply to this post by Mike Thompson
Am 03.11.2014 um 23:38 schrieb Mike Thompson:
> I am editing trails in a US National Park of which I have first hand
> knowledge.  Nearly all trails in this area have been tagged
> "highway=footway" although most of them are open equally to foot
> traffic and horse traffic. Any reason to leave them as "footways"? The
> wiki suggests that "path" is more appropriate. It would be nice to
> have consistent data, otherwise it suggests that one trail is
> different from the next when if fact they are not.

I stopped using foot-, cycle- or bridleway and only use path with some
access tags and surface. Width is another important tag.

I do not find any differences except for access between *way and path
and especially unpaved <> paved is not clear at all.

At least in Germany there is a difference between footway + bicyle=yes
(foot=designated), cycleway + foot=yes (bicycle designated) and path +
foot=designated + bicycle=designated.

So far I am not talking about foot/bicycle=official.

cu fly


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Re: path vs footway

NopMap
In reply to this post by Mike Thompson
Hi!

I consider footway to be exclusively for pedestrians.

If you apply the stricter german interpretation, then footway is for pedestrians. Period.

If you apply the hierarchical english interpretation then footway is still for pedestrians exclusively (while bicycle includes pedestrians and bridleway includes both pedestrians and bicycles).

So path without any tags or with the intended access tags is the way to go.

Unfortunately, path is used both for wide, well-made urban footways/cycleways (mostly with access tags) and for narrow nature trails (mostly with no additional tags). So you can tell who can access the trail but you still can't tell from highway=path which of the two it is.

I think the best way to resolve the frequent mixups due to the dual meaning would be to re-introduce the highway=trail tag specifically for unmade trails and reserve path for its original meaning as multi-purppose way.

bye, Nop
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Re: path vs footway

Paul Johnson-3
In reply to this post by John Willis


On Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 5:14 PM, johnw <[hidden email]> wrote:
AFIK - footway and path are more toward the width, surface, smoothness, maintenance level, and expected use of the way. a sidewalk often gets tagged as footpath, as would be a concrete walkway in a garden.

Paths are usually less maintained, less even, narrower, and lower grade surfaces.

footpath doesn’t imply horses=no, it implies cars=no.

vehicle=no, actually.  Bicycles are typically banned on sidewalks unless otherwise posted in most areas that are party to the Bern Conventions on traffic.

to me path implies wheelchair=no.

I don't know about that, path's generally the multimodal middle between footway (like a city sidewalk) and cycleway (which often implies foot=no; less commonly foot=yes, rarely foot=designated; I explicitly tag if it's unclear on footway, path, cycleway and motorway beyond the absolutely most broad assumptions; though it's safe to say anything that's a sidewalk mapped as a footway in downtown areas of pretty much anywhere in America is probably suspect if it says bicycle=yes without a source).
 
if they are wide, well maintained, somewhat smooth and hard, and easily passible, then they are footpaths.

if it is a track for emergency access vehicles that is usually open for hiking, horses, and bikes, then label it is a track instead, cars=emergency or whatever that exact tag is

cars=* isn't a tag.  motor_vehicle would be...

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