trail tagging

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trail tagging

brad
Everywhere I've been in the US or Canada a dirt 'way' too narrow for a 4 wheel vehicle is called a trail, path, or single track.   For the most part they are appropriately (IMO) tagged as path.   Unfortunately the wiki says this for highway:path (the highlighting is mine):

A non-specific path. Use highway=footway for paths mainly for walkers, highway=cycleway for one also usable by cyclists, highway=bridleway for ones available to horse riders as well as walkers and highway=track for ones which is passable by agriculture or similar vehicles.

I think it makes no sense to call a dirt path, open to more than 1 user group, anything other than a path.    Since about 98% of the trail tagging that I've seen seems to agree, Is there consensus on this?   Perhaps if the international group likes the description as is, a clarification on the US road tagging wiki page?
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/United_States_roads_tagging

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Re: trail tagging

Mateusz Konieczny-3
tl;dr: Please, add always surface tag and other similar tags as needed.

I see that I answered at

It is a tricky topic. Lets start from disclaimers:

(1) I am from Poland and unfamiliar with US local situation (though I am familiar with hiking)
(2) I was involved in one of highway=path controversies -
https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/pull/1713

Note that highway=footway is used in multiple ways. it may be used to indicate
(1) a paved footway
(2) way primarily for walking.

In both cases I would encourage tagging also physical characteristics - at least surface=*
(StreetComplete is useful here).

"Path and track indicate the physical characteristics of the way." - I would dispute this.
There are highway=track that are high-quality asphalt, there are ones that are
overgrown/muddy/with deep sand. Note that tracktype=* exists. I would argue the same for
highway=path, though many argue that surface=unpaved may be safely assumed there.

"cycleway/footway/bridleway should be discouraged, and should be only used if that is
the only permitted usage" - also for cases like highway=footway + bicycle=yes?

Apr 19, 2019, 4:28 PM by [hidden email]:
Everywhere I've been in the US or Canada a dirt 'way' too narrow for a 4 wheel vehicle is called a trail, path, or single track.   For the most part they are appropriately (IMO) tagged as path.   Unfortunately the wiki says this for highway:path (the highlighting is mine):

A non-specific path.
Use highway=footway for paths mainly for walkers, highway=cycleway for one also usable by cyclists, highway=bridleway for ones available to horse riders as well as walkers
and highway=track for ones which is passable by agriculture or similar vehicles.

I think it makes no sense to call a dirt path, open to more than 1 user group, anything other than a path.    Since about 98% of the trail tagging that I've seen seems to agree, Is there consensus on this?   Perhaps if the international group likes the description as is, a clarification on the US road tagging wiki page?


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Re: trail tagging

Martijn van Exel-3
In reply to this post by brad
I hadn’t looked at that page in a while, but I’ve been using highway=path in the same way as you describe. Hiking trails, singletrack MTB. Footway I only tag in built up areas. 
What do other places in the world do?
Martijn

On Apr 19, 2019, at 8:28 AM, brad <[hidden email]> wrote:

Everywhere I've been in the US or Canada a dirt 'way' too narrow for a 4 wheel vehicle is called a trail, path, or single track.   For the most part they are appropriately (IMO) tagged as path.   Unfortunately the wiki says this for highway:path (the highlighting is mine):

A non-specific path. Use highway=footway for paths mainly for walkers, highway=cycleway for one also usable by cyclists, highway=bridleway for ones available to horse riders as well as walkers and highway=track for ones which is passable by agriculture or similar vehicles.

I think it makes no sense to call a dirt path, open to more than 1 user group, anything other than a path.    Since about 98% of the trail tagging that I've seen seems to agree, Is there consensus on this?   Perhaps if the international group likes the description as is, a clarification on the US road tagging wiki page?
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/United_States_roads_tagging
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Re: trail tagging

Joseph Eisenberg
In reply to this post by brad
> I think it makes no sense to call a dirt path, open to more than 1 user group, anything other than a path

It is very common to tag dirt footpaths as highway=footway in most
parts of the world, if the path is designed for and used by people on
foot.

For example, here in Indonesia there are never signs that say you
can't ride a bicycle on the highway=footway that connect mountain
villages, but they are certainly not designed for bicycles and would
be extremely technically challenging on a MTB. Horses are not
prohibited either, but there are no horses in the area. So I map these
paths as highway=footway

In the USA I would think it reasonable to use highway=footway for dirt
single-track trails designed for travel on foot, even if bicycles or
horses are not specifically prohibited.

I would use highway=path for MUPs (multi-use paths) that are
specifically designed for use by both people on bikes and people
walking or riding horses, along with the appropriate access tags.

Also, I don't think this page is authoritative:
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/United_States_roads_tagging
Note at the top is says "There is conflicting information on this
topic at several places. Please see Talk:Highway tag usage and the
Talk-US Mailing List for discussion."

On 4/19/19, brad <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Everywhere I've been in the US or Canada a dirt 'way' too narrow for a 4
> wheel vehicle is called a trail, path, or single track.   For the most
> part they are appropriately (IMO) tagged as path. Unfortunately the wiki
> says this for highway:path (the highlighting is mine):
>
> /A non-specific path. //*Use **highway=footway
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway%3Dfootway>**for paths
> mainly for walkers, **highway=cycleway
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway%3Dcycleway>**for one
> also usable by cyclists, **highway=bridleway
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway%3Dbridleway>**for ones
> available to horse riders as well as walkers *//and //highway=track
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway%3Dtrack>//for ones
> which is passable by agriculture or similar vehicles./
>
> I think it makes no sense to call a dirt path, open to more than 1 user
> group, anything other than a path.    Since about 98% of the trail
> tagging that I've seen seems to agree, Is there consensus on this?
> Perhaps if the international group likes the description as is, a
> clarification on the US road tagging wiki page?
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/United_States_roads_tagging
>

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Re: trail tagging

Tod Fitch
In reply to this post by brad
On Apr 19, 2019, at 7:28 AM, brad <[hidden email]> wrote:

Everywhere I've been in the US or Canada a dirt 'way' too narrow for a 4 wheel vehicle is called a trail, path, or single track.   For the most part they are appropriately (IMO) tagged as path.   Unfortunately the wiki says this for highway:path (the highlighting is mine):

A non-specific path. Use highway=footway for paths mainly for walkers, highway=cycleway for one also usable by cyclists, highway=bridleway for ones available to horse riders as well as walkers and highway=track for ones which is passable by agriculture or similar vehicles.

I think it makes no sense to call a dirt path, open to more than 1 user group, anything other than a path.    Since about 98% of the trail tagging that I've seen seems to agree, Is there consensus on this?   Perhaps if the international group likes the description as is, a clarification on the US road tagging wiki page?
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/United_States_roads_tagging


From my experience in the western US, I concur with you.

I personally use footway if it is a hard surfaced way that is restricted to foot traffic. One of my mental check points is: can it be used by a person in a wheelchair or pushing a stroller? In practice I usually only see those in suburban and urban environments though there are a few “nature trails” or “discovery trails” specifically designed for handicapped access I’ve come across that I’ve tagged as footways.

Once away from town the ways are almost always too rough or narrow for a stroller/wheelchair and they are almost always multiple use with some combination of walking, equestrian and/or bicycling use allowed. Those I tag as paths. The suggestion that they be tagged with width and surface is often unreasonable in my area (source: I help with trail maintenance and there are trails in the coastal hills and mountains where the width will vary greatly during a single year due to the rate of growth of brush. We do our best to keep the tread area at least 0.5 meters wide and the width at chest height at about 2 meters but it is a continual project with limited numbers of volunteers and many miles of trails. In addition the best you could tag surface would be as “unpaved” as the natural material and can vary over very short distances).



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Re: trail tagging

Mateusz Konieczny-3

Apr 19, 2019, 5:25 PM by [hidden email]:
the best you could tag surface would be as “unpaved” as the natural material and can vary over very short distances).

surface=unpaved is already helpful and useful

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Re: trail tagging

Kevin Kenny-3
In reply to this post by Tod Fitch
> Everywhere I've been in the US or Canada a dirt 'way' too narrow for a 4 wheel vehicle is called a trail, path, or single track.   For the most part they are appropriately (IMO) tagged as path.   Unfortunately the wiki says this for highway:path (the highlighting is mine):
>
> A non-specific path. Use highway=footway for paths mainly for walkers, highway=cycleway for one also usable by cyclists, highway=bridleway for ones available to horse riders as well as walkers and highway=track for ones which is passable by agriculture or similar vehicles.
>
> I think it makes no sense to call a dirt path, open to more than 1 user group, anything other than a path.    Since about 98% of the trail tagging that I've seen seems to agree, Is there consensus on this?   Perhaps if the international group likes the description as is, a clarification on the US road tagging wiki page?
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/United_States_roads_tagging

TL;DR: As a mapper, I'm willing to map it according to others'
preferences. As a data consumer, I need to be prepared to accept
either scheme.

Here in Upstate New York, when I got started tagging trails not
knowing any better, I used highway=path, througout, with access tags
as appropriate for foot, bicycle, ski, horse, ATV, and snowmobile, and
surface=ground for the trails that are on variable natural surfaces.

I found that the early ones I mapped were being routinely edited to
'footway.' When I consulted the Wiki, like the others here, I found
enough conflicting information that I simply decided to adopt
'footway' for those that are single-use hiking trails (plus adding
ski=* when appropriate), since obviously some local mapper felt
strongly about the issue, and I didn't.

I still use 'path' for the not-too-rare situation around me where the
way is intended as a hiking trail, but MTB use is permitted or at
least tolerated, and relatively skilled MTB riders are seen fairly
frequently. (The ones I have in mind are obviously not for beginners!)
It seems very odd to call such a thing a cycleway, and highway=footway
bicycle=yes is kind of a strange combination.

The winter situation is complicated; I use foot=conditional:no @ snow
(I may have misspelt) for the trails that exclude snowshoers in the
winter. Otherwise ski=* and snowmobile=* cover most of the issues.
Many of the trails are open to skiers and snowmobilists in the winter.
Some, but not all, snowmobile trails exclude snowshoers for safety,
and some, but not all, ski trails exclude walkers so as not to mess up
the surface. (There's also a law that snowshoes or skis are required
once the snow is 20 cm deep, but I follow "don't tag the local
legislation". There's nothing in that law regarding crampons, but any
time I've been using crampons and met a ranger, the ranger was also
using them and said nothing about it.)

As a data consumer, I treat 'highway=path foot=yes motor_vehicle=no'
and 'highway=footway' as synonyms.Since both are in common use, I have
to be prepared to accept both. Not a huge worry for me, since I know
about it.

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Re: trail tagging

Rihards
In reply to this post by Martijn van Exel-3
On 19.04.19 17:59, Martijn van Exel wrote:
> I hadn’t looked at that page in a while, but I’ve been using
> highway=path in the same way as you describe. Hiking trails, singletrack
> MTB. Footway I only tag in built up areas. 
> What do other places in the world do?

UK terminology has a well-established "footway" definition, which also
includes minor, barely visible trails across fields and so on.
With OSM originating in the UK and using (mostly) British English for
tagging and related things, the highway=footway was initially used for
all kinds of pedestrian trails - across fields, very well paved trails etc.
The the rest of the Europe (generalising) jumped in, and split this into
highway=footway for designed, well visible and mostly paved ways - and
highway=path, which got used more for paths in forests, across grassy
areas in cities etc.

Very roughly how I tag these things, having surveyed and mapped in quite
a few countries:

* unpaved pedestrian trails - highway=path (but I wouldn't change such a
trail from footway in the UK)
* paved (or at least obviously designated and well maintained)
pedestrian ways - highway=footway
* unpaved track, suitable for a 4-wheeled vehicles - highway=track (with
tracktype, when possible)
* paved, small road - highway=service (but an unpaved driveway would
still get highway=service + service=driveway)

I try to add surface tags, but there are cases when I'm afraid to do so
- for example, if there's a long way and I know its surface for some
segment, I don't want to guess on the remainder, or split it.

And a very, very big request to everybody who got this far... Please do
not invent anything country-specific for these (we already have footways
in the UK, and mostly Germans would use highway=track for paved ways I'd
still consider highway=service).
Not only it makes things hard for mapping abroad, it also makes map data
hard to consume. I take it for granted that highway=service will be
always passable in a low city car, but a track could get me stuck.

> Martijn
>
>> On Apr 19, 2019, at 8:28 AM, brad <[hidden email]
>> <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>>
>> Everywhere I've been in the US or Canada a dirt 'way' too narrow for a
>> 4 wheel vehicle is called a trail, path, or single track.   For the
>> most part they are appropriately (IMO) tagged as path.   Unfortunately
>> the wiki says this for highway:path (the highlighting is mine):
>>
>> /A non-specific path. //*Use **highway=footway
>> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway%3Dfootway>**for paths
>> mainly for walkers, **highway=cycleway
>> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway%3Dcycleway>**for one
>> also usable by cyclists, **highway=bridleway
>> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway%3Dbridleway>**for
>> ones available to horse riders as well as walkers *//and
>> //highway=track
>> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway%3Dtrack>//for ones
>> which is passable by agriculture or similar vehicles./
>>
>> I think it makes no sense to call a dirt path, open to more than 1
>> user group, anything other than a path.    Since about 98% of the
>> trail tagging that I've seen seems to agree, Is there consensus on
>> this?   Perhaps if the international group likes the description as
>> is, a clarification on the US road tagging wiki page?
>> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/United_States_roads_tagging
>> _______________________________________________
>> Talk-us mailing list
>> [hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>
>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-us
--
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Fwd: trail tagging

Paul Johnson-3
In reply to this post by Tod Fitch
Accidentally sent this as a private reply but did so unintentionally.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Paul Johnson <[hidden email]>
Date: Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 7:54 PM
Subject: Re: [Talk-us] trail tagging
To: Tod Fitch <[hidden email]>




On Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 10:26 AM Tod Fitch <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Apr 19, 2019, at 7:28 AM, brad <[hidden email]> wrote:

Everywhere I've been in the US or Canada a dirt 'way' too narrow for a 4 wheel vehicle is called a trail, path, or single track.   For the most part they are appropriately (IMO) tagged as path.   Unfortunately the wiki says this for highway:path (the highlighting is mine):

A non-specific path. Use highway=footway for paths mainly for walkers, highway=cycleway for one also usable by cyclists, highway=bridleway for ones available to horse riders as well as walkers and highway=track for ones which is passable by agriculture or similar vehicles.

I think it makes no sense to call a dirt path, open to more than 1 user group, anything other than a path.    Since about 98% of the trail tagging that I've seen seems to agree, Is there consensus on this?   Perhaps if the international group likes the description as is, a clarification on the US road tagging wiki page?
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/United_States_roads_tagging


From my experience in the western US, I concur with you.

I personally use footway if it is a hard surfaced way that is restricted to foot traffic. One of my mental check points is: can it be used by a person in a wheelchair or pushing a stroller? In practice I usually only see those in suburban and urban environments though there are a few “nature trails” or “discovery trails” specifically designed for handicapped access I’ve come across that I’ve tagged as footways.

Most sidewalks in America are informal dirt trails next to a paved street.  I wouldn't call those "paths" at all.  They're not suitable (or legal) for cycles to use, and definitely not suitable for other wheeled travel (motorized or not).  That would definitely be a footway.  Your average concrete sidewalk (in the relatively rare places these exist) would also be footway (but additionally, footway=sidewalk).

Once away from town the ways are almost always too rough or narrow for a stroller/wheelchair and they are almost always multiple use with some combination of walking, equestrian and/or bicycling use allowed. Those I tag as paths.

That's (mostly) fair.  Be sure to explicitly tag at least foot and bicycle values, as path implicitly allows both in most areas (even though this isn't normally or always the case).  Highway values I definitely support explicit tagging for foot and bicycle at a minimum are pedestrian, footway, path, cycleway, trunk and motorway, because at least in North America, all bets are off on those.

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Re: trail tagging

brad
In reply to this post by brad
A lot of good comments here.    My motivation for bringing this up is for clarity and consistency, and to make it easier for new mappers to get involved.   As stated in the wiki, a multiuse path could be tagged as path, cycleway, footway, or bridleway (and maybe other things too)   I can see historical and local reasons for various uses.   This is redundant and confusing for mappers and renderers, but so be it, I won't try to change it.   I certainly won't be changing any tags in other countries, or even any regions in the US far from me.

It would be nice to have some consistency withing the US though wouldn't it?    It usually is, and the comments reflect that, but I have come across 1 trail, and 1 trail network,  both are rugged hiking/mtb/horse trails that were tagged as cycleways.   I changed them to path, and it would be nice if I could reference a wiki to back up my change.  

Without inventing anything country specific (re:Rihards), or conflicting with the wiki, I think we could come up with guidelines and translations that would help us be consistent.

I could try to put a table in, but not sure how it would come out in various email readers, so consider this table with ":" separators

OSM tag ; common US name : definition

path ; single track/trail/path ; multiuse dirt path including motorized, further specified with other tags
footway ; sidewalk/hiker only trail ; pedestrian only sidewalk or path
cycleway ; bike path ; paved path, open to bikes, & I've never seen one that wasn't open to pedestrian too
bridleway ; horse trail ; path open only to horses (I think these are uncommon, hiker/horse trails are common & these would be better tagged as path with bicycle:no
[Notice that these all could be handled with the path tag and sub tags]
I haven't included roads because they seem to be tagged pretty consistently, and the wiki is better.
I realize it would be nice to use the surface tag & I will use that on all trails where it makes sense, but so far I haven't found a highway:path that was paved.
I think this is consistent with the way most US mappers are doing it, and also consistent with the way the renderers are handling it (openfietsmap and openandromap for example).   If others in other regions of the US

I was talking to a local friend (who is mostly a dirt biker) who is getting started with OSM and he said there isn't anything for a trail,  I pointed out that there was a path tag, but I understand his confusion.  Looking at the wiki, the picture for path looks like a very wide trail, but the description seems to encourage footway, cycleway or bridleway instead.   It would be nice if new mappers didn't get discouraged by the confusion.

On 4/19/19 8:28 AM, brad wrote:
Everywhere I've been in the US or Canada a dirt 'way' too narrow for a 4 wheel vehicle is called a trail, path, or single track.   For the most part they are appropriately (IMO) tagged as path.   Unfortunately the wiki says this for highway:path (the highlighting is mine):

A non-specific path. Use highway=footway for paths mainly for walkers, highway=cycleway for one also usable by cyclists, highway=bridleway for ones available to horse riders as well as walkers and highway=track for ones which is passable by agriculture or similar vehicles.

I think it makes no sense to call a dirt path, open to more than 1 user group, anything other than a path.    Since about 98% of the trail tagging that I've seen seems to agree, Is there consensus on this?   Perhaps if the international group likes the description as is, a clarification on the US road tagging wiki page?
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/United_States_roads_tagging

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Re: trail tagging

idnwys
In reply to this post by brad

> From: brad <[hidden email]>

>

> cycleway ; bike path ; paved path, open to bikes, & I've never seen one that

> wasn't open to pedestrian too

 

These do exist.  There are a few around here (Missouri, USA). In these cases, there’s usually a separate path for pedestrians so cyclists can have a path off the roadway, but not have to dodge pedestrians.  They are rare enough though that defaulting to allow pedestrians would likely still be the best option.

 

Aaron Forsythe


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Re: trail tagging

Jmapb

On 4/20/2019 9:18 AM, Aaron Forsythe wrote:

> cycleway ; bike path ; paved path, open to bikes, & I've never seen one that

> wasn't open to pedestrian too

 

These do exist.  There are a few around here (Missouri, USA). In these cases, there’s usually a separate path for pedestrians so cyclists can have a path off the roadway, but not have to dodge pedestrians.  They are rare enough though that defaulting to allow pedestrians would likely still be the best option.

The Manhattan Bridge in NYC is another example. The path on the southwest side is for pedestrians only, and the path on the northeast side is for bicycles only.

https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/357260631
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/46179218

(That's how they're signed anyway -- compliance with those rules is another story.)

Personally I would encourage explicit tagging of foot=yes on highway=cycleway if foot traffic is permitted, and discourage routing foot traffic over cycleways without this tag.

J



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Re: trail tagging

Rihards
In reply to this post by Kevin Kenny-3
On 19.04.19 19:34, Kevin Kenny wrote:
...
> the surface. (There's also a law that snowshoes or skis are required
> once the snow is 20 cm deep, but I follow "don't tag the local
> legislation". There's nothing in that law regarding crampons, but any
> time I've been using crampons and met a ranger, the ranger was also
> using them and said nothing about it.)
This seems a bit uncommon (the law, not you meeting the rangers). Got
any reference or more detail on it?
...
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Re: trail tagging

Kevin Kenny-3
On Sun, Apr 21, 2019 at 7:22 PM Rihards <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 19.04.19 19:34, Kevin Kenny wrote:
> > (There's also a law that snowshoes or skis are required
> > once the snow is 20 cm deep, but I follow "don't tag the local
> > legislation". There's nothing in that law regarding crampons, but any
> > time I've been using crampons and met a ranger, the ranger was also
> > using them and said nothing about it.)
> This seems a bit uncommon (the law, not you meeting the rangers). Got
> any reference or more detail on it?

6 CRR-NY 190.13 (f)(3)(vii) "In the High Peaks Wilderness Area, no
person shall [...] fail to possess and use skis or snowshoes when the
terrain is snow-covered with eight or more inches of snow"
https://tinyurl.com/y2bbfjad

There are other areas with similar regulations. Moreover, failing to
use snowshoes is regarded as very poor trail etiquette because it
shows little consideration for the safety of those behind you.
Tripping over a posthole (mountaineer slang for the hole left when
someone's boot breaks through the compacted snow on a trail) could be
very dangerous indeed on a trail like
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tYTfwHvO37c/VJnbELXajCI/AAAAAAAABnc/FdT5BrIX1Is/s1600/DSC_3854.JPG.

You can't always see the postholes. They fill with light drifted snow
that gives no more support than the same quantity of air.

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