Proposed features/Path/North America

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Public-images-osm logo.svg highway = path
GuideFootPathCycleYes.jpg
Description
A generic path
Used on these elements
use on nodes unspecifiedmay be used on waysuse on areas unspecifieduse on relations unspecified
Implies

motor_vehicle=no emergency=destination

Useful combination
Status: Approved

Problem Statement

This page documents a standardized method for tagging all types of trails in North America. The general concept with some additional specialized tags could be used in other parts of the world.

Note - this page was copied from and is based on the Tag:highway=path page on this wiki.

This proposal attempts to solve three problems:

- The confusion caused by using single purpose tags, like highway=cycleway to code trails that in reality are often multipurpose.

- The difficulty of tagging activity specific characteristics for trails, like mountain biking level of difficulty vs skiing level of difficulty.

- The proliferation of different tagging schemes being used that make rendering difficult.

Proposal

Highway=path should be used to describe ways that are primarily intended for non-motorized use. This includes ski trails, hiking trails, horse trails, bike trails and paths, mountain bike trails as well as combinations of the above and other modes of transportation. It also includes routes that are used by off-highway vehicles that are generally not legal to drive on paved streets like snowmobile trails, motorcycle trails, and four wheeler (ATV) trails. These routes may have any type of surface.

Purpose specific tags should be used to describe the allowed\appropriate uses for a path. These tags generally either be appropriate restriction tags or other purpose specific tags.

Common restriction tags to use include - ATV, bicycle, boat, foot, horse, snowmobile, inline_skates, motor_vehicle, or motorcycle. Common values will be yes/no/designated.

Common purpose specific tags will be - MTB, piste, .....

One difficult issue to resolve will be how to transition to this new tagging from the traditional single purpose tagging of [tag:highway=footway], [tag:highway=cycleway], [tag:highway=bridleway], etc. Those tags can be thought of as equivalent to [tag:highway=path, tag:foot=yes], etc.

If a path is wide enough for four-wheel-vehicles, and it is not legally signposted or otherwise only allowed for non-motorized use, it is often better tagged as a [tag:highway=track, tag:4WD_only=yes].

Tagging

Primary Designation highway=path

Optional Tags

Access Tags
Key Value Comment
access=* yes\no\permissive\private Access values are used to describe the legal access for a path. While all values are allowed these are the primary access codes.
atv=* yes/no/designated
bicycle=* yes/no/designated
boat=* yes/no/designated
foot=* yes/no/designated
horse=* yes/no/designated
inline_skates=* yes/no/designated
motor_vehicle=* yes/no/designated
motorcycle=* yes/no/designated
surface=* dirt
gravel
paved
Information about the physical surface of roads/footpaths. Additional tags are available but rarely used for trails.
sac_scale=* hiking
mountain_hiking
demanding_mountain_hiking
alpine_hiking
demanding_alpine_hiking
difficult_alpine_hiking
A difficulty rating scheme for hiking trails.
trail_visibility=* excellent
good
intermediate
bad
horrible
no
This key describes attributes regarding trail visibility. This tag is primarily used for alpine routes with minimal trail definition.
incline=* value%
up
down
For marking a way's incline (or steepness/slope).
width=* number
number ft
Describes the actual width of a way. By default, values will be interpreted as meters. Use the 'ft' abbreviation for measurements in feet.

NEED TO ADD MORE HERE

Purpose Specific Tags
Key Value Comment
mtb=* mtb:scale=0-6 NEED TO ADD OTHER MTB RELATED INFORMATION TO THIS SECTION
piste=* ADD A BUNCH OF THE PISTE INFORMATION HERE
OTHER=*

Examples

See: Highway_examples

A path for bicycles, horses, snowmobiles, and cross-country skiing could be tagged as:

Rendering

NEED TO EDIT THIS SECTION


mapnik
osmarender


Implemented in Mapnik (thin dashed black line) and Osmarender.

A highway=path with any of horse=designated, bicycle=designated, foot=designated can be rendered equally to a bridleway, a cycleway or a footway, if desired.


There is a proposal to agree on a extended rendering scheme for any highway=path without one of those.

See also

Related terms: ‹ route › ‹ avenue › ‹ pass › ‹ street › ‹ road › ‹ passage › ‹ trail › ‹ track › ‹ path ›