Hiking Map

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This wiki page is intended to gather feature ideas for a new OSM Slippy map layer, just like the Cycle Map but then especially for climbers, hikers, tramps, campers, walkers, horseriders and other countryside users.

Ideas and suggestions

  • Displaying relief contour lines
  • Rendering trail lengths automatically on the map
  • Rendering of ways emphasizing paths and various track types, toning down unsuitable roads and paved streets
  • Special attention to natural features
  • Special attention to bridges and stairs
  • Displaying walking routes (tagged with relations and or tags like highway=path) in different colors
  • Icons for mountain, alpine huts, bothies, log cabins, wilderness huts,... see proposals: Proposed_features/Shelter and Proposed_features/Alpine_Hut
  • Icons for nice views
  • Icons for drinking water, toilets, wastebaskets, and so forth.
  • Combine raw GPS of the same trail for better accuracy
  • Link to sites and pages describing the details of a trail, information beyond the GPS path.
  • Flags to identify starting/ending points of trails, including roundtrip routes
  • A way to display parking lot locations
  • Displaying safety ropes, ladders and rungs in assisted trails
  • Displaying areas prone to avalanche hazard

Generic hints for renderer


  • in case of a relation:route the code of the path should be rendered in text, this code is normally in ref=*. When name=* is present it should be displayed as well. In case of lack of space we should discuss which one has priority.
  • in case of simple way, highway=path or highway=track or highway=footway, not included in a relation:route we should display the ref and/or name of the way.

As of 2013-09-10:


The combination of sac_scale=* and trail_visibility=* should be rendered with the line style and color. Examples can be found in sac_scale#Rendering or osmc:symbol=*. It makes sense to use these tags on single ways. Does it make sense to apply them to relation:route?

As of 2013-09-10:

Groups of features

At high scales the name of groups of features should be rendered, specifically:

  • mountain ranges
  • valleys
  • lakes groups

As of 2013-09-10: dianacht: renders mountain ranges with the Proposed relation: Region mountain_area.

Map examples



Here is my starting work on a Hiking Map I'm working on See details here

Hiking and Riding map

Riding/Hiking map

I have also started work on a topological hiking map (german). Or rather, as I am doing my mapping on horseback, I am working on a map that some day should be suitable for trail riding. But as the requirements for a hiking map are very similar, it should be able to serve that purpose as well. Main requirements are

  • contour lines
  • hill shading
  • emphasis on displaying the trackgrades and paths
  • landmarks of all kinds
  • hiking routes.

My work on a hiking map originally started with a map for Garmin devices and OSM Composer. For the open layers map I extended Composer to generate matching mapnik styles. This means that a Garmin map will be available that exactly matches the online topo map minus the hill shading.

The basic setup is

  • PostGreSQL/PostGIS database
  • Contour lines created as shown in HikingBikingMaps
  • Hills shading produced as shown in HikingBikingMaps, but with a modified gdal2tiles.py that darkens the tiles and names them in open layer nomenclature
  • OSM data downloaded and processed with OSM composer
    • evaluate and add hiking routes and some other information
    • remove all unimportant data
  • Two style sheets for Mapnik generated by OSM composer from the Garmin TYP definition, one for the foreground and one for the background
  • Rendering done by mapnik as recommended by migurski
    • render background (mostly land use)
    • apply hill shading to background
    • render foreground on top (contours, ways, nodes)



3D hiking maps

3D OSM hiking map featured in a video trailer: http://youtu.be/OWHevSDyoVo
3D hiking maps (similar to Google Earth) can be produced with OpenSceneGraph (and SRTM data), even without internet connection.

The screenshot on the right is an extract from a video trailer made to present (and prepare) a very long hike / mapping party along the Via Alpina (Summer 2012).

Related pages