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Public-images-osm logo.svg piste:type
Piste de ski megève 2007.jpg
Used to define a ski run, including downhill, nordic and others. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: sports
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)may be used on relations
Documented values: 7
Useful combination
Status: de factoPage for proposal

The piste:type=* tag indicates the type of a piste, i.e. for what winter sports it is. It can be added to already existing ways, like for example a forestry track or hiking path if they can be used in winter for skiing, sledding, or winter hiking.

Especially for nordic skiing, sledding, winter hiking and skitouring, it is common that a way is used for multiple winter sports. Such dual use pistes are either tagged as several route=piste relations that all use the same way as a member, or sometimes also with a semicolon like piste:type=downhill;sled.

The piste as way

In the simplest case, draw the piste with a new way way and add piste:type=* and potentially further tags (see below).

The piste as area

If you want to draw the piste as a area area, draw the shape as area and add the following:

Example at

The piste as relation

If the piste is composed of several existing segments/parts, e.g. that are in the summer ways or paths, a relation shall be used. The same applies if different values apply for different uses of the way, e.g. the piste and the underlaying forestry track have different names. Create a Relation:route with the property route=piste where you find more detailed information. Add the segments as members.


Key Value Element Comment Example
piste:type downhill area way relation An alpine/downhill ski route. Ways should be used for trails connecting the routes. This automatically implies oneway=yes. The direction of the way should be the downhill direction. piste:difficulty=* tells the difficulty of the ski run.
piste:type nordic way relation A nordic/cross country ski trail. The direction of the way should be the compulsory or common skiing direction. Nordic pistes are circular ways if the first and the last point are the same and cannot be rendered as areas. piste:grooming=* tells whether classic, skating or both is possible. Nordic Icon.png
piste:type skitour area way A recommended ski tour way or area that is generally used by many skiers during a season for the purpose of a nordic ascent and a downhill descent in the backcountry. Generally the descent is recommended near the ascent route for safety and terrain judgement and the descent is not mapped. To map an alternate descent, use piste:type=downhill with piste:grooming=backcountry. Implies piste:grooming=backcountry. Also defined in the wikipedia Ski touring. Rendered as area if first and last point are the same. If a circular way is needed, do not close the way (first and last point is not exactly the same). Skitour icon.png
piste:type sled area way Use this tag exclusvely for a sledding piste or add this tag to a way or tack that is prepared for or commonly used by sleds to go downhill. Sleds are smaller vehicles that are pulled by a human or propelled only by gravity. Use piste:oneway=yes if the piste has a do not walk uphill sign. If the way is used also for ascending to the top (e.g. by foot) use piste:oneway=no. The combination with piste:lit=yes indicates sledding tracks with lighting that is only turned on in winter. Implied grooming is piste:grooming=classic for natural luge track grooming, but alternatively one can use piste:grooming=backcountry for ungroomed or badly groomed trails. Sled Icon.png
piste:type hike way relation A piste for nordic walking or hiking in winter that is usually announced by a tourism authority. A piste with piste:grooming=classic can be hiked with simple boots or can be used for running (default if grooming is absent). A piste:grooming=backcountry groomed piste requires snow shoes.
piste:type sleigh area way relation A piste exclusively for not self propelled sleighs. This might be horse/husky drawn sleighs (Santa Claus style) or motor sleights. Definition: A sleigh is typically a partially enclosed vehicle with seats for passengers that is drawn by animals and slides on runners.  
piste:type ice_skate area way A piste exclusively for ice skating. Ice skating icon.svg
piste:type snow_park area A funpark with rails, quarter pipes, etc  
piste:type playground node area A ski playground is a designated location which has been developed or set up to assist children to learn to ski naturally, and which provides a variety of skiing discoveries. Skiing-playground-icon.png
piste:type ski_jump area way A  Ski jumping hill Skiing-skijump-icon.png
piste:type connection area way relation Ways that connect ski lifts with each other, to be used for any type of ski lift users. Use oneway=* if the connection is not explicitly twoways (due to inclination for example).
piste:type fatbike way A piste for riding with a  Fatbike in winter that is usually announced by a tourism authority. Fatbiking is on the rise as a winter sport and very often in mountain biking areas. A classic groomed piste (piste:grooming=classic) is made of compacted snow and maintained with a machine such a  Snowmobile or a snowdog. A piste:grooming=backcountry groomed piste is not maintained and will rely on hikers or snowshoers for compaction.
Fat Bike Lioran.JPG

Frequently, ski pistes are used for several practices. For instance groomed Nordic tracks used as hiking tracks and sledding tracks for skitouring and hiking. There is two way to map several use of a piste when they are official: either use semi-colon separated values on the way (piste:type=downhill;sled), or create several route=piste relations, one for each use.

Rendering / Maps

Common tagging mistakes

If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!
If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!

See also

  • piste:difficulty=* - Used to define the difficulty of a ski run, including downhill, nordic and others.
  • piste:grooming=* - Used to define how a piste is prepared.
  • surface=artificial - Used with piste:type=* to define an artificial piste.
  • man_made=piste:halfpipe - for a Halfpipe.png halfpipe. Can only be used on way area. Automatically implies oneway=yes
  • aerialway=* - Used for various forms of transport for passengers and goods that use wires, including cable-cars, chair-lifts and drag-lifts.
  • Piste Maps - describes in detail the way winter sports are mapped in OSM.