The key step_count=* gives the number of individual steps for a way tagged with highway=steps.
- Navigation software for blind persons can tell the number of steps, see OSM for the blind.
- Navigation and routing software for wheelchair drivers avoids steps. Profiles for persons with a walking handicap can allow single steps but avoid staircases etc., see Wheelchair routing.
- CycleStreets uses the step count, as in some cases it is better to carry a bike over a few steps, than to cycle a much bigger route.
- OSM2World uses this tag to render the correct number of steps in its 3d visualisation.
- This is currently not used by any known 2d rendering application. A very detailed rendering could include this value as a number on or near the steps. There is an ITO Map to show steps that do and don't have the step count defined.