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Public-images-osm logo.svg tactile_paving
Tactile paving.jpg
Indicate if a specific place can be detected or followed with a blindman's stick. Edit or translate this description.
Group: Sidewalks
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areasmay be used on relations
Status: approvedPage for proposal


Tactile paving is a system of textured ground surface indicators found on footpaths, stairs and public transportation platforms to assist pedestrians who are visually impaired. A tactile paving area has an easy-to-detect surface, often more rough than the surrounding surface area.

Common values

  • tactile_paving=yes
  • tactile_paving=no
  • tactile_paving=contrasted Where there is a tactile paving which contrast is at least 70% the colour of the ground (white if the ground is black and vice-versa).
  • tactile_paving=primitive Where any water drain or decorative tactile element can be used for orientation accidentally, but no typical tactile ground elements are used.
  • tactile_paving=incorrect Where tactile paving is used but not in a sensible way, e.g. if the paving is symmetric for visual pleasure but on one of the sides it leads to nothing, or if only one sloped kerb at a crossing has tactile paving. It may be sensible if tactile paving leads to a building wall, because the way continues next to the wall and it can be used for orientation with a white cane.

Note: There is no default value. tactile_paving=no can be tagged explicitly if discovered.


Use on nodes node

In general: Use precise coordinates or add fixme=position estimated!

  • For dangerous spots
    • When a footway next to a road ends at a crossing with a lowered kerb (kerb), tactile_paving is often used to indicate the dangerous spot tactile_paving=yes. This is set separately for each side of the road, because it can be different! Use in the same way on traffic islands. please note the "kerb" and not "curb" should be used (BE vs. AE).
    • When a bus stop is mapped as a node highway=bus_stop and there is one or more lines of tactile_paving at that bus stop, the bus_stop node gets tactile_paving=yes
    • highway=elevator, when there is a tactile paving at the entrance of an elevator ON EACH LEVEL!

Use on ways way

  • On a pedestrian crossing highway=crossing, when the tactile paving is used in a line all across the crossing. Do not use tactile_paving=* on the way when only the two spots where the footway ends are paved differently.
  • On footways, when there is a line all the way on the footway highway=footway.
  • On platforms, highway=platform or man_made=pier. If the platform or pier is mapped as an area, only if you draw a separate way for the tactile lines. If the platform or pier is small and mapped as a way, add tactile_paving=yes to the way.
    • Use on the way highway=steps (some of which have escalator=yes) of steps, even if there is only a spot with tactile paving at each end. The stairs themselves are sufficiant tactile objects to detect with a white cane.

Use on areas area

  • tactile_paving=yes is not used on areas. If you have a large area (like a market place) with indicator lines across, draw separate ways for the tactile paving and map on ways.
  • tactile_paving=no can be used on border polygons to indicate that a community is not aware at all of the requirements of blind persons.

Use on relations relation

  • tactile_paving=yes can be used on route/tram relations for instance, when all vehicles in use are equipped with tactile indicators at the doors or similar. Please add blind:description:en=* to tell about the details.

Typical combinations


Tactile paving does not need to be rendered on visual maps by default. It will be used for tactile maps and acoustic routing software for pedestrians.

There is a visual map for features for the blind: blindmap.

  • Due to changes in Query-to-map this Template does not work anymore. You can use Template:Osm-query2. Please replace or delete this use of Osm-query template. (link dead since 29/11/2013)
  • Due to changes in Query-to-map this Template does not work anymore. You can use Template:Osm-query2. Please replace or delete this use of Osm-query template. (link dead since 29/11/2013)
  • HaptoRender - Tactile OSmaps for the blind.
  • LoroDux - Pedestrian navigation software for the blind
  • Loadstone - GPS tool for the blind, able to import OSM POIs and crossings.

See also