OpenHistoricalMap/Projects/Ghost Tracks

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Race Tracks

The Ghost Tracks project documents old motor racing venues that have passed out of service. There have been 8000 or so venues in the US and Canada, of which approximately 6000 are no longer in service and qualify as Ghost Tracks.

The term "Ghost Tracks" is in common use when discussing such venues.


This section will outline the issues and the details of the approach being used. When i write it, that is. Topics that need to be covered:

Historic aerial imagery sources and usage

Sources of data on historic tracks


The basic approach to tagging race tracks should be similar to what is done in OpenStreetMap.

Use of relations is recommended, based on the Relations/Proposed/Circuit proposal. The name tag should contain identification of the particular variation of the circuit if there is more than one.

Ways should be tagged highway=raceway; this includes all ways in "hot" areas, including pit lanes. Supporting roads should be highway=service with service=driveway or service=parking_aisle as appropriate, with access=permissive.

Paddock areas should be tagged amenity=parking with access=permissive.

If the boundaries of the property can be identified, a polygon tagged leisure=sports_centre/sport=motor is appropriate. This polygon is also a good place to put the name of the facility and address data if any exists.

Add start_date=* and end_date=* to all elements using ISO date format.

Approaches to using track data from OHM

A leaflet based plugin for embedding mashups of OHM race track data and OSM and Mapbox Satellite base layers is being developed. A prototype may be viewed here

This plugin handles both relations and independent ways. It does not currently do anything with leisure=sports_centre polygons. If you want to use the code feel free, but please get your own Mapbox API key. The key on the site is rotated frequently.

YouTube channel

A YouTube channel exists which uses OHM maps to help understand the history of old racing circuits.

[| Ghost Tracks YouTube Channel]


  • Ghost Tracks in Canada


The primary mapper for this project is Richard Welty/nfgusedautoparts