Proposed features/Steps features

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Steps features
Status: Proposed (under way)
Proposed by: Driver2
Tagging: *=*
Applies to: way
Definition: Additional properties for steps
Drafted on: 2009-04-23
RFC start: 2009-07-18


This proposal adds several more Tags to describe steps.


This is for ramps that are included in the stairway itself. Ramps that run physically separated (e.g. seperated by a fence, height difference or wall), should be drawn separately.

Tag Description Picture Usage
ramp=yes There is a ramp. Try to specify it more if possible. ramp=yes on waysedit

ramp=yes on nodesedit

ramp:stroller=yes A pair of ramps with a small flight of stairs in the middle. Steps stroller ramp.jpg
ramp:bicycle=yes One ramp at the side of the steps, that can be used to push your bicycle up. Steps bicycle ramp.jpg
ramp:wheelchair=yes/limited/no A shallow ramp that can be used by wheelchairs. It shouldn't be steeper than 4-6% and wide enough. Use "limited" if pushing the wheelchair is neccessary. Explicitly tag "no" to indicate if this ramp can not be used with a wheelchair or if a better ramp (or elevator) is available.
ramp:luggage=yes/automatic/manual A ramp for luggage (e.g. at the trainstation). automatic means it moves by itself (conveyor belt) while manual only provides an even surface where you can slide your luggage up and down more easily.
ramp=no No ramp at all (default).

Step properties

Some of the following properties have only three values, which makes the information more objective. More values may allow for a finer distinction, but only if all mappers stick closley to the definition, which may sometimes be impossible. That is why there are only few values, which should still give a general and rather objective impression of the step's properties.


The width of the steps should be equivalent to the width of the steps or staircase overall, so the generic width=* can be used.

Surface (Step material)

Since the various surface Tags are already popular, one may use them to describe the step's material. For example surface.material=metal.

Step height

The height of the individual steps. Tge following values may be used, but you can also specify the measured height. If the heights vary much, an average height together with a fitting step.condition=* value may be appropriate.

Value Description
normal Normal height for easy walking, should be about 15-17cm.
flat Considerably shallower than the normal size (e.g. half).
high Considerably heigher than the normal size.
number The measured size. Please always specify a unit (e.g. cm). Always in cm

See Talk:Proposed_features/Steps_features#use only objectivly measured characteristics

Step length

The following values may be used for the step.length=*-Tag. They should give a general impression of the step's size. If you want to be more exact, you may also specify the measured size. Please use an average (together with an appropriate step.condition=*) if the sizes vary much.

Step size
Value Description Picture
normal Easy to step on, should be about 30cm. Step length normal.jpg
short Considerably shorter than the normal size. One may have to step on it sideways to keep footing.
long Considerably longer than the normal size. It may not be possible to reach the next stair with one step. Step length long and normal.jpg
number The measured size. Please always specify a unit (e.g. cm). Always in cm

See Talk:Proposed_features/Steps_features#use only objectivly measured characteristics

Step condition

Describes the form and uniformity of the indivual steps. The following values may be used for the step.condition=*-Tag and should give a general impression:

Value Description Picture
even Perfectly smooth and uniform. Should be the standard for new or well maintained steps in urban areas. Steps1.jpg Steps4.jpg
uneven Steps are not very uniform, they come in different sizes and may be slightly tilted. Steps2.jpg Steps3.jpg Steps5.jpg
rough Steps are of different forms and sizes, some may be missing or extremely tilted, the step length and height may vary considerably. Steps6.jpg

Other properties


Define whether there is a handrail at all:

Define the position of the handrail (in the direction of the OSM-way):

Tags that are already in use or defined elsewhere

  • step_count=* for the number of steps (already being used)
  • incline=* to define the steepest incline or incline:avg=* to define the average incline


You can add presets that uses the proposed scheme to JOSM. Just add the following URL in the JOSM presets properties:

See also


Please use the talk page.