Proposed features/mtb

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Status: Abandoned (inactive)
Proposed by: extremecarver
Tagging: mtb=yes/designated/private/permissive/impossible/forbidden/no/unknown/
Applies to: linear
Definition: A key that should be used if a way is of such a kind, that cycling on it is considered mtbiking. This is not a key:access. See below for usage examples.
Drafted on:
Proposed on: 2008-11-20
RFC start: *
Vote start: *
Vote end: *

Replaced by

This key is not needed any more. It is only left for archiving. Use mtb:scale instead. For legal Access Restricitons use bicycle=yes/no.....


Provide a general key for mtbiking.

  • Especially for mtbkiking trails, it is crucial to know wether a trail is suitable for mtbiking or not.
  • Since Google Maps and the like are pretty unusable for mtbiking (because they denote only very few trails), this is a region where OSM can be of great value soon and for a long time.
  • Many mtbikers already utilize GPSs and are amongst the foremost contributors of offroad highway data. It would be great to win as many of them as possible as contributers to OSM.

The goal of this page is to help create OSM maps from a mountain bikers perspective. This page is a translation of the German version that started the topic. This whole project is created so that there will be consistent tagging of mtb related features to tracks and pathes). Please help by voicing your support so that mountainbikers can be sure of how to quickly tag ways and knowing that they can profit from it getting mtb specific maps once the renderers have the certainity of how the ways are mapped.

This is one subset of several Proposals brought in concering

key comment
mtb=yes/designated/private/permissive/forbidden/no/impossible/unknown Should be used if a way is of such a kind, that cycling on it is considered mtbiking. This is not a key:access. See below for usage examples.

Applies to


Usage, Tags and Values

This tag shall be given to ways suited for mtbiking. It shall difference between technical impossibility and legal impossibility to use a way. If a way is tagged as bicycle=yes and can be used by normal street/trekking bicycles then we also don't need to clutter the information by giving additional mtb=yes tags. If people using racingbikes want to have their features they could likewise make a proposal for racingbike=......

For highway=track mtb=yes is not needed to be used. It is assumed that any track can be used by mountainbikers. However mtb=* (other than yes) shall be used if it's not possible to use the way on a moutainbike.

For highway=path or other ways (except highway=cycleway), this tag is assumed no by default, so mtb=yes should be tagged in case it's possible to use the way. This shall be done this way, in order not to give more tags to ways than needed.

mtb=impossible shall be given when technically mtbiking is impossible in EITHER direction (i.e. on a climbing route, on a way that is so small that no mtb fits through,...).

mtb=forbidden shall be given when techically mtbiking is possbible (this might be useful to know, e.g. finding interesting ways to mtb and convincing landowners to allow mtbiking on the way but prohibited by any law or unknown reason.

mtb=designated: Way designated for mountainbiking by local authorities, tourism office, if its a bikepark, etc...

mtb=private: Private land on which mtbiking is forbidden. Special Permission is needed. Mtbiking in principle would be possible however.

mtb=permissive: The landowner in general allows mtbiking on the way and it is possible to mtbike.

mtb=unknown: No information is known wheter it's possible to mtbike here.




Generally, I think tag proposals do not necessarily need rendering definitions at all. First, there are many different renderers (Mapnik, Osmarender, Mkgmap) with different abilities in terms of colors and patterns. Second, this decision is independent of the tag schema. I have created rendering rules for Garmin maps on this page: OSM_Map_On_Garmin/mtb_map Other renderers might use this as an input on how to make use of the mtb key.


Please use Discussion page


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