Proposal:Pedestrian crossing as an area

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pedestrian crossing as an area
Proposal status: Draft (under way)
Proposed by: Mateusz Konieczny
Tagging: area:highway=crossing
Applies to: area area
Definition: Allow mapping of crossings in extreme detail: as an areas

Draft started: 2021-11-22
RFC start: 2022-01-13


In well mapped areas individual crossings are being mapped.

In some areas people map areas of footways and roads as areas. It is done with area:highway=* and done in optionally in addition to mapping linear centerlines. This is really, really rare, but in some cases it may be useful. Note that in general it is not useful, for example mapping motorways as area:highway=* is in general not useful - mapping lanes and carriageway width is more than enough.

This data is in general much less important than road centerlines, but for some cases it is actually useful. Usage examples include various variants of "highly detailed maps of some area"

All this cases were cases where I actually personally used such map data.

In addition theoretical use includes

  • small scale navigation
  • 3D rendering
  • simulation of traffic (AB Street and similar)


I am already using such tagging (though with a bit different tag names). I was convinced that I am using tagging schema that is not popular (as it is extreme nanomapping) but at least invented by someone else.

I was mistaken as I discovered in - sorry.


This tagging would be used in addition to highway=* lines, using it without such data mapped already is a major mistake.

This tagging would be used in addition to highway=crossing point on shared node of road and crossing way, using it without such data mapped already is a major mistake.

Mapping areas of such pedestrian crossings would not affect other area:highway=* features. If there is area:highway=tertiary mapped - mapping area:highway=crossing would not result in reduction of area:highway=tertiary area, crossing area would be within both area:highway=tertiary and area:highway=crossing

  • area:highway=crossing - crossing area
  • Who can use given crossing is specified by access tags, access modes not mentioned in tagging are not allowed to use it as a crossing. Access tagging covers access modes using crossing to cross a road, not vehicles using the main road. So pedestrian crossing across motorroad will not have bicycle=yes.

Note that in case of crossing having two separate parts, one for cyclists and one for pedestrians it should be mapped as two area:highway=crossing - each with its own access tags.

More complex cases

highway:crossing=* without access tags is incomplete, access tags should be specified there.

For example area:highway=crossing + bicycle=designated + foot=yes represents cycleway crossing where pedestrians also can cross, while horse riders are not allowed to use it.

area:highway=crossing + foot=designated + fixme=check whether horses can cross here represents crossing that may or may not be use also by cyclists and horse riders.

While crossing is on road area used also by cars it should not be tagged as say motorcar=yes.



Rendering of micromapping in area where also bicycle crossings (purple/pink on map here) and pedestrian crossings (reddish) are mapped and rendered
TODO overlay

TODO: add photo with marked areas (aerial? from the ground?)


Examples section

Existing tagging

Existing area:highway=crossing is compatible with tagging proposed here - geometries are matching. Access tags are currently not used at all.

This query will find objects tagged with it worldwide, feel free to review.

Features/Pages affected

External discussions


Please comment on the discussion page.


My work on tactile maps was also funded by OSMF (Microgrants/Microgrants_2020/Proposal/Tactile_maps_for_blind_or_visually_impaired_children), but funding run out long time ago. And anyway, paid mapping was excluded from work being funded.

I am planning to continue mapping such maps and look for further funding.

Therefore I am additionally biased and have additional conflict of interest.

Nevertheless I think that such mapping can happen in OSM and benefits overall outweigh negatives.

Plans for this proposal

I plan on going through RfC with it and would welcome feedback.

I am planning to gather some feedback and then switch tagging of areas that I mapped and to this proposal.

I am unsure when and if it will go though vote (though Proposed features/remove link to Wikidata from infoboxes may go first)