Routing profiles

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Use this page to suggest routing profiles for a range of different users and scenarios.


Can use nearly all road types (including going the wrong way on oneway roads) plus footpaths, tracks, alleys, bridleways, byways, pedestrianised roads, steps, escalators, elevators and public transport. Cannot use motorways and some trunk roads. Avoids tunnels (high penalty in routing).

Can use some cycleways, marked with foot=yes.

May need safety filter that prefers roads and has penalty e.g. for footpaths through the forest, and/or a 'night time' filter that prefers well-lit paths.


Can use most roads, footways, and cycleways (similar to pedestrian). Cannot use steps. Can use wheelchair accessible public transit vehicles.

Listen to Harald Holone's talk on wheelchair routing: here

See German Project wheelchair routing.

Other accessibility profiles

E.g. luggage and baby stroller limit accessibility of steps and steep hills in a way comparable to wheelchair. Reduced overall health may limit accessibility of long steps or inclines as well as uneven surfaces.


As per pedestrian, but prefers footpaths, tracks, byways and bridleways. Will use minor roads if necessary, but no major roads large penalty for using major roads

Remark: This will not work!! In Hamburg I have to cross major Roads to go to another place. Sometimes I have to walk, let me say 50 Meters along a main road. This is better than make a trip about 2km to avoid it. Or you have to use a main-Road bridge over a river .... Sven Anders 13:05, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Stranded motorist

As per pedestrian, but may start on a road not normally accessible to them (e.g. trunk road) and be able to walk down it



Avoids main roads if possible, but can use them if necessary

Prefers quiet residential and unclassified roads. Can use service roads (lanes, driveways). May be able to use tracks.

Can become a pedestrian temporarily, e.g. to use a short stretch of footpath if it saves a longer cycle ride, or to cross a pedestrian rail bridge.

Can use cycle lanes to go down some one-way roads at full-speed. Can become pedestrian to go down regular one-way roads at reduced speed

Remark: Perhabs we need a second key for a cycle quality? a main Road can be good for cycling (you can use a bus lane, ...) or very bad (if there is no space for bikes at all) Sven Anders 14:43, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Avoid turns across the traffic (right turns in UK, left turns in EU/USA) as they are less pleasant, slower and more hazardous)

Avoid steep uphill gradients (what's the trade-off between gradient avoided and distance added?). Could the SSTRM topo data be used to calculate this?

Commuter bike

As per cycle, but optimised for best speed. Quiet residential roads no longer get a bonus unless they're actually higher-speed than the alternatives.

Primary/secondary roads have less of a penalty. May use trunk/motorway routes as permitted.

Traffic lights may need to be considered. Hazards may need to be considered (e.g. junctions can be marked as dangerous to cyclist)

May need to get height data, to give a penalty to steep climbs

Mountain bike

Prefers bridleways, tracks, byways, disused and unclassified roads, and private forestry/logging roads.

Can choose to travel on routes with surface=mud, but this will be season-dependent

May need some way of preferring routes through forest

Folding bike

As per bicycle, but with the option to travel by train or metro.

Higher penalty for going on primary/secondary roads due to low speed

Recreational bike

Prefers ways marked with a ncn, rcn or lcn tag or relation (the colored ways here)


Inline Skater

Similar to folding bike in their ability to switch to train, buses and metros, and their lower speed than a normal bike. Will not usually ride on a dirt road, but will step on one for a few meters if necessary to join to another road. Very sensitive to pavement quality.


Can use bridleways and tracks, and unclassified highways (with big penalty), very dependend on surface. Big stones are very bad, small stones are bad, grass is good, mud is not as bad as stones. Likes to use meadows (when permitted -- it is in Czech republic). Can use fields depending on season.


Car driver

Standard routing rules, as seen in all major navigation systems. Prefer large roads, motorways, trunk roads.

Can go down residential roads but not service roads [unless the destination is on the service road].

Well, may need to use multiple service roads within an area, perhaps a square block of such... sometimes it takes multiple service roads to reach a spot. Perhaps a increasingly escalating penalty the further from the destination? Also the origination point may likewise be aided by using service roads to reach a better spot to start (such as traffic light) and\or bypass traffic trouble within the block, with the caveat of a lower speed limit (assume < 10 or 20 mph). JeopardyTempest (talk) 06:28, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

Can't go the wrong way down oneway roads.

Penalty for changing road types - should try to stay on the same road once it's joined.

But what if the same road changes types along the route, perhaps several times? The penalty should be for turns (particularly turns from major roads across oncoming traffic - right turns when driving on left and left turns when driving on right) Andrewpmk 06:48, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Routing costs would be proportional to the average speed of the road.

High-occupancy vehicle

If the vehicle meets HOV requirements (typically 2+ or 3+ passengers), it is allowed to use HOV-only roads.

Fast driver

Routing optimised for people who will be going at what they consider a "safe" speed, which may be well above the speed limit on motorways (especially in countries with an unusually low motorway speed limit) but near it in residential areas.

Efficient driver

Using the shortest route, evading sharp/overly many turns, steep hills and traffic-lights as well as bad road-surfaces. Prefering traffic-lights on primary-roads over secondary,... (green wave).

Safe driver

Prefers routes that minimize the risk of death of injury, requires data on the relative safety of roads. (Basic idea described here)

Commuter driver

Requires information on average amount of traffic on various roads during rush hour

Learner driver

Prefers residential roads and small roads. Cannot travel on motorways and unlikely to travel on trunk roads or primary roads

London driver

Prefers routes that don't touch the toll area, but if a route goes inside the toll zone once, then that restriction disappears and they can use routes inside it without further penalty

Scenic driver

Doesn't mind a longer route (1.5x? 2x?) if it's "scenic". Maybe this is tagged, or maybe we calculate based on the type of road and its sinuosity.


Allowed to use HOV-only roads in many places. Tries to avoid roads in poor condition (e.g. lots of potholes).


Cannot go faster than 35 mph (50km/h). Avoids most motorways (but there may be exceptions). Can become a pedestrian temporarily (many scooter drivers will drive on a large open walkway to get to the entrance of a building). Dislikes going uphill.

Heavy goods vehicle (HGV)

As per car driver, but looking for maxheight, maxwidth, maxweight, and access:hgv tags that prevent some routes from being used

Emergency vehicle

Emergency vehicles don't mind breaking some traffic rules (turn restrictions, speed limits, red lights, pedestrian areas...), but they do have to obey physical limits. They might even decide to drive in the wrong direction of a short one way street. It also may be helpful if chronically congested roads and intersections can be avoided.

In addition, emergency vehicles can pass through certain barriers (gates, removable bollards etc.) that normally render ways inaccessible. For such additional ways to be used for routing, though, it is necessary to properly tag any barrier with regards to who may pass through and how this happens. (Bollards that have to be manually removed add a delay, so some targets may be reached faster by driving around the blocked way; Some gates open with a key held by fire service vehicles but not rescue services, others are opened remotely after a phone call etc.)

Mass delivery

For visiting all (or most) addresses in a neighborhood/city driver might prefer right turns (or left in right-hand drive countries). It could be used for optimizing post, newspaper, spamflets delivery... Same algoritms is used for GPS surveying of the uncharted streets, but route cannot be drawn for those, can it? :) Idea from UPS.

Search for roadside parking

Finding a free roadside parking spot in an unknown environment requires driving around, possible quite far. The user would still wish to stay as close as possible to their original destination. Oneway streets or turning restrictions could make it hard and routing could help here. Quite close to a mass delivery route, but prefers roads with allowed parking (not yet tagged) and has only a small penalty for reusing the same roads if they're near the destination.



See main article: train routing