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Public-images-osm logo.svg barrier = stile
A structure which provides people a passage through or over a boundary via steps, ladders or narrow gaps. Edit or translate this description.
Rendering in OSM Carto
Barrier stile-14.svg
Group: Barriers
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Status: approvedPage for proposal

A  stile is a structure which provides people a passage through or over a boundary via steps, ladders or narrow gaps. Identifying stiles is helpful as their presence restricts access. Stone stiles are of particular interest as they form part of the historic landscape. Identifying them helps with preservation work.

How to map

Simply add the tag barrier=stile to the node where the stile is located.

Where there is a stile where a footpath and a road join, do not place a stile at the junction, but at a node on the footpath:

Possible rendering

Barrier stile.svg suggested by User:Chrisana13.

Stile details

Stile type

The tag stile=* can be used to provide details of the type of stile. The following have been used:

If known, the material should also be tagged. For example, stone stiles form part of the historic landscape character of the UK, and identifying their location is useful in preservation work. Where possible, the stile should be tagged with material=* with values stone, wood, or metal.

Tagging stile type is useful for evaluating how easy a stile is to use for people with restricted mobility, for example older people who want to hike but would have problem with ladders.

Step-over and ladder stiles can have the number of steps added using step_count=*, also useful to judge how demanding it will be to pass for people with limited mobility. step_count=* should be set to the number of steps on one side. If step count is different on each side, the larger one should be used.

Dog gate

Some stiles have small "dog gates" attached to them. There is a small hole at ground-level closed off by a plank of wood that can be pulled up from the top of the wall/barrier to open up the gate and allow a dog to pass through. The term is used in British Standard BS5709:2018. Tag these with dog_gate=yes.


Image Notes Tags
Dry Stone Wall and Stile, Yorkshire Dales (3875164717).jpg Stone stepover stile
step_count=5 (note step hidden partially in the grass. Note that there could be 5 or less steps on the other side. If there would be more than 5 then that count would be tagged)
Stone squeezer with gate.jpg Difficulties in identifying the stile may occur where there is also a gate.
Here there is a stone squeezer type stile. The landowner has more recently added a wooden gate. This is generally done because the barrier needs to retain smaller animals.
Small gate.jpg The above should not be confused with the following example:
The above is a small gate, and should be tagged barrier=gate. The metal gate is not a recent addition and is part of the original barrier. The material for the posts is also concrete rather than stone.
And additional tags as per that page.
Stone squeezer wooden stepover.jpg The primary historic interest will be the stone squeezer
Metal stile taking the Nore Valley Way from the Sion Road on to farmland.jpg
step_count=4 (bottom rung on the ground not counted, step to the top platform counted)[1]

See also

Other names

Norwegian: Gjerdeklyver, trapp

Common/possible tagging mistakes

If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!