|informal = yes
|Used for informal features that are not intentionally planned or formally set up.
|Used on these elements
|Status: de facto
|Tools for this tag
informal=yes – this attribute indicates that a feature has not been established on purpose or is not formally established. It is mainly used with footpaths, but it could also be used with any other kind of feature. One common example of an informal footpath is a desire path.
For many kinds of features, informal=yes is mutually exclusive with operator=*. If a feature (trail, camp pitch, etc) has an operator, then it is by definition not informal. And conversely, if it is informal that implies that no entity officially operates it (but there could still be an informal operator, someone who defacto operates it).
Paths and other features that were originally informal may later be adopted by an administrative body (which may improve the surface or perform maintenance). When this happens they lose their informal character and the tag should be removed. Conversely, a feature that was once maintained but is subsequently decommissioned may become informal if it continues to be used despite the decommissioning. (In the case of a feature that has been abandoned for many years, it may be difficult or impossible to tell in the field whether its original construction was intentional.)
Features tagged as informal=yes could be completely unmaintained and might be considered with lower priority by routers.
Paths that exist, but whose use is actually prohibited, should be marked with access=* tags accordingly (so they are not used accidentally by routers).
|A clearly visible path that was not deliberately created, but has been established by many people making use of the route
|A pedestrian path (e.g. in a park) created by many people choosing the same shortcuts or routes
|A ski slope that is not officially maintained, but still frequently used by skiers
Possible tagging mistakes
- Tagging guidelines by the United States Trail Access Project recommend tagging managed ways informal=no where the name of the operator is not known.