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Maximum vs Average Incline

This page needs a more detailed description. It's unclear to me whether incline=* applies to max incline or average incline! I will correct the main page to avg incline, however there should be a tag considering max incline too. If this was considered for max incline then change it back, we would then need a tag for average incline however. We could use incline:max= Value in Percentage if not noted otherwise and incline: Value in Percentage for average incline. For uses where incline is commonly given in degrees (mainly inclines over 100%), one should tag incline=40° instead of incline=40 which would signify incline=40%. --Extremecarver 13:41, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't think it's the best idea. The max incline is much more informative (to wheelchair users for instance) while the average incline can be constructed from contours, at least over longer ascents (for shorter ascent an avg incline is not really needed). Ipofanes 13:48, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
I also think this tag is used for maximum incline, as that's the number that can be found on the traffic signs as well. --Eimai 13:56, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
o.k. I will then change the guideline to maximum incline (indicating that this maximum incline should be valid for 1m at least). This still means that we have to come up with some proposal on average incline IMHO. Or do you have a better solution?--Extremecarver 14:25, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Provide ele-Tags for the nodes at the top and bottom of an incline (or at the next crossing if it is not far). You see this in topographical maps a lot and I think it is a good idea, especially for cases where the contours are messy. Ipofanes 08:19, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

How to map an incline on a market place?


if there is a steep area like a market place, where no footways are tagged, how will that be mapped? This is needed e.g. for wheelchair routing.


My suggestion is to apply ele=* to the edges of the area, since incline would need a precise direction in this case. --RalpH himself 20:59, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Average incline

The tag defines the maximum incline, which might be useful for most users. But sometimes it is just not possible to clearly say what the maximum incline is, but only what the average incline is. Could we not just add the tag incline:avg=* for that? Better to have an average value, than nothing. --Driver2 22:33, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Common and extreme inclines

I think the statement "Ways with a steepness of under 10% are seldom signposted" is incorrect, at least in the US. Grades of 6% and 7% on motor highways through mountainous areas commonly are posted, as a warning to drivers of heavy trucks. I don't want to just change this statement without better understanding the situation in other parts of the world, or whether something else may have been meant. --EdH 22:33, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Seems it was my personal estimate; I haven't seen many incline signs anyway; even on the Norwegian and Spanish mountain roads they were quite rare. European motorways generally don't exist in that mountaineous regions, but there might be cases like you've described. I'll rephrase it. Alv 14:38, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Use on nodes

Until recently, this page simply read "The use of this tag has limited (if any) usage, as nodes do not have any direction." The taginfo stats show that it is hardly ever used on nodes, so I wonder: Why allow use on nodes at all? --Tordanik 12:19, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

I agree, that's why I added some reasons explaining why it is bad on nodes (and probably undesired as well on very small segments where it is not significant). steep inclines (>50%) require a minimum length of a half meter, small inclines (5-15%) require longer lengths (several meters at least). This should be justified depending on the usage (longer for 4-wheel vehicles, than for cycleways, and then for footways taking care finally about accessiblity for wheelchairs or people with difficulties for walking).
If we think things in terms of accessibility and security (for respecting the maximum speed and avoiding prolongated accelerations) a node is clearly not enough, we must be able to locate at least a segment where this tag applies. — Verdy_p (talk) 17:22, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Incline needs a direction

Following on to the above discussion about nodes, an incline on a way also needs to be associated with a direction. It's good to know there is a slope on the highway but if you're coming from the "proper direction" it's a positive slope, otherwise it's negative. One could either use the direction=forward or direction=backward tags in conjunction with this main tag, or else use the existing tags incline:forward and incline:backward. The article doesn't even mention these possibilities AlaskaDave (talk) 04:40, 15 August 2020 (UTC)

Do you know how the direction determined in the first place?... Forward & backward, left & right -- Kovposch (talk) 09:24, 15 August 2020 (UTC)
Yes, your reference explains that. Why do you ask? AlaskaDave (talk) 13:36, 15 August 2020 (UTC)
I presume because it is obvious that the "incline" is tagged in the forward direction and changes meaning when the direction of the way is swapped - similar to Key:oneway. --Stefanct (talk) 19:08, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
It's exactly the same situation as applies to stop signs, speed limits, and the like. Directional tagging depends on the direction the way was drawn in OSM. An example in the case of inclines: if the way rises to some height and then at some point descends one would split the way at that point and assign a negative slope to the new segment. Theoretically, I suppose one could also split the way, reverse its direction, and then assign a positive slope to that segment but that would be an extremely messy solution that would likely break any existing oneway or other directional tagging. AlaskaDave (talk) 01:18, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
I still don't understand what are you asking. You simply change the sign of the incline=* value. What's "messy" about this? ---- Kovposch (talk) 06:42, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
Maybe what I'm asking for isn't necessary. I guess it depends on how routing engines use incline data. I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that routers would need to be specifically told how the slope was oriented in relation to the OSM way direction, as in stop signs or speed limits. But maybe they ignore directionality. In which case simply knowing if the slope is positive or negative is enough. AlaskaDave (talk) 08:04, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
"Positive values indicate movement upward in the direction of the way. Negative values indicate movement downward in the direction of the way." So if the way is going uphill in the direction it was drawn, then the value should be positive. If it is going downhill in the direction of the OpenStreetMap way, then the value should be negative. This shows the orientation of the slope. --Jeisenbe (talk) 06:02, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
So, are you saying that specifying a direction is either redundant or unnecessary? If so, I can live with that. However, if someone were to tag a slope as positive but the way was drawn in the opposite direction, what then? AlaskaDave (talk) 23:58, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
If the slope is backwards, then you have 2 options to fix it: 1) add a "-" (negative sign / en dash) in front of the value OR 2) reverse the direction of the way. --Jeisenbe (talk) 06:33, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
I'm not asking how to fix it. I know how to do that. I'm asking if it is necessary to require a directional tag in the first place so as to avoid any misinterpretation of the incline slope by routers. AlaskaDave (talk) 07:23, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

Up and then down

Mention how to describe the incline of stairs such as

- -

Jidanni (talk) 23:04, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

If you are into micro details, it should simply be split. -- Kovposch (talk) 09:27, 15 August 2020 (UTC)

Examples and crossfall

Corrected in is the last paragraph of Key:incline#Common & extreme_inclines misintepreting the transverse crossfall / cross-slope / camber for drainage (cf superelevation for horizontal curves) as the longitudinal gradient. ---- Kovposch (talk) 19:08, 6 November 2020 (UTC)

What about when we want to explicitly say there is NO incline

Some things just don't have inclines. And we want to make perfectly clear by saying so. Therefore there should be an incline=no or something mentioned on this wiki page!

Yep, let's say a path doesn't slope up, doesn't slope down, just goes on and on nice and flat.

So, if we were allowed to say incline=no, or incline=0, that would avoid future mappers needing to make a second trip to make sure we didn't forget to properly specify the incline. Jidanni (talk) 14:58, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

46k incline=0% instances.
--- Kovposch (talk) 20:51, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
I think this tag will end up being overused. If taken to its logical extreme it would mean that most roads on the planet could potentially be tagged with incline=0 and that would be very undesirable. It's a similar situation to using the tag oneway=no on every two-way highway on the planet. It is wrong? Strictly speaking, no. But it adds tons of clutter to an already humongous database. It's way better to assume that any way that doesn't have an incline tag has incline=0 --AlaskaDave (talk) 01:53, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
It is sometimes useful to tag the default explicitly. Eg incline=0% between incline=up and incline=down to show it is flat; oneway=no between 2 {{tag|oneway=yes to show a two-way section between 2 junctions. --- Kovposch (talk) 11:29, 21 October 2022 (UTC)