I wish to start a discussion due to my experience gained while hiking the E4 Long Distance European Path in Cyprus and the Via Algarviana in Portugal.
Both routes can be viewed in Lonvia's World Wide Way marked Trials.
Like all waymarked trails, they have route markers to aid the hiker as he/she progresses. At the moment there is no exact OSM-tag to define such route markers so I have entered them into the OSM database as information=guidepost, tourism=information, hiking=yes and e.g. name=E4: These route markers are mostly not guideposts but at least they are rendered in OSM.
Now, this method does not exactly reflect the situation on the ground. Such route markers can be attached to anything and be anything from a pile of stones, paint on a stone, to well-manufactured metal or plastic shields on poles, walls, fences, etc. They can show the direction of a route at a junction or they can be simply there to give confidence to the hiker that the way is part of the route. They can also indicate where off-route hostels, sustenance or first aid can be obtained.
To the long-distance hiker, this is all very valuable information and the hiker can navigate to any marker with the appropriate equipment.
Another point is that the OSM data could aid the route operator to maintain the route markers if the status were to be recorded by hikers. On my tours, I have found them to be damaged, burnt by forest fires, fallen, missing, pointing in the wrong direction, misplaced and of course, vandalized.
Example of a damaged route-marker burnt in a forest fire
However, before we create a proposed feature I would like a discussion on this topic, as I am quite sure I have not thought of everything and any improvements from the OSM community would be welcome.
Example of possible additional attributes. Maybe too many!
- pole (can be any type of man made pole)
- ok (default)
operator -not required as it is in the relation attributes
- For appropriate visibility, you should formulate your suggestion as a proposal and announce it in the tagging mailing-list and appropriate forums.
- I suggest, to replace your status-tag with appropirate Lifecycle_prefix methodology. Roland5 (talk) 11:01, 8 July 2019 (UTC)
The name tag should only be used for a name assigned by the operator of that route.
Many routes, especially local routes, may not have a name. In this case, a mapper should resist the urge to invent a name. It is perfeclty ok to have an unnamed route. You may add a description or use from- and to-tags. This approach keeps separte real, official names from user assigned descriptions. If not kept separated, a renderer or other data consumer will not be able to tell them apart afterwards. Roland5 (talk) 11:36, 8 July 2019 (UTC)
- I fully agree with this. Currently, name is in the wiki under "useful". You could add this warning to the explanation of "name" on the route=hiking wiki page. --S8evq (talk) 19:53, 15 July 2019 (UTC)
Distinction between route=foot and route=hiking
I think the distinction between route=foot and route=hiking is a problem (currently the template says that hiking routes need hiking boots). Did someone check if the tags are really used differently? My impression is that route=foot is more British and route=hiking matches American English. Also, here in Indonesia the local people walk barefoot on routes that are very difficult for me even with hiking boots. --Jeisenbe (talk) 04:18, 11 January 2020 (UTC)