Template:Tagging scheme for hiking and foot route relations

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Foot and hiking routes are named or numbered or otherwise signed walking routes. A route is a customary or regular line of travel, often pre-determined and publicised. It consist of paths taken repeatedly by various people. A foot route is generally a shorter, easier route. A hiking route is generally longer and/or more strenuous.

To tag a foot or hiking route you create a relation with the appropriate tags and add all different ways of the foot/hiking route to this relation. The order of the ways matters. Please see Relation:route#Order matters

Tags of the relation

Key Value Explanation
type=* route This relation represents a route.
route=* hiking


route=foot is used for routes which are walkable without any limitations regarding fitness, equipment or weather conditions. As a guideline, you could say that walking shoes (at a pinch, even flip-flops) are adequate for this type of walking trail.

route=hiking is used for routes that rather match Wikipedia's definition: "A long, vigorous walk, usually on trails, in the countryside"). As a guideline, you could say that a hiking trail needs hiking boots because you will encounter sharp rocks and/or heavy undergrowth and/or muddy terrain and/or have to wade through shallow streams.

Don't use route=pilgrimage (almost non-existent). Instead, add pilgrimage=yes to a hiking-route.

network=* iwn




International walking network: long distance paths that cross several countries

National walking network: used for walking routes that are nationally significant and long distance paths

Regional walking network: used for walking routes that cross regions and are regionally significant

Local walking network: used for small local walking routes

Useful and tags. These tags are not at all required, but can provided additional and valuable information
ascent=* ascent The ascent covered by a route in meters. If a route has start and end point at different altitude use descent too
colour=* a hex triplet

a css color name

The major colour of the symbol used on the route. Colour code noted in hex triplet format or as CSS/HTML colour name. Example: "#008080" for teal colour in hex triplet, or simply "teal" as a css colour name.
descent=* descent The descent covered by a route in meters. Use it only if it differs from the ascent (different altitude at start/endpoint of a route).
description=* a short description What is special about this route
distance=* distance The distance covered by this route, if known. For information of users and automatic evaluation e.g. of completeness. Given including a unit and with a dot for decimals. (e.g. 12.5 km)
educational=* yes/no When the route is Educational trail
name=* a name The route is known by this name (e.g., "Westweg")
name:code=* localised name For adding localized names in different languages, add additional name:code=* tags with a suffix on the name key, where code is a language's ISO code.
operator=* operator name The route is operated by this authority/company etc. e.g. "Schwarzwaldverein", "Alpenverein"
osmc:symbol=* * Represents the symbol used on the route. Some renderers uses the osmc:symbol=* to indicate a route on the map.
ref=* a reference The route is known by this reference (e.g. "E1"). Node network routes use ref=mm-nn where mm and nn are the node reference numbers.
roundtrip=* yes/no Use roundtrip=no to indicate that a route goes from A to B and instead of being circular (roundtrip=yes).
signed_direction=* yes/no Use signed_direction=yes to indicate that the route is to be walked in only one direction, according to the signposts on the ground. The ways within the relation should be ordered, as they are used to determine the direction of the signposts.[1]
state=* alternate Sometimes routes may not be permanent or may be in a proposed state. See also the life cycle tags for this usage.
symbol=* symbol description Describes the symbol that is used to mark the way along the route, e.g., "Red cross on white background" for the "Frankenweg" in Franconia, Germany
website=* * Website that describes the route
wikipedia=* language:page title Wikipedia page that describes the route

Elements of a relation

Routes consist of ways that mark where it leads. For hiking and walking relations it will by typically primarily highway=path, highway=footway, highway=track, highway=steps with some highway=cycleway, highway=service, highway=residential. Sometimes also highway=unclassified and other roads higher in road importance will appear.

Route relation may have one or more ways as elements.

In an usual situation elements will be added with an empty role.

(the above table is a template, you can edit it directly via this link)

  1. It's preferred not to use oneway=yes anymore, as it could cause confusion with oneway=* as a legal restriction. See discussion on tagging mailinglist.