Learning about paths

Posted by twodimes on 6 October 2013 in English (English)

Just started. Learning about the difference between 'Path' and 'Footpath' - Not sure I've got it figured out. Signed up for a local meetup to see what other people are doing.

Location: Carden Street, Guelph, Wellington County, Ontario, N1H 3A4, Canada

Comment from dcp on 6 October 2013 at 06:40

Your not the only one. In my humble opinion paths are narrow tracks, fit only for walking, going through the countryside. Footways and cycleways are for towns. We do have highway=pedestrian which can be a way or an area=yes. To any of these you can you can add attributes such as: bicycle=yes/no foot=yes/no horse=yes/no hgv=yes/ no etc. etc. many other restrictions can apply.

Having said that, Map Features recommends highway=path, bicycle yes, foot yes segregated=yes/no even in towns.

If you look around the OSM-world you will find many different opinions so it might be advisable to see what the prevailing method(s) are in your area of influence. If you are like me you will want to get on well with your local contributors.

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Comment from robert on 6 October 2013 at 11:27

Generally (and this will probably start an argument) paths are used out in rural areas where designations aren't so strict (or present at all).

In towns and cities where things often seem to be designated one way or another, people tend to break down into footway, cycleway etc.

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Comment from twodimes on 6 October 2013 at 14:33

I was going with Footpath, Bicycle:Yes to try and merge the 'path', 'footpath' and 'cyclepath' tags that were on difference sections of the same trail, going with a suggestion by the wiki, since these are way more urban and maintained than what I'd call just a 'path'. It's definitely a judgement call, I'll have to see what other people are doing ;)

Thanks for the feedback!

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Comment from nfgusedautoparts on 8 October 2013 at 20:38

path is a more general concept. by adding access tags to it, you can end up with cycleway or footway, so obviously there's a conceptual overlap. so i use footway if it is primarily a foot path, cycleway if it's primarily a path for bicyclists. here in the US, we have true multi-use paths that don't emphasize walking over cycling (or vice versa) and for those i use path, and add appropriate access tags.

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