Wrong tags on Path

Posted by bottleny on 19 February 2014 in English (English)

Many mountain hiking trails in Taiwan are tagged with "Foot Path" (Tag:highway=footway), instead of using "Path" with "sac_scale=hiking".

Comment from Richard on 19 February 2014 at 09:39

That is not wrong. highway=footway simply means "a path which is primarily intended for walking". You can use it with sac_scale=hiking if you like, or indeed a surface= tag.

Comment from bottleny on 19 February 2014 at 11:06

Well, in the Wiki, it said "Use the highway=footway tag for mapping minor paths used mainly or exclusively by pedestrians." Therefore, I thought it might be more appropriate to use "Path" + "sac_scale=hiking" for mountain hiking trails. I'm new to OSM editing, so I'm not sure which tagging is better.

Comment from SK53 on 19 February 2014 at 12:15

It's best to stay what is used stylistically locally, and from what you say in Taiwan, this is highway=footway.

Many of us believe that highway=path tends to be far too ambiguous and requires much more elaborate tagging than simply using highway=footway, with, for instance sac_scale=*. Whereas highway=path tells us nothing about the typical traffic it copes with. Others use highway=path for paths in the countryside, not in the town; and others still use it in a way analogous to highway=road (i.e., its been mapped by aerial survey and it may be a footpath a track or even just an animal track).

Of course it is possible to infer that a highway tagged with sac_scale is suitable for walking (or scrambling at the high end of the scale), but footway makes this absolutely clear, that it is a route predominantly for pedestrians.

If you know the paths, it is certainly useful to add sac_scale (especially on those sections of paths which are not straightforward sac_scale=hiking).

Comment from bottleny on 19 February 2014 at 12:36

This entry ( ) said: highway=footway In most cases footways are designated by footway traffic signs. Please do not use the footway tag for mountain hiking trail

Comment from Richard on 19 February 2014 at 19:22

As usual the wiki is full of nonsense! There is absolutely no reason you shouldn't use highway=footway for a mountain trail.

Comment from bottleny on 19 February 2014 at 22:58


Comment from JohnDoe23 on 19 February 2014 at 23:33

It depends on the country how the tag is used. In Germany for example highway=footway is only used for official designated footways which have a sign like this: Even for mountain trails. Mountain trails can be specified with

When you can do mountain biking it is no highway=footway

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