[Tagging] routes for pedestrians (foot, hiking, walking, etc.)

Jo winfixit at gmail.com
Tue Aug 28 20:25:00 BST 2012

2012/8/28 Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com>

> Recently a member of the Belgian community announced on the German
> mailing list, that "the Belgian Community" had decided to make a mass
> edit to change all route=foot to route=hiking.
> He said the wiki said that these 2 had the same meaning. Further
> discussion on the German ML showed that instead there might be subtle
> differences. E.g. for short pedestrian routes inside of cities
> "hiking" was perceived as not appropriate.
> Looking at the actually used values there are even more variants for
> pedestrian routes (in order of occurence):
> http://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/keys/route#values
> hiking
> foot
> walking
> and maybe also
> running
> nordic_walking (16 times)
> and some even less used ones
> I'd like to discuss about the meaning of those values (currently the
> wiki isn't very verbose about the meaning) and then we could transfer
> this into the wiki to expand these articles:
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Route#Walking_routes_.28also_hiking_and_pilgrimage.29
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Walking_Routes
> "Walking routes are named or numbered or otherwise signed routes,
> which may go along roads or trails or combinations of these. See also
> Hiking." e.g. it doesn't even say that these routes are for
> pedestrians (I guess whoever wrote this thought it was obvious).
> My personal view is that hiking has a somehow different connotation
> then walking, while "foot" might be used to summarize the 2 under one
> generic term.
> cheers,
> Martin

That pesky Belgian is subscribed to this list as well. It's funny how in
The Netherlands and France my announcement was met with: oh good, we've
been tagging them with hiking all along. (Only one person in each country
to be fair). Whereas in Germany I seem to have kicked a hornet's nest.

Anyway, all I'd like to see is that all long distance routes (nwn) and all
routes of the numbered node network (rwn) and all local routes (lwn) can be
tagged in a consistent way. Since we had gotten the impression that foot
and hiking had become synonyms and that hiking seemed to be becoming the
favourite and also what Potlatch uses in its preset we were considering to
change our Belgian wiki page about them. (We started out with

As far as I'm concerned, if we change the wiki page, then we better also
change the data all in one go.

I guess we could live with nwn and rwn use route=hiking and lwn use

Or we can simply keep with all of them as route=foot. We don't really care
what it is, but then change the global wiki page on walking routes and ask
the Potlatch developers to use route=foot.

route=hiking can then be used for routes going through the mountains and
the wilderness with a backpack strapped on, which would be a lot more
appropriate, linguistically speaking.

What I'd prefer to get rid of is the hodge podge we have now, where some
routes have route=foot and others have route=hiking, even when they belong
to the same numbered node network.

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