[Tagging] path vs footway

Tom Pfeifer t.pfeifer at computer.org
Tue Nov 4 10:33:45 UTC 2014

In a national park, I would prefer highway=footway for the built-up
and paved ways, e.g. close to the visitor centre, that are often
prepared for wheelchair=yes and attract people for a Sunday stroll.
Any longer, more natural paths for longer hiking I'd tag as
highway=path with tagging as Dan pointed out below.

Warin wrote on 2014-11-04 04:17:
 > Bicycle access on a footway I depreciate as the rendering is the same,
 > making the bicycle access tag useless.

A tag is not useless just because one particular renderer does not
evaluate it. There might be other renderer and data consumer that
are interested in this tag.

 > I'm not aware of the rendering of bridal trails.

highway=bridleway is rendered in the main map style, here is one:

Dan S wrote on 2014-11-04 09:19:
> One of the most important differences is that for highway=footway, we
> know that pedestrians are allowed (unless other tags alter the access
> explicitly). With highway=path we can't always assume that pedestrians
> are allowed along it. I know there are routing systems that care about
> this difference.
> As others have said, the choice of which to use is very very fuzzy,
> but if you use highway=path please make sure to use some access
> tagging to say what kind of traffic may pass along it.
> Best
> Dan
> 2014-11-03 22:38 GMT+00:00 Mike Thompson <miketho16 at gmail.com>:
>> I am editing trails in a US National Park of which I have first hand
>> knowledge.  Nearly all trails in this area have been tagged
>> "highway=footway" although most of them are open equally to foot
>> traffic and horse traffic. Any reason to leave them as "footways"? The
>> wiki suggests that "path" is more appropriate. It would be nice to
>> have consistent data, otherwise it suggests that one trail is
>> different from the next when if fact they are not.
>> By the way, might this be an artifact of the defaults in Potlatch?
>> Thanks,
>> Mike
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