[Tagging] highway=footway - Advanced definition: Distinction footway vs path

Richard Mann richard.mann.westoxford at gmail.com
Mon Aug 3 09:07:48 UTC 2015

What we have is a mess. Most data consumers will simplify it to meet their

About the only useful high-level distinction is between well-made paths,
typically in an urban environment, which clearly have been built with the
intention that they be used by someone, and poorly-made paths (mostly in
the countryside, but some in marginal land in urban environments), where
the intention is unclear or absent.

If people want to add further tags
(foot=designated+bicycle=designated+segregated=yes or whatever) then feel
free: some specialised data users might use such detail (and indeed, with
all those tags, the specialised data user is unlikely to read too much into
the actual value of the highway tag).

So lets at least have a clear difference between a plain highway=footway
and a plain highway=path. And leave the fine distinctions about who is
supposed to use them (if known) to further tags.

highway=path should be a rough path
highway=footway should be a made-up path with limited room for non-foot
traffic (eg bicycles), or an explicit ban
highway=cycleway should be a made-up path with good room for bicycles
(given other usage)
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