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

John Willis johnw at mac.com
Wed Aug 5 10:52:31 UTC 2015

Sent from my iPhone

> On Aug 5, 2015, at 7:12 PM, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't see an actual problem, besides people interpreting different meanings into the tag than what is actually documented. The "ambiguity" (or better universality) is intentional.

If you don't have the remaining "hard defined" tags - trail is a good example - and have path overlap over 4 existing tags (foot, cycle, bridle, and track) *and* use a word that implies trail - then it is asking for trouble. 

Just like "highway=main" in my example. 

We need to have a logical separation of ways not meant for car travel - 
We have a wide range of roads, including track, which is used mainly for unpaved rough roads. 

I can use =pedestrian, but is not appropriate for sidewalks (in most cases). 

Urban and rural routes have marked and maintained trails that are impassible by city bike, old ladies, and wheelchairs. 

They are in a class by themselves. 

And those routes could be the only reason people come to a location (trailhead for wilderness preserve hiking) 

I can show the roads - easily defined. I can show the driveways for the trailhead - defined as well. Fire Road? Yep. But the path through the brush up the mountain - is that a footway or a path? It should never be associated with or rendered like a sidewalk.


It's not a maintained, hard surfaced (usually asphalt/concrete) path easily used by everyone regardless of ability. 

Like these:


Having the lower end of the non-car ways unaddressed is like having highway=service and highway=unclassified but no =track. 

There needs a better definition between footway and path - or more "hard" definitions of pedestrian ways need to be created - and the catch-all of path slowly whittled away. 


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