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

geow ksgeo at web.de
Thu Aug 27 20:14:33 UTC 2015

Hi all, thank you for taking the time to discuss my proposition. This has
been a remarkable and quite populated discussion in several ways, but it
doesn’t answer my question: Which criteria should distinct footway from

I think a majority of mappers world wide would agree on this minimum

"highway=footway is mainly a single-use way for pedestrians, whereas
highway=path is a universal tag for multi-use or non specific use ways, from
rural, mountain and wilderness trails to all kinds of transport
infrastructure in the so called developing countries and may be used by any
species of non 4-wheel traffic, including stock, mule, yaks and - yes - in
some countries even by motorcycles/mopeds etc." 

It’s remarkable, that parallel to this discussion,  the main developers of
the standard OpenStreetMap mapnik style has decided to render footway and
path identical.

In the extended discussions to justify the unifying styling in Mapnik, it’s
kind of ironic that @gravitystorm correctly observes the necessity of a
proper distinction path vs footway, as he noted  in reply to

"As has been said many times already, there are so many different
interpretations of the difference between footway and path that none of them
are useful."

Some of you complained, that redefining popular tags makes no sense.
According to this belief it would be hardly possibly to develope and enhance
any popular tags.
Some of you agree, with the present definitions ... well, it is a mess that
should be fixed sooner than later.

So do you have any functional suggestions or enhancements to my proposition
in the OP for a proper classification criteria between footway and path?  


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