[Tagging] trail blaze vs route markers

Greg Troxel gdt at ir.bbn.com
Wed Jun 8 10:55:31 UTC 2016

Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com> writes:

> sent from a phone
>> Il giorno 08 giu 2016, alle ore 10:52, Philip Barnes <phil at trigpoint.me.uk> ha scritto:
>> Please can you explain what trail blaze means?
> this is what the dictionary says:
> http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/blaze?q=trail+blaze#blaze-2__8
> "A mark made on a tree by cutting the bark so as to mark a route."
> looking at the images I had come to the impression that it was used
> also for painted markings and small plates, also the examples they
> give seem to indicate that cutting the bark of a tree is not the only
> way to do it:

(For context, i'm a native en_US speaker who pays attention to trails.)

I think Martin has it right.  The original sense was a cut in the bark
that was painted, but other styles are now more common.  I rarely see
cut bark now.  The most typical blazes is probably vertical rectangular
paint on a tree, roughtly 2x5cm.  I also see posts with the trail color
and cairns (above tree line).  Locally, I see pieces of wood (1" x 2",
maybe 3" long) that have been painted and then nailed.  Visually, it's
clearly like the painted blaze, but even more obvious and lasts better.

Trail blazes and route markers seem quite different in usage and in how
they are maintained.  I don't see any value in combining tagging.

So I think there should be a tag that indicates a mark to denote a trail
blaze of some kind, and a subtag with type.  It can be helpful to know
what to look for, but usually near a trailhead you see one and then they
are consistent.
The bigger issue is a way to record what is essentially a route relation
with a color, and to have that render.
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