[Tagging] Subject: Feature Proposal - RFC - highway=social_path

Mark Wagner mark+osm at carnildo.com
Tue Jun 14 03:29:32 UTC 2016

On Mon, 13 Jun 2016 07:59:18 -0400
Greg Troxel <gdt at ir.bbn.com> wrote:

> Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com> writes:
> > sent from a phone
> >  
> >> Il giorno 13 giu 2016, alle ore 01:22, Greg Troxel
> >> <gdt at ir.bbn.com> ha scritto:
> >> 
> >> I agree there should be some tag to show that a trail/path is the
> >> main one.  
> >
> > do we need a tag, or is it evident by the routes that use the
> > ways?  
> I think we need a tag.
> There are certainly a few routes that go long distances over multiple
> trails, but around me that's the exception.  A typical example is a
> 250 acre (100 ha) conservation area with a main loop trail, a few
> access trails from parking areas at the edges, one or two connecting
> trails across, and then a number of trails that are definitely
> lesser.  It is true that the lesser ones tend to be unblazed.
> I see this as sort of similar to
> highway=primary/secondary/tertiary/unclassified in the trail network.
> We tag width, surface and speed, so in some sense the classification
> is not necesssary.  But it's an important clue about main-ness.
> There is no authority that designates them that way, but in any local
> area there is usually a concept of which trails are higher rank.

I've been mentally trying to apply this to the parks I've mapped, and
it's just not working.

Palisades Park (2.5 sq. km) has two trails that are clearly "main".
However, they're both maintained as access roads for brush-fire trucks,
so I've mapped them as "highway=track" plus appropriate access tags.

Riverside State Park (30+ sq. km) has the headline Centennial Trail
that runs the length of the well-known part of the park.  However, it's
usually not the best (or most popular) way to reach any given section of
the other 90+ km of hiking trails.  It's also a "highway=cycleway,
surface=asphalt, foot=yes" rather than a hiking trail.

Slavin Conservation Area (2.5 sq. km) was intended to have a main loop
trail, but the wetland restoration project was a little too successful
and a section of the loop is now under water.  The trail network that
developed as a result does clearly have a "main" section, but it
doesn't reach the parking lot -- there are three routes of roughly
equal popularity to cover the kilometer from the parking lot to the
main trail.

I'm just getting started at Mount Spokane State Park (50+ sq. km), but
the official trail network is looking like a hub-and-spoke system,
where most of the hubs are parking lots (or former parking lots).
There are some trails that are "main" in the sense that I'll use them
when giving directions to a lost hiker, but that's due to their "can't
miss them" status rather than being the best, shortest, or most popular
route to go somewhere.

"trail=main" might work as a concept for smaller parks with a few
high-attraction features and a well-designed trail system, but for
larger parks, especially where the trail network evolved rather than
being designed, it doesn't.


More information about the Tagging mailing list