[Tagging] Trailhead tagging

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com
Fri Dec 21 15:24:19 UTC 2018

On 21/12/2018 11:54, Peter Elderson wrote:
>> I would like to revive the trailhead proposal, 
>> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/trailhead
>> After discussions in the Dutch user community, a list of all Dutch 
>> trailheads was compiled and systematically entered as nodes tagged 
>> highway=trailhead, name=<official trailhead name>, 
>> tourism=information, information=board or map. Many trailheads were 
>> already present in OSM, there we just did some additional tagging.
>> In the US, trailheads are all maintained on OSM by a national 
>> operator. Japan has lots of trailheads, I don't know how they are 
>> maintained. In Europe, no systematical OSM-tagging appears to take 
>> place, except for the Dutch base.
On 12/21/18 8:29 AM, Andy Townsend wrote:
> Can you give a few examples of what trailheads are to you? There's a 
> clearly defined American concept, it isn't not really used much in 
> British English.  Also what do you mean by "official" below - is there 
> some kind of VVV list or similar?
I'm following this thread with some interest. I'm puzzled about the 
'national operator' that we supposedly have, entering trailheads in the 
US. The ones I've mapped surely have had no such operator! It may be 
that someone once did an import from a National Park Service data set 
(or something similar), but that would account for only a small set of 
our trails. We don't have anything like an all-encompassing national 
organization doing them.

I've never used anything like the proposed feature, and I don't miss it 
all that much. Most trailheads that I encounter have a notice board, a 
register book in some areas, perhaps a parking area, and that's about 
it. I map the trail intersecting or terminating at the road, map the 
parking area, map the register, map whatever other amenities might exist 
(such as https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/3763273673) and call it a day.

But perhaps there's some other idea of what a trailhead is. To me, it's 
the "point of departure" or "point of arrival" when hiking, riding, or 
skiing a trail - generally any place where a trail intersects a road and 
it's reasonably safe to get on or get off. (I intentionally exclude 
https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=18/41.28251/-74.02879 because 
crossing a motorway at grade is NOT a trailhead! It's also barking mad 
to do it that way, but this *is* the US.) If it's the trail terminus, 
it'll typically be marked with three splashes of paint on a tree, or 
three plastic markers, rather than just one. A posh one looks like this 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/14279037264 and a more humble one 
looks like https://www.flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/14041171575.

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