[Tagging] Canoe route

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny+osm at gmail.com
Thu Jun 28 23:21:40 UTC 2018

On Thu, Jun 28, 2018 at 12:42 PM Dave Swarthout <daveswarthout at gmail.com>
> I've asked this question before on OpenStreetMap Help and mapped the
route as suggested. (
I've mapped the portages where one carries the canoe as highway=footpath
but the water portions of the route do not show up in OSM or OSMAnd. The
canoe route is the Swan Lake Canoe Trail. There is a portion of it here (
https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=14/60.7101/-150.6839) where one can see
the footway portions, the portages, but the untagged ways crossing the
lakes are invisible. The ways are included in my route relation but I'm at
a loss as to how to tag them so they exist as a part of the route.
> AFAIK, existing canoe routes use waterway tags to indicate the water
portions of the routes, e.g., waterway=stream, but the routes I'm working
on pass through lakes. There is no stream involved, nor is there a footway
across the lakes.
> I know I'm raising the specter of tagging for the renderer but if the
water portions of this route aren't visible or findable, how would a
routing engine or a GPS make use of them? How should I tag those ways that
cross the lakes?

I don't know of any specialty map - yet - that does rendering of canoe
routes. But I'd tag the thing as a route relation, with both waterway=* and
footway=* segments. route=canoe would make sense, and for many specialty
maps, it would want to have name, network, and ref. (For ref, for many
shorter hiking routes, I just use the initials of the trail, and 'lwn'
[local walking network] for network.

If there's a plan to tag a bunch of these, I bet it would be possible to
interest Lonvia https://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/help/contact in adding a
'canoe' mode to Waymarked Trails, which might very well be the easiest path
to getting rendered, integrated mapping for it. She already has 'hiking',
'cycling', 'riding', 'skating' and 'ski' modes, so I can't imagine that
'canoe' would be much harder.

If you're unclear on how to construct a route relation, Northville-Placid
Trail, which I know you're familiar with since we've corresponded about it,
is built as one and is fairly simple. It couldn't be a single way, both
because it's too big and because it shares the way with roads or other
trails at various points.
https://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/#route?id=4286650 is the WMT display of
it (click on the gear at the bottom center of the screen and change the
base map to Open Topo Map!)  and
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/4286650 is the corresponding display
in OSM proper.

If you can't find anyone else interested in rendering it, I could maybe
have a go. I'd use something like
(since that rendering already works) as a basemap, and then overlay your
routes as heavy lines in some sort of bright colour. But I'd really prefer
to have it hosted somewhere other than my home office!

I don't think anyone's invented a canoe routing engine, and in general, the
mind boggles at using a routing engine for a backcountry trip: the trip
planning is part of the fun! Did you have, instead, a navigation system in
mind? A lot of systems are capable of reducing a route, or a concatenation
of route segments, down to a single multiline and telling a GPS,' Follow
this!" That's different from 'try to find me the most efficient (by some
metric) route from point A to point B."
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