[Tagging] Trailhead tagging

Peter Elderson pelderson at gmail.com
Wed Jan 2 23:57:46 UTC 2019

Thanks for the comments. Please understand that the mentioned proposal is
not my proposal.

We just kept the idea of a trailhead node marking a place specifically and
visibly designated to start one or more hiking routes, bicycle routes,
canoe routes, horseriding routes.  Just a crossing or the starting arrow
of a single route has no need for this kind of tagging. Just a map or a
board, not a trailhead. Just a parking, not a trailhead.

In the US many trailheads have been mapped because they are places where
you are allowed to access a single trail. The may not even have a name
other than "Start of <trail name>" and a location name, but the are listed
and offered as designated trailheads.

These simple trailheads as they have been tagged consist of a node tagged
highway=trailhead and usually the name, and someties additional tags. The
node may be standalone or may be the first node of the trail or of a
branch. The node if standalone may coincide with a board or map or

So my suggestion is exactly that: use a node marked as trailhead,
preferably with a name it can be extracted, listed and rendered as being a
designated trailhead.

In Nederland we use some further tagging to indicate the modalities and the
facilities. The trailheads are specifically designated and designed for
transit to routes of all kinds: bicycle en walking routes, roundtrips and
networks are standard, free parking space must be available, a special
landmark marks them, and there are always some benches; a restaurant or
cafe nearby.

To see the trails starting at one of these places you best look at
Nederland on waymarkedtrails. They all have multiple hiking/foot routes and
walking routes to hop on, and most support other modalities.
Pity that the trailheads themselves are not yet rendered and clickable on
waymarkedtrails, but we are working on that.

So tagging becomes more complicated, but the basic function is still the
same: search, list and render places specifically designed to get out of
the car and start walking, cycling etcetera.
The node in this use case will always be standalone because of the
multimodality and many routes that it serves.

About the use of referencing tags. I agree this is not yet the best result.
Wikipedia links to the dutch page for TOP's (as they are called here), I
think that is correct. url links to a site which lists all the official
dutch trailheads. website links to the recreational publishing sites of
different official operators. Each province has its own operator (and
trailhead style).  Some of those have a web page for each trailhead, others
have a simple list, others an interactive map or search function... and
they reorganise quite often. Permalinks? What? Never heard of...) so we
don't link deep but refer to a list/search/map/filter page.

I'm sure the coming years will show what keeps and what not.

Op wo 2 jan. 2019 om 23:43 schreef Tobias Wrede <list at tobias-wrede.de>:

> Am 02.01.2019 um 19:42 Kevin Kenny wrote:
> >
> > At the risk of repeating myself:
> >
> > I think I'd need more concrete examples before I'd support such a
> > proposal.
> Yes, I second this request.
> > If 'trailhead' degenerates into 'any intersection of a trail and a
> > highway' (which is what it is in that National Park Service database)
> > then it's kind of redundant.
> My examples below show they are rather a placeholder for 'any
> intersection of a trail and a highway' .
> > It appears to me that the Europeans have
> > a more specific idea of what a 'trailhead' is - but I don't quite
> > understand that idea, and I suspect that's because there are no
> > trailheads of that sort near me, despite the fact that I'm within an
> > hour's drive of hundreds of hiking trails, including a handful of 'big
> > name' long-distance ones.
> Please don't generalize. From a German perspective I share your
> uneasiness (see my earlier remarks). Funnily, I always had the
> impression that in the US you have the more specific idea of what a
> trailhead is. :-)
> I looked at some of the trailheads in the Netherlands
> (http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/EV4):
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/6141092027
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/6141092007
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/6141092068
> All were tourism=information + information=board but none were in any
> way connected to a trail let alone to any other highway=* feature. Often
> there wasn't even a tagged route/trail nearby. As such I understand the
> hw=trailhead is important to find such trail on the map in the first
> place if the trail itself is not or cannot be mapped.
> What I don't understand is why the highway tag is used to carry the
> information. The way you have mapped the trailheads Peter I would leave
> them under some subkey of information, e.g. tourism=information +
> information=board + board_type=trailhead.
> In the proposal the hw=trailhead is supposed to "be mapped as a node or
> a node that is part of a trail segment (i.e.,highway=path) and should be
> tagged primarily as highway=trailhead".
> (https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/trailhead#Tagging)
> As a side note: Looking at the examples I found that you added keys like
> wikipedia=nl:Toeristisch Overstappunt
> url=https://gpsfietsroutesnederland.nl/toeristische-overstappunten/
> website=https://www.natuurpoorten.nl/
> <https://gpsfietsroutesnederland.nl/toeristische-overstappunten/website=https://www.natuurpoorten.nl/>
> These are all generic references that could be added to the OSM wiki
> page. On the individual trailheads I would expect a website of the
> specific trail.
> Regards,
> Tobias
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> Tagging at openstreetmap.org
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Vr gr Peter Elderson
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