[Tagging] Trail register

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com
Fri Jan 4 21:10:43 UTC 2019

Now that the dicussion of trailheads seems to be converging (whew!),
I'd like to reopen a question that has been mentioned here a couple of
times in the past, but that I don't recall a satisfactory resolution.

In the area where I hike, there are many trail registers. Rather than
simply being books where you can sign to record your visit to a
summit, cave, trail shelter, or similar feature, and possibly write
remarks (we have lost of those, too!) they're actually a mandatory
safety and usage-monitoring measure. There are regulations that state
things like, "No person shall fail to register whenever passing a
trail register established by the department in the Eastern High Peaks
Zone." (The signs say simply, "Please Register", but orders are often
phrased politely as requests - remaining orders nonetheless!) The
register books are in letterboxes at trailheads
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/6591461687 or stand-alone at trail
junctions: https://www.cnyhiking.com/EchoCliffs5910.JPG The books
themselves look like this, or at least this is what they look like
when someone forgets to latch the box and a porcupine gets in:

A few of them also have self-issued permits: you sign a form stating
your intentions and agreeing to abide by the regulations, leave one
copy in the letterbox and affix the other to your backpack. You can be
fined if you're caught without a 'trip ticket'.

The fact that many trailheads have the registers is what brought this
question to mind. Note that not all the registers are at trailheads.
For long trails through the interior, you can expect to encounter a
register once or twice a day (if you're a slow hiker like me) and if
someone goes missing, checking the registers is one of the first
things that search parties do.

For what it's worth, we also have a handful of highways that are
remote enough that there's a similar system in place. Motorists must
stop and sign the book on entry and exit.

My Overpass-fu is failing me here. The only similar thing I'm turning
up is summit=register, which is the "record your visit" case, rather
than "you must sign in and out here," and is specific to a mountain
peak. There are a few dozen "tourism=register" nodes in Austria, but I
don't actually understand what they represent - a quick look at
Overpass Turbo shows them as being adjacent to caves and peaks, so I
suspect they're also "record your visit and read the remarks of
others" books.

Has anyone here tagged anything similar to the case I have in mind of,
"you must sign in/sign out/record your passage, and here's where you
do it?"

I anticipate (from experience with previous discussions) that some
mappers who are unfamiliar with such a system will respond with
What I want to map is bound to a real object - the register box. It is
visible on the ground. The regulation that you have to use the
register may be an unusual one. Nevertheless, the register is a real,
visible object, and deserves to be mapped along with its meaning.

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