[talk-au] Mapping "off track" hiking routes

Andrew Harvey andrew.harvey4 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 23 22:34:01 UTC 2020

On Sat, 24 Oct 2020 at 07:24, <forster at ozonline.com.au> wrote:

> Hi Andrew
> Trail closed signage will be rapidly destroyed, often in a few days.
> Placing trail closed signage at a trail start makes the start of
> illegal trails more visible and attracts traffic.

It's a catch-22 then, without the signage then it's per the law not illegal
to use. To be honest I don't think placing a trail closed sign at the trail
start makes it more visible and attracts traffic, many people will see that
sign and choose not walk there, compared to no signage when they'd be like
oh there's a track here, nothing to say it can't be used.

> A park will often
> have signage at all entrances which says "keep to formed trails" which
> can be ambiguous especially to a mapper who believes in mapping
> everything.

"keep to formed trails" but those illegally constructed tracks look like
formed trails to many users of the park, so keeping to the formed trails to
me still allows me to walk on the illegally constructed tracks.

> Parks will refer you to a copyright map of legal trails and have
> difficulty understanding why you can't use that as evidence.

I don't want to be the enemy here, I'm all for preserving sensitive
landscapes to prevent damage and erosion, where a track has legally been
closed then we should mark it as access=no which data consumers should
treat that as no open to the public.

I can sympathise with the park operator, why should they have to be
constantly monitoring for any signs of a track anywhere in the park and
installing signage everywhere, why can't they say these are the areas we
authorise everywhere else is not authorised, I guess they can install
signage to that effect. I guess that's one use case there of OSM for park
operators, it can help alert you of where tracks are forming that you might
not have intentionally created.
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