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

Phil Wyatt phil at wyatt-family.com
Mon Oct 26 01:44:38 UTC 2020

Hi Andrew,


I would like to agree with you but after 30 years in the field I can tell you that ‘discouragement’ seldom works especially where self/club interest is at stake. It has taken a concerted effort to get this far and maintain some sense of order. The plethora of internet blogs makes it even harder and I monitor them as much as I can and regularly ask that they pull down GPS traces and hand drawn maps. Much information exchange goes on behind the scenes but at least then the individuals are making a conscious decision that they will accept the impacts of more visitors into areas that they have discovered themselves. Some folks, like me, don’t give out any information on these areas so they can be ‘discovered” just the same as I did.


Ironically, one of those reports lists several tracks that don’t appear on maps. If I make the full strategy available they will all be listed (in text form).


I would be happier with a do_not_render=yes but I suspect many will see that as a pretty useless tag (if you cant render it, why bother adding it and will it be honoured by renderers). It took us years to convince TASMAP that they should be responsible and not add the tracks to public maps. In return we  provided gps traces of most of the major walk tracks and assisted with information for the Parks Series of maps (I suspect their best sellers!).


Personally, I would still ask a mapper to remove the track if its in one of the track classes or areas where its not appropriate


Don’t get me wrong, Parks are for people to use but unfortunately the impacts can be high with very small numbers (in some environments) and the lack of detail on maps is just one technique that is used by managers at that remote end of the walking spectrum (or in delicate environments). Its holding some impacts at bay at the moment until more folks agree to numbers restrictions in some areas.


This may be more of an issue in Tasmania than other Australian states because of both the high conservation values and the remote/delicate nature of many areas. 


Here is another good read on the Recreational Opportunity Spectrum/Landscape Classification System



Cheers - Phil


From: Andrew Harvey <andrew.harvey4 at gmail.com> 
Sent: Monday, 26 October 2020 12:01 PM
To: Phil Wyatt <phil at wyatt-family.com>
Cc: Little Maps <mapslittle at gmail.com>; OSM Aust Discussion List <Talk-au at openstreetmap.org>
Subject: Re: [talk-au] Mapping "off track" hiking routes


Thanks Phill. Interesting read. I know not everyone will agree with me, but after reading the walking track classification policy I'm more convinced that we should tag as publicity=discouraged in the OSM database, and then document that tag so that map makers using OSM data can interpret it when putting together walking guides and maps.


As for the evaluation report on track management, glad to see people are doing research and writing about it. I would hope that one day OSM data becomes detailed enough to record many of the track attributes described in the report like track width, erosion severity, sensitivity of the surface and to record the extent of track construction and used (we have surface at the moment which can tag where stones are placed, wood planks etc but we can do more).



On Mon, 26 Oct 2020 at 07:33, Phil Wyatt <phil at wyatt-family.com <mailto:phil at wyatt-family.com> > wrote:

Hi Andrew,


There is a document here that spells out how the Tasmanian PWS uses the various track classification schemes. Search for ‘publicity’ to get to the classifications that should not be on maps.




and an evaluation report on track management in general




I can load up the actual walking track strategies if you like but they are hefty volumes!


From: Andrew Harvey < <mailto:andrew.harvey4 at gmail.com> andrew.harvey4 at gmail.com> 
Sent: Sunday, 25 October 2020 10:57 PM
To: Phil Wyatt < <mailto:phil at wyatt-family.com> phil at wyatt-family.com>
Cc: Little Maps < <mailto:mapslittle at gmail.com> mapslittle at gmail.com>; OSM Aust Discussion List < <mailto:Talk-au at openstreetmap.org> Talk-au at openstreetmap.org>
Subject: Re: [talk-au] Mapping "off track" hiking routes




On Sun, 25 Oct 2020 at 11:02, Phil Wyatt <phil at wyatt-family.com <mailto:phil at wyatt-family.com> > wrote:

Hi Folks,


For the Australian Tagging Guidelines can I suggest the following text as point 4 under bushwalking and Cycling Tracks Notes….


4. Caution should be exercised if considering mapping of ‘tracks, routes and pads’ in remote reserves, as they may well be covered by management plans, standards or regulations which seek to minimise publicity. Such regulations or standards (AS2156)  may request that the location of such ‘tracks’ are not publicised on maps. You should seek clarification from the managing authority prior to adding such tracks.


Even though I cringe at a Don'tRender=yes tag, instead of self censoring our database, I'd rather add a tag to say the operator requests not to display these tracks to users. For me OSM is still a database not a map, so using such a tag makes the data more accurate and lets the real map publishers who use OSM data decide what to show or not. While still allowing researchers, park management and the interested public to see what's going on in the park in terms of actual informal/unauthorised trails exist.


Are there any park management plans which include these clases? I'm interested to take a look and see what other places it applies too.

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