[Talk-GB] JOSM presets for rights of way in England and Wales

Andrew Chadwick a.t.chadwick at gmail.com
Tue Feb 7 00:03:14 GMT 2012

On 5 February 2012 09:59, Bogus Zaba <bogsub at bogzab.plus.com> wrote:
> Thanks. Good to know that I was not doing something stupid - I think I was
> just doing what others seem to have done (and of course it rendered in a way
> that seemed to make sense). I have been distinguishing between paths and
> tracks on the basis of their physical characteristics, but have not made
> much use of the the designation tag. Now that I see how this works, I have
> applied to a few recent ways and will work through other previous ways I
> have mapped.

Using the designation tag is definitely the way to go, if it's known.

I'm somewhat leaving highway=path unused in the presets in case it
might be useful for other things. Off the top of my head, places I
think it might be useful in the future are:

 1. Line-of-desire trails or even made-up paths over open access land
or commons or open space, where the access tags go on the landuse
areas. i.e. you don't have to stick to the path, but there's something
there you could use for a direct route

 2. Genuinely unknown urban cut-throughs, suitable for use by foot and
bike at least, but not signposted for either one, away from roads, and
not especially suited for either one. Probably rather rare, and
highway=footway for all of the dubious cases would probably be neater.

What I'm using highway=path for right now: 1., and:

3. Re-marking countryside source=npe stuff traced by people (normally
back in OSM history before highway=path was invented). Because OS New
Popular Edition maps were made before rights of way were codified,
it's impossible to tell if a dotted line on the old map is a bridleway
or a footpath - or even a track in many cases - without going out and
mapping it properly; good aerial imagery only helps so far, you need
to see the signs. Since the exact level of knowledge in OSM is "used
to be a path ages ago. Don't know what it was used for", marking it as
highway=path is probably the most honest thing you can do if you want
to retain the data and improve it. Plus it's helpful to see little
black lines on your phone screen if you're out chasing unknown paths
across fields!

Andrew Chadwick

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