[Talk-GB] "United Kingdom Tagging Guidelines" on the OSM wiki: due for an update?

Nick Whitelegg Nick.Whitelegg at solent.ac.uk
Fri Feb 17 15:43:32 GMT 2012

AFAIK current practice is actually VERY simple. This stuff came from when we were experimenting with different ways to represent rights, myself included, and is more
complicated than necessary.

>From my understanding, a minimum of ONE to TWO tags are needed:

a) a highway tag. This represents the physical properties of the way, e.g. service, track, path (or footway - see below)
b) if applicable, a designation tag. This represents the RoW status.

Occasionally others are needed.

c) Addition of foot, horse, and so on to add additional rights. For instance, if you know a path has permissive foot rights,
add foot=permissive. Same with horse, or bicycle, so if a public footpath has permissive horse righs you'd have horse=permissive in addition to designation=public_footpath.

The one area which there is not consistency is whether to use highway=footway or highway=path. I prefer path, and for consistency, generally retag nearby footways as paths whenever I add new ways, though I've discovered in one or two cases I've been unknowingly participating in an edit war with the status alternating between path and footway :-) TBH though, I don't really care too much about footway vs path, and often they seem to be interchangeable, though many people, myself included, tend to intepret footway as urban/concrete and path as rural/mud.


-----Andrew Chadwick <a.t.chadwick at gmail.com> wrote: -----
To: talk-gb at openstreetmap.org
From: Andrew Chadwick <a.t.chadwick at gmail.com>
Date: 17/02/2012 02:27PM
Subject: [Talk-GB] "United Kingdom Tagging Guidelines" on the OSM wiki: due	for an update?

Re https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_Tagging_Guidelines

Rob Nickerson mentioned that the access table currently languishing on
the talk page which got generated as a side effect of the preset file
project should be integrated into the main page. I think we need to go a
bit further and give the page a rewrite, since it's outdated and rather
unclear and variable in the advice it currently gives. I'm prepared to
give it a go; anyone want to help out? Rough plan at


I think we should drop recommendations of highway=path + access tags
completely, because nobody really seems to be using that scheme. Go with
the hybrid approach building on existing understated tagging as
outlined in the link above, but state that a) designation=* is needed to
be meaningful about rights of way, b) access tags can optionally be
added and actually do make the map data more globally useful.

Who's with me? Any against? I'd *love* to know up front if anyone has
any evidence of big areas of "highway=path + access tags" used as a
representation of actual signposted RoWs anywhere in England or Wales.

Andrew Chadwick

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