[OSM-talk] path or byway ?

David Earl david at frankieandshadow.com
Sat Jul 19 18:13:39 BST 2008

There's the informal word byway as in the English phrase "highways and 
byways" which you would indeed say is a minor road as per wikipedia, but 
there are also formal "byways". In many parts of England these are 
actually signposted with a finger post which simply says "Byway" or 
"Public byway". e.g. 

I know this signing is common in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, so it is 
highly appropriate to tag it as such when you have the evidence on the 
ground to support it.

They are universally rural. They are tracks, yes, but formally public 
whereas a track will typically be associated with a farm ore similar. 
Most would once have allowed motor vehicles, but in many cases these 
have now been restricted (I found one the other day which was only 
restricted in winter: 

As someone else said, it it isn't relevant in your country, don't use 
the tag.


On 19/07/2008 11:59, Pieren wrote:
> I forgot the discussion in December (which was more about voting or not 
> voting ;-).
> It's clear when I read the following description from Nick W. [1]:
> - "Byway (highway=byway) is an unsurfaced track"
> oops. "highway=unsurfaced" has been removed from Map Features. It has 
> been replaced by "highway=track" and/or "surface=".
> What is the limit between "highway=byway" and "highway=track" ?
> Yes if I read [1] but no if I read the wikipedia definition:
> - "Byway (road), a minor secondary or tertiary road in the UK" [2]
> But it seems that germans will to not use it ([3] and [4]) (I'm also 
> waiting the translation of byway in german to see their interpretation).
> The descriptions in Map Features are used by many countries (directly or 
> for translations). New entries should be carefully documented.
> Pieren
> [1] http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk/2007-December/021047.html
> [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byway
> [3] http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk/2007-December/021050.html
> [4] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/index.php/De:Germany_roads_tagging
> On Sat, Jul 19, 2008 at 2:13 AM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org 
> <mailto:frederik at remote.org>> wrote:
>     http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk/2007-December/021047.html
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