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Pedestrian paths are common in my city (Hamilton NZ). They are designated for bicycle use too. Mostly they are brick, paved, or concrete, but being NZ, there are many long stretches over swampy land (sometimes .5km) that can be slightly elevated wood. I see no footpath options for "wood." Any suggestions?

example photo

asked 03 Mar '14, 21:01

tenephor's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 04 Mar '14, 14:58

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦


upvote for including a photo with your tagging question :-)

(04 Mar '14, 11:52) Harry Wood

This looks like a raised boardwalk: commonly used through marshy areas and elsewhere. If the path is basically on the ground you just need to add surface=wood.

If it is raised I think the standard practice is still to tag it as bridge=yes or bridge=boardwalk, although boardwalk=yes has a paltry 8 values. This was the first one I ever tried mapping:

Bass Hole Boardwalk, Yarmoth, MA
(bigger and more info – CC BY-SA 3.0 by Costoa)

All in all these are fairly common features in Nature Reserves, wetlands and coastal areas (dunes or salt marsh), so its a little surprising more are not marked explicitly.

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answered 03 Mar '14, 21:24

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

edited 04 Mar '14, 00:27

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦


not a great example as it has a description in the name=* tag

(04 Mar '14, 13:51) SK53 ♦

A while ago I somehow decided to use man_made=pier, surface=plank, but that seems to not be the consensus, I'll probably go back and change them.

(04 Mar '14, 14:22) neuhausr

surface plank might be worth preserving as it gives more info than plain wood. Local ones often have plain planks with chickenwire tacked down to stop them getting slippy: the latter then becomes a horrible trip-hazard once the wire works loose.

(04 Mar '14, 14:31) SK53 ♦

I hope my example is ok now.

(04 Mar '14, 14:41) andy mackey

You can use any tags you like. Many editors suggest common tags, but if one of those doesn't fit, you could use something else. If you want to see what other mappers have used, you can use taginfo to search:

I believe that I've mapped things like your picture in the past as "highway=footway; surface=boardwalk" (taginfo sees 267 examples of that worldwide).

I beleive that you're using the Potlatch 2 editor, so you'll need to switch to "advanced" mode and manually enter a "surface" key with a value of "boardwalk".

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answered 03 Mar '14, 21:08

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
accept rate: 16%


I dont think that surface=boardwalk adds anything usefull over surface=wood, which is much more common.

(04 Mar '14, 10:16) Vincent de P... ♦

@Vincent de P Thanks - I actually missed that one!

(04 Mar '14, 10:38) SomeoneElse ♦

Consider man_made=pier with material=wood, surface=resin if it has been treated for slippery conditions ans since its over ground or water, layer=1. See also these links.

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answered 03 Mar '14, 23:54

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%


I wouldn't use "man_made=pier" for a boardwalk.

(04 Mar '14, 00:11) SomeoneElse ♦

Same for me. The second picture might be a candidate, but not a very low bridge style thing in the first picture :)

(04 Mar '14, 14:50) iii

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question asked: 03 Mar '14, 21:01

question was seen: 6,861 times

last updated: 04 Mar '14, 14:58

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum