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

Is it possible to do routing with a preference for dirt roads and\or trails?

I see this 2012 thread about the road classifications needing cleanup and that the proper way to specific this kind of information is using the surface and smoothness keys.

Any thoughts if this miss-classification would still be a widespread problem in the US? Does the routing engine have parameters for these kind of preferences?


asked 25 Feb '15, 23:38

AdvMap's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 27 Feb '15, 14:58

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦


Are you really asking for a preference for unpaved and non-smooth roads, e.g. for mountain biking and hiking?

(26 Feb '15, 10:11) scai ♦

meta: please only ask one question in one question entry here - not two (how to routing and mis-classification)

(27 Feb '15, 13:52) aseerel4c26 ♦

yes @scai, routing for off-road motorcycling is what I'm hoping to be able to do.

(01 Mar '15, 20:04) AdvMap

Sorry for not replying sooner (sick). Thanks for all the links and suggestions. Lots of good follow-ups to look into!

(01 Mar '15, 20:16) AdvMap

OSM is open data. The routing on uses 2 open source routing software tools, OSRM and Graphhopper. You can download the data from OSM, and the source code from either of them, and run your own instance (on your own server) of OSRM or Graphhopper and configure them in many ways. You could then configure them to prefer off road routes and so forth. You'd need a bit more technological chops to do it. But you can do almost anything you want then.

permanent link

answered 27 Feb '15, 09:14

rorym's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

edited 27 Feb '15, 09:16

Interesting links, they look a little more rigid in the types of routes they want to work with. The BRouter Web link below looks more configurable. Thank for the links @rorym!

(01 Mar '15, 20:15) AdvMap

This misclassification is still very much a problem in the US.

Most rural tracks and dirt roads are tagged simply (and erroneously) as 'highway=residential' with no surface information whatsoever.

I'd be interested to hear about your planned use and could perhaps offer a few suggestions as to other sources you could try.

permanent link

answered 26 Feb '15, 10:40

Richard's gravatar image

Richard ♦
accept rate: 18%

My hope is that I can plan off-road\ADV motorcycle routes. I can see there with some tweaks to the codebas the routing would like be possible but that mostly the data is lacking. As I get more into this, maybe I can get some local ATV\4x4\ADV\DualSport clubs to help cleanup the data.

(01 Mar '15, 20:09) AdvMap

That would be terrific: having road surface data for the rural US would greatly improve OSM.

The US Forest Service data has detailed surface information for their land, and there are some state datasets (PA:, IA:, CO: Getting this data into OSM would be a big win.

(02 Mar '15, 10:39) Richard ♦

The BRouter web may be useful as you can set your own profiles (see example profiles on the web site)but it still comes down to how well the data is tagged.

permanent link

answered 26 Feb '15, 12:12

nevw's gravatar image

accept rate: 9%

That's an interesting site. Looks like I could create my own profile to prefer specific road types and then if I cleaned up some data in my area I could be good to go. Thanks for the link @nevw!

(01 Mar '15, 20:12) AdvMap

I have use a Garmin Oregon 450 and with a routable openstreetmap.img file installed i can choose from a number of routing choices such as hiking, atv/off road driving or direct. How effective the former two modes are will depend upon the accuracy of the tagging at the time the img was created and how good the build of the img is. Sorry I don't have any experience of how the parameters you mention will effect routing.

permanent link

answered 26 Feb '15, 00:30

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

edited 26 Feb '15, 00:33

Thanks for the reply, my question was specifically about the OSM routing functionality.

(26 Feb '15, 07:16) AdvMap

meta: @AdvMap: you should describe what you mean by "OSM routing functionality" – in your question text (although it is a bit late now after all these more general answers …). Do you mean the basic routing function now on

(27 Feb '15, 13:51) aseerel4c26 ♦

Hi, the main map now has the ability to route with options of Bicycle, Car or Foot. At the moment limited to start and finish, no via points. Several other online OSM sites allow various forms of routing, have a look here :-

permanent link

answered 26 Feb '15, 09:45

BCNorwich's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 25 Feb '15, 23:38

question was seen: 12,358 times

last updated: 02 Mar '15, 10:39

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