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I tried OSM mapping this Saturday; I added a path through a square and a staircase, both part of a way to join two streets by walking. But I’m not sure I made it the proper way.

Here’s the situation:


Two streets at different heights, both with sidewalks, a square, and a some steps.

Here how it was mapped before I edited:

how it was

The area of the square is defined and the streets are too. The sidewalks are not, which is okay I guess since the streets are tagged as walkable. But nothing register that you can go through the square and the stairs by feet, which is a useful shortcut that should appear on itineraries and the like.

So I added a path in the middle of the square (orange), and some steps (red), connecting the two streets:

what i added

Now, the way is registered, but I’m not sure about :

  • The fact that I added a path while it’s not really an actual path, it’s just a square and you can walk through it.
  • The fact that my stairs are not following the actual shape of the steps, and are merely a way to join the street path.

But I couldn’t not find another way to do this.

Here is how it is in iD:

iD screenshot

And here is the link to the place.

What should I have done?

Thank you!
~ nicolas

asked 23 Mar '15, 15:07

nclm's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I would suggest that you

  • reduce the size of the size of the square to only cover the flat area
  • create one path that links the square to the road on the north west
  • create a staircase way running north-south, connected to the square at the north end and a path at the south
  • connect this second path to the road

You are correct that there should not be a path through the square, since routing services can create their own links across the square. Also, since you can clearly see the stairs from the imagery, the staircase way should be in line with the stairs and run in the correct orientation.

permanent link

answered 23 Mar '15, 17:30

Andy%20Allan's gravatar image

Andy Allan
accept rate: 28%


Thanks! I’m learning a lot.

So it is okay to add little paths that are not actual highways but just ‘logical’ links, so that users or software can find their way through it. And walkable areas are treated like paths even if there are polygons and not lines. Right?

I couldn’t find a way with iD to add new points to a polygon to change the shape of the square to fit the flat area, but I connected the paths and made the stairs going up, south to north:


Thanks again :)

(23 Mar '15, 17:55) nclm

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question asked: 23 Mar '15, 15:07

question was seen: 3,821 times

last updated: 23 Mar '15, 17:56

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