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Hello, there.

I just drove upon a new track I noticed, but during the passing, I've been hailed and whisteld at by some people which, according to the land register, own the plot. The thing is, there was no sign saying that the track was on a private area, that its access was restricted, neither barrier nor fence, and it was not clearly and only leading to a private property; these elements, under the French jurisprudence, allow one to consider the access allowed to anyone, as there are no obvious elements telling the opposite. Still, it isn't, but not physically, just according to the owner.

My question is: when mapping this track, should I give access as permissive or private? I can't just let it blank, as it would imply the passing is open to anyone and passersby would certainly have problems with the owner; nevertheless, the passage isn't physically restricted or marked as such, so the private value doesn't seem OK, but, on the other hand, even if the passing is physically free, the owner disallows it, so permissive doesn't seem OK either. Which state should prevail: the physical state, which says permissive, or the owner's will, which says private? Or, putting it the other way: does private means physically marked as such, physically closed, or does it only reflect the will of the owner?

Awaiting your answers,


asked 19 Aug '15, 19:12

Penegal's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

closed 01 Sep '15, 11:33

I don't think a question having an answer is a good reason to close it. There might be a better answer later, or an answer that takes changes in OSM into account.

(01 Sep '15, 15:31) sleske

Typically *=private will indicate the legal access rights for the object in question. This depending on the jurisdiction may have something to do with the actual ownership of the land or not.

If the track is new, as in recently created, I would tend to be conservative and tag access=private since corresponding signage might simply be not set up yet. If it isn't really new it's your call.

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answered 19 Aug '15, 19:49

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 18%

Hi guys, I would not tag it private, since who has spoken as beiing or pretending hes the owner. Tag as it is without a sign (50 cent for a sign my own road or alike and 10 minutes time), its public. It even could be a neighbour who wants to get strangers out of sight.

(20 Aug '15, 10:53) Hendrikklaas

In much of the world, access isn't signed. Often you have to infer access permissions based on a national default (such as "no access"), a locked gate, or a large bity dog.

(20 Aug '15, 12:07) SomeoneElse ♦

The track was already distinguishable on the Bing aerial data, so it's not really new as the regular passing which made the track started years ago, so I'll label it as permissive, that seems a good compromise and to better follow the physical characteristics of the track, as I know for sure that it's privately owned, but physically open. Thanks for your help and opinions.

(20 Aug '15, 20:16) Penegal

If the philosophy is to tag only verifiable things. If the owner is not around, you can't verify that the access is private. And the law says that the trail is public, unless there are signs. So I would map it without any restrictions. If the owner wants the access to be private in the real world, he should put a sign up. Only then do we have something verifiable to map. I would leave it untagged for now.

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answered 20 Aug '15, 11:50

joost%20schouppe's gravatar image

joost schouppe
accept rate: 12%

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question asked: 19 Aug '15, 19:12

question was seen: 4,805 times

last updated: 01 Sep '15, 15:31

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