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I've come across some natural areas with a web or mesh of hiking trails. For example, Enchanted Rock SNA - 19/30.49912/-98.82005. Should all of these be mapped? On the park's map, there is a marked interpretive trail somewhere in here but it does not cover all of the trails.

I've seen similar trail meshes in other places, all very well-traveled and obvious. Should these be mapped?

Note/Edit: this question is about if, not how, in response to a similar GMM edit I made which was reviewed/discouraged citing that they don't usually add those types of auxiliary trails. I was wondering if OSM had a similar standard or if it's encouraged.

asked 26 Jan '16, 19:40

ChrisMendez's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 26 Jan '16, 23:39

I'm not a fan of armchair-mapping that sort of trail web. There's too much that can go wrong: you could wind up marking game trails or dry streambeds as trails, you could spend hours painstakingly mapping out the trails only to find that you were working from old imagery and most of them were closed and re-vegetated years ago, you could be working in an area where seasonal growth and usage patterns mean the trails shift from year to year, and so on.

I'd only map that sort of web if I had on-the-ground experience with the area, and even then, I'd only map the well-defined ones, and only if I knew they didn't have "closed for re-vegetation" signs. The fainter trails aren't likely to stick around long enough for your mapping to be worth the effort.

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answered 27 Jan '16, 06:45

Carnildo's gravatar image

accept rate: 40%


I totally agree. In this particular case, I've walked these trailed many times for many years and they've always been exactly how they look from above. They're used by campers, hikers, and kids wandering around the rocks.

(27 Jan '16, 15:00) ChrisMendez

Hi ChrisMendez, map them all like the one on the right side of the tile. Or decide to map the longer ones. Or just one at the time and make / tag the different ones, width or surface or smoothness so that a stranger can choose a pick the right one.

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answered 26 Jan '16, 20:12

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

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question asked: 26 Jan '16, 19:40

question was seen: 2,256 times

last updated: 27 Jan '16, 15:00

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