I see a few highway types here: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:highway

Is there a table with the types that can be driven by car (or by foot, by bike, etc.), as well as the recommended speed for them ?

asked 07 Apr '16, 22:20

shiro900's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 07 Apr '16, 22:28

The page you link makes a distinction between roads and paths. Roads are for vehicles, paths are not. Roads are largely open to pedestrians (but this varies by country and some classes of roads are usually closed to pedestrians). Special circumstances may be indicated by access tags:


So there could be a path that is open to motor vehicles (maybe someone is allowed to use part of a bike trail as a driveway or whatever), and some roads may be closed to some classes of vehicles, or restricted as to who is allowed to use them. But these are exceptions that should be explicitly noted with the access tags, it is reasonable to make some assumptions that apply when specific access tags are not present.

One strategy for making sense of it is to look at the choices that others have made. Here are the various default profiles for OSRM (a routing engine):


Each of car.lua, foot.lua and bicycle.lua has rules for how tags are interpreted by the routing engine for that use. I think the lua files are easier reading, but here are the rules used by OSMAND:


There's surely more, those are quick to find.

The choices end up being fairly consistent, but can vary from country to country and different users of the data are free to make whatever choices they feel provide the best results, so there is some degree of subjectivity.

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answered 08 Apr '16, 01:54

maxerickson's gravatar image

accept rate: 30%

edited 08 Apr '16, 02:27

Additionally to the access key already mentioned by maxerickson you will get a good idea by looking at the implicit default access values. Remember that this is just a suggestion by OSM and some routers might decide to use slightly different default values.

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answered 08 Apr '16, 07:58

scai's gravatar image

scai ♦
accept rate: 23%

What is your goals with getting the "roads which can be driven by a car"? Because you might also want to look at the surface tag which tells you the road surface. Sure, someone might be legally able to drive on a certain road, but if you're making a satnav device for tourists you might not want to send someone down an unpaved, gravel road.

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answered 08 Apr '16, 09:06

rorym's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%


What if there are only unpaved gravel roads available? :)

(08 Apr '16, 09:11) scai ♦

It depends on the use case. :)

(08 Apr '16, 09:18) rorym

Yup, "a car" can be one of many vehicle types - for which gravel roads might be an expected mode of travel (4WD offroad), impassable (a Smart), or passable as a last resort, but not preferred (most cars in-between).

(12 Apr '16, 14:49) Piskvor
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question asked: 07 Apr '16, 22:20

question was seen: 2,485 times

last updated: 12 Apr '16, 14:52

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