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Encountered a new type of obstacle while out mapping today: it's a barrier=cattle_grid with a (normally open) barrier=gate running across it. How would I tag this?

Image of one:

asked 10 Apr '16, 05:45

Carnildo's gravatar image

accept rate: 40%

edited 17 Apr '16, 20:31

Hi Carnildo, could you add a picture or link ?

(11 Apr '16, 15:48) Hendrikklaas

No luck on that: the automated camera I use for POI mapping wasn't aimed right to get pictures of it, I didn't take a picture manually, and it's sufficiently out in the middle of nowhere that even Google Streetview doesn't have pictures of it.

(12 Apr '16, 05:54) Carnildo

You could

  1. use a semi-colon: barrier=cattle_grid;gate on 1 node
  2. use a short way (part of the track/path) for the cattle_grid and a node on that way for the gate
  3. use 2 nodes next to one another (my least preferred solution)
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answered 10 Apr '16, 11:07

escada's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

just for clarification at 3: two nodes which are both (along) part of a highway-tagged way. I've seen barriers floting beneath highway ways in the past. ;-)
And at 2: This short way would need a highway (path? track?) tag in addition, otherwise I guess no one would route across it.

(13 Apr '16, 06:05) aseerel4c26 ♦

I would use 3 since it is compatible with the usual way of mapping single barriers.
2 would mean no node with the cattle_grid tag – currently only 0.5% of all cattle grids are like this. However, more than nothing.
1 has the semicolon problems.

(13 Apr '16, 06:10) aseerel4c26 ♦

the problem with 3 is that according to the map you encounter the gate before the cattle grid for one direction. When the gate is in the middle of the cattle grid, this is not completely correct.

(13 Apr '16, 06:26) escada

I'd favor #3 (easy to interpret by routers, renderers) and never use #1 (the above mentioned semicolon problem, will probably often be not understood/ignored by routers). The problem mentioned by escada is neglectable in my opinion and weighs less than the advantages.

(13 Apr '16, 10:39) TZorn

@TZorn why would a router distinguish between values of barrier ? taginfo has 42 pages with values for barriers ( They might not have an icon for each of them, but I think each barrier is treated in the same way: no access except for the xxx=yes.

(13 Apr '16, 10:48) escada

I'd also favour number 3 (also, is the gate really in the middle of the cattle grid? You'd have to walk over the cattle grid to open it).

@escada routers treat barriers in different ways and thankfully "no access except for the xxx=yes on the barrier node" (which would be wrong) is not the most common.

(13 Apr '16, 10:54) SomeoneElse ♦

@escda: I could for example imagine a bicycle router assigning a penalty to crossing cattle grids, even though it is bicycle=yes. Similarly, crossing stiles may be avoided by impaired walkers.

(13 Apr '16, 10:59) TZorn

@SomeoneElse: you're correct, not all barriers should be treated as access=no

According to the barriers page, each barrier without explicit defined access, should be interpreted as access=no.For bollard this is defined, for cattle_grid not, although I assume this is a mistake on the wiki page.

(13 Apr '16, 11:28) escada

@SomeoneElse: the OP wrote a barrier gate running across the cattle grid: for me that means that the cattle grid starts before the gate and ends after the gate. So on a micro level the cattle grid is a way, the gate a node. Don't know how routers treat barriers that are not nodes. At this moment taginfo says there are 128 cattle_grids mapped as way. more than 25700 as node.

(13 Apr '16, 11:32) escada

Re ways vs nodes, I'd expect most cattle grids mapped as ways to be perpendicular to the track they're on, not parallel to it. See for example:

(13 Apr '16, 12:04) SomeoneElse ♦
showing 5 of 10 show 5 more comments

Hi Carnildo, thanks for the picture. Quit claer, your allowed to travel over the grid with any vehicle or on foot if the gate is open and your not allowed to cross if the gate is locked. The grid is an animal barrier, they dont read or look at maps build on OSM data. Dont mind the grid or tag it as mentioned as a stretch of the way by Escada option 2.

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answered 17 Apr '16, 23:40

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%


I don't agree on the conclusion about not minding the cattle grid. The cattle grid is a barrier, so do tag it. There are a lot of barriers out there without access implications but still they pose certain limitations on the users.

(18 Apr '16, 08:22) TZorn
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question asked: 10 Apr '16, 05:45

question was seen: 2,401 times

last updated: 18 Apr '16, 08:22

NOTICE: is being shutdown on 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum