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I always assumed that the different types of ways in OSM should get connected, for purposes of navigation at least. For instance, a park footway= should eventually get connected to a highway with a sidewalk= tag. But, I am noticing some other mappers leave the different types of ways disconnected, for instance, all of the park footways would be contained in the leisure=park polygon. Can anyone explain why this is common and how is it generally fixed? Or is this proper. I have been extending the park footways so they connect with the highway, but maybe I should not be doing it.

asked 28 Aug '16, 17:20

mtc's gravatar image

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edited 28 Aug '16, 17:46

Yes the sidewalks should connect to the streets, or if there is a separate way for the sidewalk, to the sidewalk (which will eventually connect to the street network).

The people leaving them unconnected may be planning on coming back later and adding a separate way for the sidewalk, but a more likely explanation is that they don't realize that OSM based routing software tends to rely on the ways being connected.

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answered 28 Aug '16, 18:16

maxerickson's gravatar image

accept rate: 32%


When i map a footpath that ends at a playing field or carpark i usually connect the path to either the main road or the carpark lanes. I also usually map the path around the edge of playing field, which is the usual route you would take, or the right of way, if there is one. This should allow routing to work correctley. Routing can be checked with OSRM or another routing engine, there are a few on the osm map page. Note: routing needs few days before changes are used.

(01 Sep '16, 20:48) andy mackey

@maxerickson I also notice people will draw a path/footway where it actually exists and (quite logically) not add the extra piece which connects it to the centreline of a highway. Of course this often looks fine on CartoCSS as the highways are usually depicted wider than they really are, but obviously breaks routing.

(02 Sep '16, 10:53) SK53 ♦

There is now a nice suggestion, that link from sidewalk to a road should be highway=footway + footway=link -

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answered 26 Jan '20, 22:07

MiroJanosik's gravatar image

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question asked: 28 Aug '16, 17:20

question was seen: 3,817 times

last updated: 26 Jan '20, 22:07

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