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What is the prefered method to add segments that are used in both directions for a route that is directed?

I ask this in the context of hiking routes that are signposted in only one direction. Often they have a layout where a small part of the route passes a segment in both directions. Typical examples are drawn below, where the red dot is the start and finish point examples of route layout

Normally you would add all segments with the forward and backward roles as necessary, bu what is the preferred method to add the two-way parts to the relation? I see two options:

  • Add the two-way segments without a role
  • Add the two-way segments twice: once with role forward and once with role backward

Advantage that I see with this second option: allows easy sorting to create a GPX track in one piece, thus matching how a user would move over such a route. Disadvantage: it feels somehow wrong to add a segment twice to the same relation.

Are there any guidelines what is the preferred option to map this situation?

asked 12 Sep '16, 10:13

ptityeti's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 14 Sep '16, 22:00

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

I recently started mapping hiking route and encounter this dilemma.

imo it doesn't feel wrong at all to add a way twice in a route relation, like you said it's much easier to create GPX trace with the right length and elevation profile that way and it work like that on

The only time I don't add the way twice is when the hiking route is a loop with a small part just to access the loop, like in your first example, but if the red point is clearly the start and stop of the route then I add it twice.

Also most hiking route can be done in both direction and thus role forward/backward shouldn't be use, the order of the members in the relation is use to recreate the right path ( MTB route are however often made to be ridden only one way.

I think this should be added here in the wiki

permanent link

answered 06 Oct '21, 19:26

LouisXIV's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 06 Oct '21, 19:28


For bus routes I quite often have to add a section of way more than once due to a local one way system requiring buses to use the same section of road to get into the town centre as leave (when going west to east, as they have to repeat the top bit of the one way loop).

(07 Oct '21, 08:53) EdLoach ♦

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question asked: 12 Sep '16, 10:13

question was seen: 1,996 times

last updated: 07 Oct '21, 08:53

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