Why not ask your question on the new OpenStreetMap Community Forum?

I am not quite sure if OSM help is the right place to ask this question, or if I should ask it in the forum. Anyway, here is the question:

When I was mapping my neighbourhood I saw a path on the aerial imagery that had not been mapped. From my past hikes I knew that it was actually private property. I simply added it to the map and tagged it with access=private but after I had uploaded it I started to question myself if private paths or roads, etc... should be mapped at all.

I am not quite sure what profit there is to the general public when the path is on the map, except for some orientation reference points. In fact an unexperienced user might see it on the map and just step on it, thinking it is legal to access it. OSM-Carto renders it a bit different from access=yes but still a new user might not know this. What is to be done with private paths? Should they be mapped at all and why?

asked 29 Sep '17, 19:40

wanderw%C3%BCtiger's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%

You mentioned one reason already - reference points. If I tell you "take the third path on the left" then I have most likely counted the private path, too. If your map doesn't show it, you might come to a different conclusion ("looks like the second path really...").

Another reason is emergencies. In an emergency, you would likely be interested to know what the shortest path is to get somehwere - and you wouldn't care whether it is private or not. (Physical barriers are another matter and it makes sense to map them.)

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answered 29 Sep '17, 20:19

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

If the path is visible on satellite imagery some arm chair mapper might add it but not know that it is private. By having it mapped and tagged with private access that is less likely to happen.

(29 Sep '17, 22:19) n76

For England the local council maps should give the status. For slightly older ( one year or so) and usually more convenient info you may check here http://www.rowmaps.com/ But survey is safest and best solution.

(01 Oct '17, 06:35) andy mackey

Adding to Frederik's answer:

In fact an unexperienced user might see it on the map and just step on it, thinking it is legal to access it.

"Don't tag for the renderer". If users assuming everything on the map is public becomes a problem, then the renderers can choose not to render objects tagged access=private, or they can choose to render them (more) differently. The upshot is, tagging the paths as access=private and letting the renderers worry about user mistakes is fine.

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answered 29 Sep '17, 22:44

dsh4's gravatar image

accept rate: 4%

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question asked: 29 Sep '17, 19:40

question was seen: 2,368 times

last updated: 01 Oct '17, 06:35

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