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Is it correct to draw the area that a sidewalk occupies and tag them in the following manner?

highway=footway footway=sidewalk area=yes

asked 06 Sep '18, 17:35

gerardreches's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

The widely used tag for this is area:highway with values identical to highway. This had been used fairly extensively in Poland and the Polish community map has an overlay showing such areas (here in the centre of Warszawa, light stippled areas are area:highway=footway, darker areas motor roads).

The proposal page on the wiki has more information:

permanent link

answered 07 Sep '18, 12:31

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

edited 08 Sep '18, 09:41

Tordanik's gravatar image



Great, that's just what I want. But checking at this area in JOSM, I can see that streets are using only area:highway=tertiary, while footways are using area:highway=footway + highway=footway + area=yes. Why footways needs more tags?

(07 Sep '18, 12:52) gerardreches

They don't. However, adding area=yes & highway=footway causes them to be rendered just like highway=pedestrian.

(07 Sep '18, 19:59) SK53 ♦

Footway areas do not need additional tags besides area:highway=footway, and adding highway=footway + area=yes is in fact incorrect here. The mappers are likely abusing this incorrect tagging to get the desired visual result in a particular map (and do not care that they are breaking other maps in the process), something that is generally frowned upon.

(08 Sep '18, 09:28) Tordanik

Can, yes, but I seriously doubt that that is useful. Note that it is common to have highway=pedestrian areas. Maybe you could explain your use case a bit?

permanent link

answered 06 Sep '18, 20:20

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 18%

It's just that I would like to mark the sidewalks as areas instead of lines, for visual purposes more than anything else. It would be easier to put lampposts, wastebaskets and other things because you can see which area is sidewalk. Also, it helps to position streets: I usually have to move a bit a lot of streets because other mappers had put them almost uppon the sidewalks instead of uppon the center line. If they see the sidewalks as areas at both sides of the street, is more likely that they position the street more correctly.

(07 Sep '18, 00:45) gerardreches

Why not just use the width tag on a linear way? Then they can be rendered like the area.

(07 Sep '18, 02:14) aharvey

@gerardreches, ok but then you probably would want to map the roads as areas too, you should have a look at The main issue is that you will likely have to write your own renderer to visualize such areas.

(07 Sep '18, 08:09) SimonPoole ♦

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question asked: 06 Sep '18, 17:35

question was seen: 1,868 times

last updated: 08 Sep '18, 09:41

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