Today I went hiking, went across a bridge, down the trail, passed a lad, and not too long later found myself in completely unmaintained trails from years ago that were blocked by fallen trees -- due to OSM showing them I continued on, and ultimately encountered areas that had the floor completely taken away (crevice leading into a cave collapsed), and generally way more than I bargained for.

I encountered and identified some of the land-marks mentioned on OSM during the journey, so these clearly were once trails -- however they resemble nothing more than jungle and a bit of neon rope or faded paint tied deep in the bush or tagged now in the crevice.

So my question: Should I remove the trails from this particular area? I feel like leaving the landmarks would be correct, however the trails their self are completely decayed and downright dangerous, have little markings left (not enough to provide any direction), complete dropouts, and some missing any ability to go through them even with a machette.

Lastly, the trails apparently lead out to road, which they didn't and I had to just force myself through to get to it, and it's covered in barb wire and is a miliary zone. I expanded the military zone after confirming it with guards after walking along it for some time.

Overall I'm not sure what to do, as there isn't a way to mark an area as "extremely dangerous," and I feel there's a very high chance someone will eventually die if they follow the trail markers thinking they lead somewhere, like OSM said they did, as they once did.

The last photos of much of what I saw after searching online were from (5) years ago, and they are were in groups with guides, and said that "the monkeys do not come here anymore" and when I was there I encountered a family(?) of 12-18 of them near one of the caves.

It just feels wrong removing so many trails, however fundamentally the situation on the ground is worse than what you'd expect from animal trails in most cases, and in many cases the trail, well, collapsed into the caves below it.

asked 08 May, 19:48

ZacharyG's gravatar image

ZacharyG
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accept rate: 0%

I suggest adding the trails to trailforks, and add a report on it, share it with the local community. I have added everything I found in my local area, but I have also added and updated the open street map in my local area. you can use OSM map to help you add them on trailforks. then you can have reports as people add them, so if a tree fell or it's overgrown or not accessible or closed you can add it. but if trail is abandoned do what others mentioned. you can take pictures too upload them, if you want to go int specifics with community.

(10 May, 06:06) mtbboy1993

I suggest updating the military zone too if it has been expanded. so people don't go there if it is dangerous. some military areas here are actually public cus they are from old war and not used anymore, and are museums, but still owned by military. So these should not be confused. but what you mention here sounds like actual active military area. so those that are museums should be marked as museum, military base there are tags for that, if there are fences add them too. if there are cliffs add those too, add all dangerous features, and tag trails that are still active as dangerous if they are.

(10 May, 06:12) mtbboy1993

do I understand it correctly? is it a military base where shots can like a shooting range, do they do dangerous tests? , if so probably best to not tag those trails if they somehow lead into the base, but if it's a base they should have fences with barbwire. but if they do I can't know, but if it does not that makes it dangerous. I suggest using this tag for the military area: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:military=range but Not that in some countries it's forbidden to map Military ranges.

(10 May, 06:17) mtbboy1993

From your description it sounds like some parts show no evidence on the ground, some show scant evidence and some are still mostly there.

The parts that are still trails should probably be left as trails, even if they become disconnected from the rest of the map. Some software may complain about the creation of 'islands', but in this case they are valid. Where surviving trails have trees across them tags such as barrier=log will indicate to future users that these obstacles exist.

Places where the trail has "dropped away" should probably be split from the surviving trail and deleted as they are no longer verifiable. Alternately if you think it likely that someone will re-add them because they appear on imagery, uploaded traces or (otherwise) approved data sources you may consider prefixing the existing tag with an appropriate life-cycle prefix like destroyed:*, or alternately leave a note=* in lieu of normal tagging. This also applies to other trails that leave no traces on the ground. For the final portion leading to the road you may also consider noexit=yes on the final node to discourage someone from "helpfully reconnecting it

For trails that still have visible signs of their existence but are no longer navigable, consider adding the abandoned:* prefix.

I would also be reticent to remove mapped object that someone put effort into creating at some point, but the parts of them no longer exist shouldn't really remain in OSM if they are no longer exist on the ground.

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answered 08 May, 22:46

InsertUser's gravatar image

InsertUser
6.0k439101
accept rate: 21%

1

Also remember that nothing is really ever "gone" from OSM -- the history of a deleted trail remains in the database, though it's hard to discover it unless you know its way ID (or multiple IDs if it had branches.)

If you do delete a trail, you might consider tagging the previous junction node with a note, something like "note=a trail mapped in 2012 heading northwest from here (way 432101234) could not be found in 2020 survey, deleted on 2020-05-10."

(11 May, 16:19) jmapb

On top of what InsertUser described also consider tagging attributes like surface, smoothness, trail_visibility and sac_scale. They provide additional information about the quality of the trail and how usable it is for individual hiking preferences.

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answered 09 May, 07:39

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TZorn
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accept rate: 16%

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question asked: 08 May, 19:48

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