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It would be useful information to know whether a path or track is commonly or permanently overgrown due to low/inexistent usage.

These paths/tracks may still be passable, but will slow you down considerably due to high grass, fallen trees, vegetation…

What tag would be most appropriate?

  • tracktype=grade5? only seems to indicates a soft ground
  • trail_visibility=* ?
  • disused:highway=path/track
  • disused=yes
  • abandoned:highway=path/track ?
  • … ?

asked 09 Mar '22, 14:48

cmoffroad's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Any chance of a photo?

(09 Mar '22, 15:04) SomeoneElse ♦
(09 Mar '22, 15:27) cmoffroad

Can you provide the OSM link?

(21 Mar '22, 11:59) DaveF

I think you should use trail_visibility. I also agree with user:DaveF about not using abandoned or disused.

Many attributes of road and trail surfaces and conditions are indeed subjective and therefore subject to the observer's biases but how does one avoid that? We try to use a definable standard. You deserve credit for trying to help us make these decisions but in the end, choosing and interpreting subjective tags will always be a bit of a guessing game.

Case in point, smoothness. We all know what smoothness=excellent means for an automobile. But there are other categories that are not as straightforward; good, bad, intermediate, horrible, very_horrible, etc.

How does one extend any of those definitions to cover a mountain bike (MTB), a road bike, roller blades?

It's all very subjective.

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answered 10 Mar '22, 00:14

AlaskaDave's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%

Good point about smoothness and this will be one of my next questions ;) trail_visibility I believe is commonly used by hikers.

(10 Mar '22, 06:07) cmoffroad

I don't bother as it's far too subjective based on:

  1. A user's interpretation of "overgrown"
  2. The season.
  3. The maintenance regime.

I definitely wouldn't use abandoned or disused, as your photos clearly show it isn't.

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answered 09 Mar '22, 18:41

DaveF's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%


With this logic, we shouldn't tag anything... even choosing the right highway classification can be subjective. Of course, some vegetation is seasonal, but some trails are clearly rarely maintained or used and it would still be valuable info for outdoor enthusiasts to know about it.

(21 Mar '22, 06:19) cmoffroad

Evidently not true. Many entities are mapped without subjectivity. Tagging the physical attributes allows users to make informed decisions based on their own abilities.

(21 Mar '22, 12:04) DaveF

Another fitting option presented in the track wiki:

"For an overgrown track which is hard to pass, consider obstacle=vegetation."

"Movement on route is hard due to the vegetation (shubs, dense grass, nettle, lianas etc.), movement is significantly slowed down or you have to move carefully."

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answered 21 Mar '22, 06:19

cmoffroad's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

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question asked: 09 Mar '22, 14:48

question was seen: 1,591 times

last updated: 21 Mar '22, 12:04

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