Adding paths and bicycle ways to OSM Outdoor and OSM Cycle


I have been in the process of adding previously unknown paths and bicycle ways to OSM.

Only update that I seem to be able to get through to basic OSM, OSM Outdoor and OSM Cycle is a piece of a paved road. For example new paths in forest I found are only visible in basic OSM. I have tried all kinds of tagging, but it did not help.

In addition I found no clue on how to add bicycle path like this with a lila color set:

FluxBB bbcode test

I tried adding the bicycle way to a Role specific cycle route, but it did not change the rendering. Also I would like to understand how to make a basic red background color for a road, which is listed as good for cycling? The red color I am also aftering can be seen in the first picture I sent on the shores of the small lake on the upper right corner.

Second issue was marking walking routes in the forest for example with this blue:

FluxBB bbcode test

Violet color would also be fine and can consist of dots on closer zooming level, if that is mandatory. I researched tagging of those lines and their XML code and found nothing there that is different from mine.

Is there just a very long delay until updates? Or is there a minimum length of a bicycle route before it can have the highligh or should I create some new Role id for a new bicycle route?

I also had problems with rendering parts of the map I created on basic OSM, on some zoom level my new roads suddenly disappear, or part of them disappears, then closer zooming level they come back again and this continues and varies with no logic if I zoom in or zoom out. I disabled caching.

For viewing maps I use at least three different platforms, ridewithgps, Locus maps and on web browser.

For me the editor called iD did not work reliably (keeps on lifting my roads to strange places), so with Potlatch 2 went much better, no strange behaviour anymore.

If I turn on tick “Map Data” I can see all my inserted roads okay, so they are sort of recorded, but not displayed.

Thanks for info.


There are quite a few questions and issues here, I will try to go through the main ones.

The “standard map” on the OSM home page updates frequently, but doesn’t show hiking and cycling route relations. So changes or additions to the physical ways making up a route should show up as footways, paths, and so on, but you won’t see the routes themselves.

Even within the standard map, different zoom levels update at different frequencies, so the behaviour you describe is not unusual. displays route relations on top of the standard map. It updates the relations fairly frequently (I think 15 minute intervals are typical) and the update time is displayed at the top of the page. There are separate maps for hiking and cycling relations (as well as other outdoor activities). It is also useful for finding how similar routes are typically mapped in your local area - the “routes” button at the bottom right will allow you to see the OSM tags for currently displayed routes. It is the main tool I use when working on hiking relations.

Other maps and applications each have their own update schedules, and the interval between updates can be quite long - one month would not be unusual. This is outside the control of OpenStreetMap and as a mapper there is not a lot you can do about it.

Similarly, decisions about how to render routes (colour, width and so on), and in fact about how to render anything else, are made by the maintainers of each application. You may be able to influence rendering via tags such as “colour” and “osmc:symbol” - see . But there is no guarantee. For example here is a route I mapped as displayed on waymarked trails: . You can see that the red arrow is rendered based on the osmc:symbol tag. But the “colour=red” tag is not used. That is because waymarkedtrails renders colours based on the importance of the route, as indicated by the network tag. In this case all local (“network=lwn”) trails are rendered in purple. A different renderer might make a different decision. But generally if you tag consistently with existing routes in your area you should (eventually) see your routes displayed in a consistent way in your chosen application.

I am not sure what the future holds for Potlatch 2 - I think I have read that there is a question mark over whether it can be supported beyond this year. But I am not up to date on that. If you are going to be editing a lot of relations you could also try JOSM to see how you like it.

Good luck!