Dear users in Thailand,

We have started a project in Chiang Mai to map cycling routes and would also like to put them on OSM using the lcn/rcn keys (see my proposal on The big problem is that so far there is no officially designated or signposted cycling routes in Chiang Mai, only some cycle paths which are quiet rare. Thus, it is difficult to map cycle routes, because there is no way of ground-truthing, which is an important principle of OSM mapping.

Using ‘objective’ keys e.g. like “maxspeed”, “highway”, “surface”, “bicycle” should be the common/recommended way to detect suitable cycling routes if there is no other information available on the ground. However, very often these keys are not sufficient to tell if a road is really suitable for cycling or not. Also, keys like “maxspeed” (which is very important information cycling suitability) is rarely signposted on Thai roads.

There are some ‘subjective’ keys e.g. like “class:bicycle” ( that would open a possibility to directly tag a road for its suitability for cycling.

Please have a look at my proposal on

Would be great if we could discuss this issue and try to get a consensus on how we should cope with cycling information in Thailand. Maybe we can open a discussion page on the wiki?

I’m a BIG fan of improving OSM for bicycle use. Please count me in for any discussion.

Count me in as well. I have long thought there should be a bike map here. Ideally, it would be sort of like the Dutch system where certain intersections are numbered. The numbers would link low traffic roads. When can we start?

sela, I don’t see any content on your Wiki, but please continue, this is important.

Best wishes on this!

I guess the signposting here is as clear as mud :slight_smile:


  1. That’s typical Thailand. The Germans will be laughing at that.

I like the idea of marking out biking routes even though I don’t use a bicycle in this infernal heat.

@Tom Layo: sorry, there was a spelling mistake in the link:

Any comments on my proposal so far? Otherwise should I consider it as consent and go ahead with it?

We had a meeting recently at the bicycle workshop 2Revolutions, next to PunPun Restaurant ( where I first presented the idea of making a local cycle map based on OSM. I will let all of you know if there will be another gathering. But I think it will not happen before next year.

@Russ McD: that totally over-signposted cycle path clearly shows that there’s not much experience with cycling roads in Thailand yet… Yeah, but German’s might like it…

you can see some first results here:

blue lines are local cycling routes ‘key:lcn’, purple lines are regional cycling routes ‘key:rcn’ (rendered by ). The lines are dashed because I tagged them as ‘proposed’ (lcn=‘proposed’). As long as there is no official signpost or any other means of ground-truthing, this status ‘proposed’ should be kept. So far, these routes are only based on the ‘fact’ that they are commonly used by Chiang Mai bicyclists and known for their suitability withing the community. This is all we have at the moment.

I suggest that while you are editing the ways suitable for cycling to double check that they have also the other interesting keys.
surface describes what surface you are dealing with. lanes gives a good idea on how big the road is. It also gives a hint to the map renderer on how wide the road could be. Also double check that the ways are proper connected without gaps. This ensures that also routing is possible.
I am processing the data for Osmose daily, so you can use this to check for problems.

Agree very much with you stephankn, surface and especially lanes can be a very good hint for bicycle suitability. With the advantage, that these tags can be verified on the ground. This information should be provided in any case for cycling-related editing.

How can I access the Osmose report to see if there are any inconsistencies like missing connections etc.?

I run the osmose backend for sou-east asia.

a shortcut to Thailand is
It will redirect you to the main site with your area already centered to Thailand.

On the left hand side select the hints you want to see. The “not-connected highway/cycleway” option is a good start.
It finds issues like this (not fixed to leave it for you as an example):

The OSM Inspector with the “routing” view does a similar job.

side-note: is it a good idea to use highway=construction for what I suppose is a short-duration road work? The super highway exists for quite a while now…
Keep in Mind that extracts for portable devices are often only recreated every few months. Read the discussions about temporary features.

I did the retagging of the Superhighway. I did it because of the expected duration of that project, which will probably take a year or possibly two to complete. I’m basing that opinion on the tunnel project at the junction of the Canal Road (121) and Chotana Road (107) which is just now open for traffic after well over a year.

I added the sections to the Superhighway/Route 11 relation so routing should work as intended. Plus, as soon as the work is completed one of us local mappers will make the necessary changes.

Unfortunately, it appears I didn’t do a very good job of adding that link shown in the screenshot. My bad. I fixed it just now.


Anyone interested to see a printed map of OSM in Chiang Mai with cycling information on it? There are some cycle shops in the city where you can get it:


I’d like to raise a discussion point for the usage of the class:bicycle key. Theoretically it could be tagged on any road, but I would rather suggest to focus its usage on roads where it makes sense from a “route” perspective. For example, a dead end residential road might be suitable for cycling because it has low traffic and maybe a nice scenery, but you cannot use it for getting from A to B.

Similarly, big roads with lots of traffic could all be tagged as unsuitable (class:bicycle=-2), but in the end it is not necessary to use them because there are better alternatives. Meaning, I would only tag roads as “unsuitable” (class:bicycle=-2) if it is really necessary to use them because there is no alternative.

Conclusion/Proposal: only add the class:bicycle key to a road if that roads serves as a part of the cycling route network

I have been bicycling quite a bit in Nong Hoi and Saraphi lately and have come across the class:bicycle tag on many of the small lanes I use. You have set quite a few of those class:bicycle tags to 2.5, which is not a legal value as I understand the Wiki. What is your reasoning for this?

I set class:bicycle for Mahidon Road to -2 for most of its length the other day but that’s the extent of my additions so far. That’s a horrible road for bicycles, motorcycles, and just about anything else LOL

By the way, have any of you noticed the new cycleway that runs alongside the Canal Road between the Samoeng Intersection and the junction of ชม. 3028? (way id:405991894) I added it and did some preliminary tagging but my information was from a few photos taken as I was driving home after a long trip. It could benefit from someone more attuned to tagging for bicycle routes.



I edited this comment when I read your latest post again. You suggested we tag only those ways that are good for bicycling. I added the tags to Mahidon Road because sometimes there is no alternative to using one of these ugly highways when going from point A to point B. Thailand is not set ideally suited for bike traffic, in fact, it’s not set up very well for automobile traffic once you leave the larger thoroughfares.

I used the class:bicycle=2.5 because I was in need of an intermediate class between 2 and 3. But you are right, I was not aware that actually it is not a legal value according to . So I will change those values to 2 or 3 and will find another solution internally.

I agree with you that there is no alternative for getting into/out of the city square without having to drive on Mahidon Road. However, I would suggest to reduce the tags to the section of the road that leads to a road with class:bicycle tag >0 on the outside of the city square. Then it would have more the character of a “traffic crossing”.

Yes, I also saw the new bicycle lane along canal road, that’s great news. The only thing I fear is that as soon as it is finished there will be cars starting to park on it and some selling carts and so on. Let’s see, I hope for the better. Will have a look at your tags when I get a chance.


P.S. I am struggling to find a way to somehow sync messages from this forum to my email or any other application. For the moment I only get a note when there was an answer to one of my posts, but I cannot actually see the contents from an external app. Any hints?

Actually the new cycleway is separated quite well from the highway. And it has barriers at intersections (not yet tagged) that should serve to keep motorcycles out of it. Time will tell but at the moment it looks really nice as far as it goes. Are there plans to extend it further into the city?

As for keeping informed, I just “subscribe” to the thread and I get an email every time a new post appears. Is that what you’re asking about?

@sela: nice map. Can you tell a bit about the process and the tools you used to create the map?

@stephankn: thanks, happy you like it! I used the following tools:

  • Osmosis: import OSM-File (*.osm) into a PostGIS database (Thailand subset downloaded from, also getting daily sync from there)
  • PostgreSQL/PostGIS: filter & re-arrange data via pg-views for visualization in QGIS and reproject to a local reference system (UTM47)
  • GRASS-GIS: Process elevation data
  • QGIS: Final assembly of the map: layer arrangement, rendering rules, colors, map-layout and export into printable file