Highway=trailhead, from in use to approved

I would like to move the tag highway=trailhead from in use to approved status. The tag has established itself and shows a steady growth.

As easy as possible. I don’t want to go through a full and formal RFC/CFV procedure. It’s about the status, not about the already established tag itself.

What about a poll on this forum and on the tagging list?

Why bother about a status ‘in use’ in the wiki? It’s used, documented: perfect.


I read that as an approval!

If there wasn’t a proposal process, then the tag can’t be “approved”.
If the tag is frequently used then “in use” or “de facto” would be the correct status.


There was, it’s just that the final vote wasn’t done. Practice has established the tag. So just a (preferably light) vote should suffice to finish the process, IMO.


approved features and attributes have completed the Proposal process and been approved by a majority or supermajority vote.

So, if you want it to be approved you have to start the voting in the proposal.


Then the status is de facto instead of approved. Note that even with de facto you can still add a statuslink to the proposal.


Then the status is de facto instead of approved. Note that even with de facto you can still add a statuslink to the proposal.

note that currently any tag can be „deprecated“ by a new proposal, and only few people are required regardless of usage and how many people had approved the tag by voting yes.

? I am not proposing a deprecation.
Maybe I misunderstand your point?

I have altered the previous proposal to match the established practice.
Any comments are welcome, but please note that I am not proposing changes in mapping.
I have added one rendering suggestion. The original rendering suggestion was a hiker symbol, but trailhead nodes can indicate starting points of other recreational routes as well: bicycle/mtb, canoo, horse.
I will post an RFC to the tagging mailing list.
Edit: have posted.

What I tried to say: “approved” by voting is not “better” than “de-facto”, either way a bunch of people can vote any time to mark it “deprecated”. On the other hand, “de-facto” indicates that the tag is not disputed, there are no significant competitive tags and the community has adopted the tag, it is well established. Arguably it is “better” than “approved”, which only means a bunch of people have voted in the wiki to approve it.


You are right, I guess, but I have seen other opinions, and I can follow their reasoning as well.
I think the combination of taginfo and the approved status is not too bad.

After approval I would like to get the POI rendered on a few platforms with its own icon. Currently, some are rendered as information boards, because they coincide with a board.

About voting to deprecate: pure deprecation without alternative, haven’t seen it yet.
I see deprecations packaged in other proposals. That’s always a risk for those proposals, because many mappers dislike deprecation, especially when they use the tag themselves.

The current proposal only discusses trailheads as nodes. They’re also sometimes mapped as closed ways, usually co-tagged as amenity=parking. (About 2% of the trailheads in the USA are mapped this way.)

There’s some chat about this on the talk page from the 2017 rework of this proposal, but no resolution.

If highway=trailhead is approved as a node-only tag, the ways currently bearing this tag will suddenly be out-of-spec. Personally, I’d rather this didn’t happen, so I’d suggest broadening the proposal to include closed ways. Failing that, the text should include some rationale for prohibiting areas, and alternative mapping recommendations.

I don’t think that approval of the node mapping prohibits anything, and I have mentioned this usage in the proposal, but if we agree that the proposal should explicitly cover this existing usage, it’s fine with me.
Do you have a text suggestion, or do you want to add the change yourself?

I went to add the text … and it was already there! Don’t know how I missed it.

Applies to: Some users tag an area as highway=trailhead.
How to map: Some mappers apply the tag to a way or an area representing the trailhead.

Thanks & sorry for the distraction :wink:

No problem! The applies-to icon shows only a node, so if there are no objections the way icon could be added.
Whether or not the closed way is an area: I suspect some mappers will add area=yes, which some renderers then will ignore. Maybe best to avoid that can of worms.

No @Peter_Elderson, I think you wrongly changed that Tag:highway=trailhead - OpenStreetMap Wiki

It using it on area (AKA closed way) is acceptable, then it should be


and not the other way around as you did. onWay=yes is for non-closed ways, e.g. highway=motorway. Closed way that is not an area must be something like race track or roundabout – which is really a way but which just happen to go in circular way and finishes where it started.

That does not seem to be the case for any of the dozens of random samples of highway=trailhead at overpass turbo – they seem to be regular areas, often shared with other areas (like amenity=parking)

So, the wiki should be corrected (either reverted so it only applies to nodes - as there are only 90 of non-node cases worldwide), or (better?) fixed so it applies on closed ways instead of open ways (e.g. onWay=no + onArea=yes)

Thanks for pointing that out, you are right. The wiki should reflect the actual usage and the status in the infobox. I have corrected the entry, and a few words in the text to match it.

A look locally finds a few other odd combinations - a gazebo, an artwork, a locality (though that last one just looks like a bit of “tagging so that something appears on OSM Carto”).

There are also what seems to be a few pockets of misuse** - possibly because “trailhead” isn’t really a British English concept - you won’t see any reference to a “trailhead” for the Pennine Way here, even though it has a very well established start and end.

** for the avoidance of doubt, just because a few people misunderstand a tag it isn’t a reason to say that “everyone else should not use that tag” - most people (even where it’s not a regular part of the local language) are able to work out what a “trailhead” is.