Is existence of surface=boardwalk useful?

surface=boardwalk | Tags | OpenStreetMap Taginfo records 471 uses of this tag.

Is there any good reason to use this tag for wooden boardwalks rather than surface=wood (over 168 000 uses)?

It seems to me that this tag is not really needed and to express that something is boardwalk like

CC-BY-SA-4.0 by Rhododendrites

you should rather use highway=footway bridge=yes surface=wood and so on.

Note: mass replace with surface=wood will not work, some small part of boardwalks is not made of wood but for example of a plastic.

Triggered by Note: 2435752 | OpenStreetMap and Surface overlay by matkoniecz · Pull Request #4642 · streetcomplete/StreetComplete · GitHub


I don’t think surface=boardwalk is useful either. In fact, it looks like it was probably intended to be bridge=boardwalk instead?

That is true. However, maybe surface=boardwalk+bridge=yes can be removed and replaced only with bridge=boardwalk without surface?

Update: although I see that many of them are not bridges at all so it wouldn’t help all that much… (e.g. they’re something like this or this which would probably be a stretch to call “a bridge”).


It seems like a clear, concise way to tag a boardwalk. They are often used over sand or boggy areas, and aren’t really bridges.

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If the wooden tread is on the ground then I use highway=footway and surface=wood. If is a raised structure then I add bridge=yes and layer=1.

So in my opinion surface=boardwalk is not a standard way to tag and I doubt if may data consumers will process it as desired.


When there are just some wooden planks laid on the ground I also use surface=wood in addition to the appropriate highway=* tag. If it is a raised structure why not use brige=boardwalk instead of adding a bridge=yes tag?

Anyhow I have never come across surface=boardwalk so far and it does not make any sense to me. A boardwalk is a structure, not a surface.