Is OSM-QA user a bot?If so any reason its whipping names of trails?

User in question:

Its weird because he/it wiped most of the moutain bike trails names in this area:

Is this a bot of some sort?

Given that they’re replying to changeset comments, probably not :slight_smile:

(that doesn’t mean that what they’re doing is correct of course)

Names can be tricky - see for details. Do the names that were removed meet that test?

Well, it looks like the user in question doesn’t know the area or holds some kind of gruge to moutainbikers, I can see from the link you submitted he has called on himself to be an OSM vigilante deleting stuff that doesnt suit his standards.

I’m aware that naming paths in the middle of nowhere could be considered tricky, but at least in this case many if not most of them were specifically carved for MTB and are maintained by the MTB community as you could atest by the large number of man made berms and jumps. Although some are used by trail runners all well still not very fun to walk/hike on trails that some times reach 20% incline or more and you either have to step down/climb somewhat large drops that Downhill guys usually are ripping at large speeds.

Case in point:

However these are community generated names (usualy by the people that build these same trails) like these guys:

So what kind of Verifiability can I append to trail names?

It looks to me as though you are naming the paths, rather than the routes.

I suspect you should have unnamed paths, and then create route relations to name them.

This article: seems to give guidance on the use of names that don’t appear on signs etc. It basically says you have to decide whether the name is widely known locally or known to sufficiently few people that it would be difficult to verify.

Basically, ask yourself, if you were not in the local mountain biking community, how would you discover the name? If there is no easy way to do so, it probably should not be used.

But thats the thing, isn’t it? The paths/trails in question were opened (and are kept as such) by the local mountain bike community, many outside (new) people are attracted to the area because of videos/photos/forums and also because this area it really is a MTB hub with a lot of cool trails built specifically for MTB but have no idea where to begin with.

The locals have no need to have the names, they know most of them.I started adding the paths, with the common names I’ve heard from them (the locals that started showing me the trails) and also my interpretation of the mtb:scale acording to the guidelines:

Most moutainbikers either use Opencyclemap or SygmaMap (on GPSies) or to find where the trails they have heard of are, but if they have no name on map to begin with how would they know?

Also as GPS alternatives like Android Oruxmaps with mapsforge maps ( are becoming more popular its a great help to have the names and mtb:scale on OSM because it gives a specific render that makes it easy to identify trails on the field.That is basically the only contributions I make but they arent really for me, It’s to help other fellow moutainbikers.

For MTB maps only one could easily use Trailforks ( but I dont like that solution as I have no way to use that info with 3rd party GPS apps like Oruxmaps/Locusmaps, as such I dont collaborate with it.

But from that link you mentioned, it does seem to validate my point of view:

But my reall question is: what kind of links/references can one add/use to the paths/trails on OSM (using JOSM) to at least try to validate my point of view to other people that simply dont agree and try to delete the whole thing?
This wasn’t the only changeset in question, there are other ones covering a much bigger area made by the same user.

You didn’t take on the point about these possibly being routes.

The cycle map rendering certainly knows about named routes: although I would suggest that the name on the underlying track should not be there, and only the route should carry the name.

I did, I understand what you are saying, the thing is I believe many of the OSM based maps mountain-bikers use don’t display route names.
will have to check it out but I’m fairly certain they don’t.

But what I really would like to know is how can one add other name sources? Should I just put them in the notes while uploading changes?

The fact that the renderer doesn’t use the names is not an excuse for putting them elsewhere. That is called tagging for the renderer, and is one of the cardinal sins of mapping on OSM.

You need to get the authors of those tools to render the information provided, from the correct place.

Incidentally, not understanding routes seems to be a major omission, although, if it is just a case of only using references, I can see valid reasons why they might want to do that, to save clutter.

On the subject of rendering routes, it’s fairly easy to do if you want to create a map style that does that. I wrote a diary entry ages ago and currently show walking, road cycling and horse riding routes as per on a map of the UK and Ireland. If you wanted to show MTB trails you could use the same sort of logic.

There’s also an OSM wiki page about it: .

I’m havibng a hard time understanding this, first I’m told I can’t name paths because there isn’t signs on these paths, althought the refences point to the fact that should be ok

Althought some of these trails DO have wooden carved signs stating their name :stuck_out_tongue:
This tells me the person who did this mass deletion doesn’t have any knowledge what so ever from the ground.Plus: he/she did this sort of stuff on a national scale:

And in many other places.
User created in 2017 and he/she already undermined the collaboration of dozen of people that took years to gather.

I was under the impression all this years I was really contributing to improve something community oriented that could also serve for MTB, granted it might not serve many people outside MTB but I guess as it become more prominent it started bothering some people.

I’m done here, off to Trailforks. Can close this discussion, I cant keep banging my head around this.

The last comment on was “This changeset has been reverted fully or in part by changeset 59584814 where the changeset comment is: restore names of mountainbiking trails to their earlier state before mass deletion at user request; forum discussion mentions naming routes instead but this is a start.”

Obviously you’re free to contribute wherever you want, but the data in this changeset has been restored. If there are more that need doing, please let people know. Following an IRC discussion a couple of days ago I was waiting for a Data Working Group ticket to appear, but I’ve not seen one.

  • Andy (from the DWG)

What is the reason for suggesting naming a route relation rather than the path itself in this example? My initial reaction when I came across a similar set of mapped MTB trails in Ireland was exactly the same, that the names should have been on routes rather than ways. But on thinking it through, I found it hard to put my finger on why it should be done this way, and in the end felt I couldn’t justify making a change.

It seems a bit different from typical hiking and bicycle trails that are made up of a variety of roads/tracks/paths that generally have an existence, and often a name, completely independent of the route. I have mapped many such hiking relations myself. But in this example, it appears the MTB trails have no other purpose and no other name. (And at least in the example I saw in Ireland the names were signposted so verifiability was not an issue). So how are they different from any other named way?

I’m genuinely unsure of the right approach here so interested in arguments for either method.

I can’t tell how the trails in question came about, but my suggestion of using route is based on the assumption that these features already existed and could be encountered the general public, who would consider them to be unnamed footpaths or bridleways.

The part about the general public encountering them is relevant, even if they were created specifically for the MTB community. If they are accessible to the general public, but that public wouldn’t know their names, they should probably be treated as anonymous.

Also, in my experience, names with “trail” in them, generally represent an aggregation of many types of way. In fact, if you look at the full contents of the case where I pointed out a route and a way having the same name, not all of the ways on that route actually have that that name, even in the current mapping, which again suggests the name is one for the route, not the way.