OSMI: "error: disused without highway=disused"

I am currently looking at the Highways related issues in OSM Inspector, and lots of my disused:highway contributions show up as Tagging Incomplete errors.

As per the smoothness wiki, I have been using disused:highway=track + highway=path for narrow old tracks that are not passable anymore for 4-wheeled vehicles.

Any idea why these errors show up, do I need to add an extra disused=yes?

Also, where can I find more info about these OSMI validation error definitions?

Any tips would be much appreciated.

IMHO this is an OSMI issue and should be discussed with geofabrik.

General remark: while differing in degree, any automatically generated “error indication” should be considered with caution, and not just be considered an actual error because a machine said so.


I would not add disused=yes if it is still used for some things.

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“disused without highway=disused” is an invalid confusing report which should not be reported

It seems that you can report it to Issues · geofabrik/osmi_simple_views · GitHub if you care about this tool.

Personally I would recommend using JOSM validator instead, which is well maintained and less prone to producing confusing false positives.



the error message needs to be improved but such tag combinations will be reported somehow in future. OSMI intentionally reports any ways with multiple lifecycle states in parallel.

If the way is still in use but partially overgrown, just change highway=* and do not add an additional disused:highway=*. Old highway values can be retrieved from the OSM object history. disused:highway=* was invented in order to have some tag replacing the main feature tag (highway=*) when the way is out of use but is kept in order to avoid couch mappers re-adding it from satellite imagery or because they want to ignore rules in nature reserves.

Ways with both highway=* and disused:highway=* are often cases

  • when people use the tags of a feature to store historic information which is stored in the object history (tracks becoming paths), or
  • when someone changed highway=* to disused:highway=* because the way is located in a nature reserve/national park, was closed by the authorities and is becoming overgrown but someone who insists on walking there re-adds highway=* to get it back on the map (aka edit war).

Best regards



well, if someone used disused: for something no longer present that is simply mistagging

but you can map clearly present identifiable currently existing remains as disused: without engaging into invalid and unwanted mapping of gone objects - for example disused section of major road used as a path.

(and note that I am a person quite involved in eliminating gone objects mapped in OSM!)

Exactly, what’s the best way to prevent mappers to keep switching back and forth between a track and a path for e.g. old tracks that have become impassable or too narrow for 4-wheeled vehicles ?

Add tags specific to paths (e.g. trail_visibility=*, mtb:scale=*) ?. Keep smoothness=impassable ? (confusing to unaware mappers).

Btw, most mappers will not look at the changeset history, which is often lost somewhere once a segment is split.

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note= is the usual tag to communicate with other mappers, but it’s free form, so can be more or less easy to interpret.

It does look like a good use case for disused:.

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