Private paths mapped getting deleted

I have mapped a number of paths using satellite imagery etc. but some of these paths are on private land. I marked the access as private but a user keeps deleting them, saying they are not public footpaths. Can anyone confirm that these paths should still be mapped? I don’t want to cause conflict but it seems to me that paths should be mapped as they are on the ground.

Interesting topic!

Assuming you are from UK, but we had some similar issues in the Netherlands.
I do not know the exact differences between UK (England?) and Dutch laws in these, but in NL all roads an paths can be mapped.

E.g. private and non accesible roads and path on military area, royal gardens etc. ere mapped on official topographic maps and so on OSM.

If an owner does not want others on his ways (assuming he had the right to do so) he must clearly indicate that by proper fencing and no-access signs or alike.

Removing from the map what is on the ground is not done and can be considered as vandalism and the editor can be warned or banned by DWG.

Owner can bulldozer the road of course, then it will be removed from OSM.

There been similar stories from Austria, too. There, the essential point is the information in the municipal database, they call it the Kataster over there. But certainly it is vandalism to remove things from OSM that are visible in the landscape, and our database has been most supportive against such vandalism.

The best approach is to comment on one of the changesets. This pushes visibility up, other members of the community can comment and if necessary escalate.

At present such things need to be handled with a bit of sensitivity. People seem to be taking as read that a path shown on OSM is one they can walk on and because of lockdown any local paths are getting much more heavily used than usual. Not every map renders access permissions differently.

Arguments which can be used:

  • Deleting doesnt help, someone will just add it back because its a missing feature. Far better to have it marked with correct access rights.
  • Show that its visible on, say, Google Aerial/Satellite imagery
  • Show that paths are marked on OS mapping
  • A path or road does not indicate a right of way.
  • If in the countryside & tracks or service roads: ask if they get Amazon deliveries, and remark that deleting stuff may result in delays (I think this takes people aback & also makes them realise they get some benefit from OSM).

Lastly a link to the area would be useful too.

Thanks all. I should have said I’m in the UK (updated my profile now).

These paths are of little importance but as they can clearly be seen on the ground, it makes sense to me that they should be mapped. I wanted to make sure I had the right idea. Expect it’s just a misunderstanding. If they do get deleted again, I’ll try leaving a constructive comment. I think the path not indicating a right of way argument is the key one here.

I have had similar issues with a member in the CIS, who looked at an old Bing map and saw that a new intersection didn’t match that map. So he corrected my “large mistake” and noted that intersections were not built like the way I had done it. Unfortunately, he was wrong himself.

This what it looks like now:

Do not copy the labels from the image above; even though the aerial imagery is from Bing Maps (as one can see in the URL)!

Before the reconstruction of the intersection starting about seven years ago, the overpass bridge (vertical, north-south in the image) crossed straight over the expressway (I-80) as a divided highway (a bridge in each direction. Now, it is a diverging Diamond Interchange as you can see.

I was told that local knowledge did not pertain. Only aerial photography was pertinent. Sigh.

Yes, this problem will not go away.

In the Dutch discussion, I understood that many landowners are - understandably! and rightly! - annoyed with trespassing, and will do whatever they ever can think of to keep people away. Which includes making the ways on their property less visible to the public at large. There is however no indication that trespassers base their routes on OSM data, or on any map for that matter; many people will simply wander their way without regard for private property.

We have the same problems in Belgium and we typically use the same arguments SK53 mentioned above. Most of the time people understand that.