Should a closed leisure=track way without an area tag be interpreted as an area or as a linear feature"

The wiki suggests it may be an area feature. Looking at examples locally (Northern England), sometimes people add an explicit “area” tag to make it clear, or perhaps another tag (such as “oneway”) that implies a linear feature. Should the “sport” tag (if any) that is used with the leisure=track make a difference?

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You can map the track as a linear way if it is a linear object (example). You can also map the track as a closed way and add area=yes to indicate that it is an area. If you use a multipolygon to create the area, you do not need to use area=yes in that case (example).

The sport tag is used only to indicate which sports are played on the track. It is not used to indicate whether it is an area or a linear object.


Yes - if it’s a non-closed leisure=track way like then obviously it should be treated as a linear feature. If it’s a multipolygon relation like, then obviously it should be treated as an area.

If it’s a closed way, then if there’s an area=yes tag on it, like, then it’s clearly supposed to be treated as an area, and if it’s a closed way and has area=no on it like, then it should be treated as a closed linear way.

However, there are lots of leisure=track closed ways in OSM which don’t have area tags. Some, like
look like they’re supposed to be linear rather than area features. Some, like look like they’re supposed to be areas.

As the wiki page says, current usage is confusing. Was there a general consensus among people who mapped things as leisure=track areas globally whether a leisure=track closed way without an “area” tag on it should be treated as if it is an area feature or not?


I don’t know if there has ever been a global consensus on the subject (I doubt it). However, it seems reasonable to me to keep leisure=track as a default linear feature and allow the mapper to add area=yes if needed.

IMHO, It is likely that many leisure=track that would be better mapped as area would initially be mapped with a single closed way for convenience or lack of knowledge about the best way to do it.