Tagging for climbing


I wonder if nobody of the OSM Community is doing serious rock climbing? The only used Tag for climbing I can find is sport=climbing. But there is no real definition which typ of climbing (f.e ice climbing, mixed climbing, technical, etc.). The only definition available is for indoor climbing.
There is an proposed feature http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Climbing but this aims for tagging each route at the climbing side… there are too many sides with 10 routes next to each other, how could u tag that with GPS accuracy of 3meters? Also there was no discussion about this tagging proposial for over 2 years :frowning:

It would be nice if someone could work on this topic (I would do it, if I had more experience at OSM and the voting system in the wiki etc.)

edit: There is an discussion in german in the germany forum

Drazhar, I share your impression - have a look at my post “How can we get the climbing sites (!) quickly into OSM?” at the discussion page of the proposal you linked at. IMHO, we shall focus on the information that really belong to a map, so adding the “bigger elements” like climbing sites, areas, sectors, crags, indoor,… with limited meta information like number of routes or links to additional information (topos!) - like this, we can accumulate relatively quickly a critical mass of information so it’s useful and attracts climbers to OSM.

The metioned discussion in German forum are can be found at http://forum.openstreetmap.org/viewtopic.php?id=15152

Good question.

I know there are one or two serious climbers in OSM, and walkers with light alpine experience, but for now I think it’s difficult to tag climbing routes.

A good place to start is with small bouldering or short crag routes (single pitch) with very easily defined places to start & finish. Then just map these two locations without trying to directly map route on crag. Difficulty grading should do something similar to the SAC scale for walking or MTB for Mountain Biking; but which grading system to use is problematic.

Alpine routes are a complete mess (for instance highway=path for the Hoernli ridge on the Matterhorn). A concerted effort to work on the main VN/Normalweg for say all alpine 3000 m metre peaks with a prominence of over 250 m might help to develop a more consistent approach. However, this really means access to suitable GPS traces.


Ya, I know the topic. I think I started it :slight_smile:

IMHO it is impossible to tag the start and end point of a climbing route.
The only thing which makes sense is to tag where an climbing crag is and some basic information about it.
Normally you don’t go to a climbing side without any topo or something similar. But to see where the crag is helps a lot sometimes… And if there are enough crags, osm will probably give a good overview.

Right - I just posted the link so others can find that specific topic with ease :slight_smile:

I think it is *possible *to map single routes, but it currently makes no sense - due to inaccuracy of GPS & Glonass (especially concerning altitude which is the main difference between start & end of climbing routes :wink: ) and due to the fact that we are not even halfway to an agreed tagging scheme for routes and we do not have a considerable amount of the elements that “contain” routes: climbing areas/spots/crags. Hence I fully agree to focus on mapping the crags and access paths, as we do have mostly agreed tagging schemes for these right now, and we can quickly reach a critical mass, and this data already helps a lot! :slight_smile:

When we have that, we can care about the details i.e. climbing routes (and yes, of course, we can already start to discuss + test how to do that). It’s the same approach that worked fine for the street network: Mapping most bigger streets and cities was done first, mapping all the details (like service roads, tracks etc.) came mostly later. :slight_smile:

Would it make sense to store binary data relating to a climbing route (e.g. images, vectors, etc.) in OSM, or is that not possible?

I am working on an idea at the moment, which requires quite a lot of metadata to be stored somewhere for each route and I’d like for it to be in an open database ideally…

Sorry, I don’t *know *about that, but guess the core OSM database is not suited for larger binaries as it shall be optimized for node/way/relation and tag based queries. But I know there are some open binary stores, e.g. for open aerial photos, or for any media files at wikimedia commons. I think you will receive much more & better answers if you ask this question in some area where much more technology guys are present, e.g. at a hack weekend (like today in Karlsruhe), forum or the like. Good luck! :slight_smile:


I have a stupid question about that: what should we do to have a logo for climbing sites? That would make them a lot more visible.

Hi Pimousse,

what do you mean with a logo? :slight_smile: Some little icon/picture that’s displayed on the map, like those for parking, hut, viewpoint etc. at http://osm.org/go/0IagaVhUo-? Then we’ll need

  1. an icon, surprise, surprise :smiley: There’s one in JOSM editor, but it’s not nice/modern, and on the web are several free icon sets like http://www.sjjb.co.uk/mapicons/contactsheet – some of them may contain a nice climbing icon.
  2. a decision by I-don’t-know-whom that the map rendering (translates the raw data/tags into graphic map) shall be extended by a rule for climbing. I guess reading in OSM wiki and/or forum will reveal how those decisions work. I somehow doubt climbing will be judged as important enough to be displayed, even tough many people do climb - but you’ve to try :slight_smile:
  3. and the rule code. That’s probably rather simple.

By the way, you for several renderers (e.g. Locus on Android) you can make changes for yourself, e.g. for Locus there’s a nice “rendering theme” for mountain hiking named Elevate http://www.openandromaps.org/kartenlegende/elevation-hike-theme that displays stuff that’s usually invisble (difficulty & type of mountain paths etc). Sadly, sport=climbing is not yet contained in openandromaps-maps (making it impossible to render it), but discussion started.

Greetings, Georg

Thank you for your answer… That is indeed what I was looking for, and now I realize that it has little to do with tagging.

There is a ticket asking for rendering climbing sites that is quite old:

Hi Pimousse,

Have you tried to use EGNOS to get a better accuracy than the one achieved by GPS only? By the way the upcoming (next year) Galileo is expected to help you with iuts cm level accuracy!

With regards to EGNOS, please let me share with you WalkEGNOS.com: It is a EU co-funded project (still in beta version) allowing users to share their “EGNOS powered” tracks, that represents an improvement, being more precise, with respect to common GPS tracks.

The benefit is that EGNOS corrections are added in post processing, so you will not have any coverage issues.

Hope it helps, bye!