Trail relationships and node

After figuring out why trails can’t be found in OsmAnd (cause they were not in relationships!), I am now all about fixing that!

I understand why something like a Appalachian Trail has its own relationship, but I think for trails in a park it makes more sense to designate them as local, and toss all trails in that park in a single relationship. Is there recommendation on this?

Another question: I don’t understand what are trail nodes that show up in OsmAnd. How do they can created and why?

And another one: on “route” tag: what’s a good way to designate a multipurpose trail? Create two same route relationships, only differing on “route” tag? Or, use multiple values: “route=bicycle;inline_skates;foot”?

You need to read the “Relations are not categories” page on the wiki. What you suggest is poor practice, and particularly poor practice if it’s to fix a bug in a software product. Instead raise an issue with OSMAnd developers.

The best solution will be to add a relationship for those trails, but it’s only the relationship for each particular trail - they are not grouped in an overall relationship.

I have used route=bicycle, foot=yes, inline_skate=yes , although it is also not incorrect to create 3 route relations, 1 for each use type. The first method (=yes) should enable routers to find the paths, a relation for each mode may highlight on specialty maps although it will be harder to maintain and may lead to errors as others don’t realize there are many relations on the path as they edit.

I understand we are operating under imperfect setup, but I still don’t understand how to proceed… Looking at a park with a spider web of trails, none have designated names, yet I know they are nice enough to suggest to others. Should I create a relationship per each path segment? Or, should I create proposed loops out of segments, where a route relationship would reflect a proposed activity?

Another variation of the same question:
How do you describe partially overlapping trails - add path segment to multiple relationships?
<<A good example for a valid and useful grouping is the “route” relation, where multiple ways are connected to form a cycle route or a walking route or something else;>>
I am ok assuming I always work on “something else”. :slight_smile:

By all means create a website saying “here’s this great network of trails that you should explore”, but it’s not really for OpenStreetMap. One of OSM’s key ideas is verifiability, so by all means map what you can see - surface details, access, connectivity and all that, but don’t invent names for things that don’t really have names.

No to both. Only create a route relation if a set of trails is part of a designated route, like your example of the Appalachian Trail or a designated local walking route. Don’t create fictitious route relations all over the place just to overcome a bug with a particular app. If a trail is just a trail, then leave it like that.

As for the initial issue of the trails not showing up in the app, I’d be pretty surprised if OsmAnd didn’t render standard trails at this point. Maybe you can post a link showing which trails aren’t showing up and we can see if there’s some kind of tagging issue?

The issue is that **OsmAnd **cannot search for cycling path / foot path / path, unless it is in a route relationship.

The same issue is true for dedicated OSM-based sites, such as **Waymarkedtrails **which shows only ~10 trails around Chicago, where I know it should be in hundreds:!41.8677!-87.7211

So, although **OsmAnd **has this huge database of trails, the only current options to search for hikes are use commercial apps (like alltrails) , or try to find a local website saying “here’s this great network of trails that you should explore”. I don’t know how to do Turbo-Overpass search from a smart phone, nor would it be practical for a non-technical users.

To summarize, I am looking for mechanism for OSM data to be available in user-friendly manner for bikers/hikers/etc.

That definitely sounds like an OsmAnd issue, but I suspect that there’s also a British English vs American English difference here too. It might sound like a daft question, but how do you define a “trail”? If I was looking for somewhere to walk or cycle it might or might not happen to coincide with a route (named or not) that someone “official” has put together.

For example, compare “waymarked trails” of an area near me with a map that’s designed to show “where you might want to walk”. Waymarked trails shows (as you’d expect) the lwn, rwn etc. relations:!53.1909!-1.3325 . The other map (full disclosure - I created it) shows many more options - the red and blue correspond to specific kinds of English/Welsh legal right of access, roads show whether you’re likely to get run over walking along them, etc. There are also parks with ways in them just to the southeast and northwest.

If you asked an app to look for a trail in that area, what would you expect it to returm?

…I think your point is helping me to get to the heart of the matter.

Ultimately, as an end user, I would be looking to use the application to find a “hiking experience”. If OsmAnd/Waymarkedtrails allowed it, I want to enter search parameters: hike, distance, roundtrip, incline level, scenic level, etc, and I would expect to get matching results that constitute a reasonable “hiking experience”. Right now, they only find route relations.

To denote that a trail or a set of paths is a “hiking experience” I started this conversation with assumption that OSM route relation is a good way for a local to indicate that.

If the trail-managing organization did not post signs denoting name for a trail does it automatically imply the trail should not be OSM route relation? I don’t want search results for all “paths / foots paths”, since a lot of OSM contributors use those to mark pedestrian oriented features, and would be pure noise while looking for a good hike.

You created a separate site (very impressive!). Are you using it just to display OSM data in different format, or you are also storing a layer of additional information linked to OSM?

Someone did a proof of concept in the UK a few years back for round trip walks from railway stations designed for pretty much that. I can’t remember the site name though, and no idea if it still exists.

There are certainly a few “well known but unsigned” long-distance routes in OSM. I don’t think the “Coast to Coast” route is signed much if at all, but it’s widely walked as a route and very well known.

Maybe look for other tags? surface perhaps?

There’s some natural earth data up to around zoom level 9, but other than that it’s just OSM. It started life as what OSM’s “standard” map was around 2014, before it got more optimised around displaying city detail.

It might be worth noting that some unsigned aggregations of footpaths are defined by guidebooks and subject to database copyrights. Adding them to OSM could cause a real financial loss to the publisher, and make it worth their while to take legal action.