Using OSM to increase use of little used public footpaths.

Hi, all.

Here in the UK, we are fortunate to have a large network of public footpaths, some of which date back many centuries. Unfortunately, due to some footpaths being poorly signposted, and underused, they are at risk of becoming massively overgrown with vegetation, or just lost because they are no longer distinguishable. My question is, is there a way that OSM could be used to indicate which footpaths are most or least heavily used, allowing the general public to use/ explore the footpaths at risk of disappearing? I’m thinking that this could be ‘game-ified’ and people could use smartphones, etc, to gain points (or some other form of recognition), for using paths, or being the first person to record a track/ trace on one.

Not sure whether this is the correct sub-forum, so I’ll post elsewhere.

Many thanks,


There seem to be plenty of people hiding and searching for geocaches so that might be a way to attract a few to remote paths to increase their tally.

I’m sure that you could do something like that. As a sort-of related thing (but not at all “gamified”) I wrote to keep track of places that need surveying (I use it mostly for footpaths that I’ve seen one end of but not walked down), and depending on what you wanted to do I’m sure you could come up with some way to do it. Generally speaking things in OSM happen because someone just gets on with it - very little is “official”, so I’d just get on with it and ask any questions along the way.

Other examples of things that might be similar you might want to look at and .

Re “is this the right forum”, most of the GB people are in currently, but a few also frequent the UK forum here. There’s also #osm-gb on IRC (on OTRS) - probably a dozen or so people in there.

Good luck!

(edit: my error; I’d previously said “the GB forum here”)

Thank you both for your answers, and apologies for the late reply. I’ll see if I can ‘drum up’ some interest in Talk-GB.



I have copied this thread to ‘users: United Kingdom’, so please check there for replies.