Login to Openmtbmap

email feed

Recent Comments


The Openmtbmap is based on . This means that you can and should help to improve the maps. You can think of openmtbmap as an equivalent to Wikipedia – but not as a general encyclopedia, but one for map data. Instead of writing on how you can work on the maps myself – I will include links to the most important wiki pages on If you don't know what Openstreetmap is about – you can read up on it here: If you want to help improve the maps please read through the introduction here: Beginners_Guide Note that point 5 of the Beginneers_Guide is done here on for you. So you can improve the map by gathering data with your GPS, then uploading the GPX tracks, and then editing the openstreetmap data with JOSM or Potlatch. There is also a good overview here on the map_making_overview.


Mountainbike related information

One grand thing about OSM is that we can add information to it that is relevant to mountainbikers but does not show up in general maps. I was one of the big forces behind the mtb:scale proposal that gives us a difficulty grading for ways suitable for Mountainbikers. However many people have asked what they can do so that ways suitable for mountainbiking can be clearly identified. The foremost important page you should look up is the mountainbike portal: I want to  encourage you to use the mtb:scale and to add mtb and bicycle routes. Also allways interesting for mtbikers is the bicycle portal. The keys described on that page are of course also displayed if possible  in the


The highway=footway vs highway=path dilemna.

the highway=path tag is not so old as the footway tag. I recommend giving the footway tag only to streets which are for pedestrians only, e.g. in citys. If you can cycle on it legally (no streetsign depicting it as footway) and with decent speeds inside of cities (let's say cycling with +20km/h is usually possible, or the way is in the countryside and other uses but footwalking seem possible (e.g. taking your mule, your horse, your mtb,… with you) then change the footway tag to highway=path. – If you miss some important things here – include it in a comment. If I think it is really important I will add it to the article


Incline tag – needed to stop autorouting uphill on difficult downhill trails

All trails from which I can assume that they are usable downhill only will be only used as oneway for autorouting. This means uphill on relatively easy trail, downhill much more technical. In order for this to work you need to use the incline tag correctly. I have rules setup to catch more or less any value, be it incline=up or incline=down, incline=(-)??% or also wrong tags like incline=positive or incline=-. Any way with mtb:scale:uphill=4 or mtb:scale:uphill=5 (see mtb:scale for explication of mtb:scale:uphill) will be made oneway if inlcline tag exists to specify the incline direction. Therefore please add mtb:scale:uphill and incline tags to all your favourite trails that are too difficult for uphill. mtb:scale:uphill=3 will be considered oneway if incline>15% or incline<-15%.


It does not matter whether the way itself in the osm database points uphill or downhill. I reverse ways pointing uphill when rendering the maps. This is of course only possible if the incline tag exists on the way.


Describe how much fun it is to bike somewhere – Subjective Pleasure

Both Openmtbmap and Velomap now take into account class:bicycle for route calculation. Whereas the above information is very important to describe objectively the technical difficulty, class:bicycle is the key to subjectively rate trails and streets for cycling pleasure. Please make use of class:bicycle:mtb and class:bicycle:mtb:technical to highlight your favourite trails.


Other tags that I find useful and will use for my maps that are not that well known:


Key:smoothness (preferable over tracktype)



… to be ammended


So that is a lot of possibilities – what should I do?

Well first of all contribute as much as you can, while keeping it fun. I recommend to use mtb:scale on all ways where you have fun mtbiking. Use mtb:scale:uphill especially if it is very difficult or impossible to cycle uphill on the way. In that case don't forget to add incline to tell others the direction of the way.

For other ways like pathes, tracks, bridleways and cycleways please always insert at least tracktype or smoothness so it becomes more clear who and how this way can be used. For example if a way is only tagged as highway=cycleway but no tracktype or smoothness – noone can know if you can use that way with a racing bicycle, or maybe even a trekking bike will be unsuitable.

Besides of course information like oneway for streets, or class:bicycle are very good to be used.


23 comments to Participate

  • Josef Holzapfel

    Man kommt ja auf der OSM Seite sehr schön und schnell in einen Editiermodus.
    Leider finde ich dort keine Möglichkeit für das Eintragen von MTB scale.
    Geht das (noch) nicht?

    Gruß Sepp

    • extremecarver

      doch natürlich. Du musst nur in den Detailed Modus gehen, und mtb:scale “links” eintragen, und im rechten Feld den Wert. Es wird nur nicht vorgeschlagen..

      • Josef Holzapfel

        Also das klappt jetzt ganz gut und ich male fleißig Linien. Ein Problem habe ich noch mit der Richtung der Linien.
        Die ist für mich nicht erkennlich, also kann ich auch nicht eingeben ob incline up oder down oder die Steigungsprozente. Das wäre m.E. oft hilfreich. Oder macht das dein Programm automatisch nach den Höhenlinien?

        Grüsse Sepp

        • extremecarver

          Das ist leider ein Problem vom neuen Editor ID – diesbezüglich leider Schrott. Alternativ kannst du aber noch Potlach2 als Editor auswählen online, bzw halt JOSM Offline.

          Und nein, automatisch geht leider nicht.

  • stetun

    Hi I am trying to install contours in egypt however basemap neither shows the egypt map properly nor the contours I need it on the laptop not on any device. any help greatly appreciated. thank you! stephanie

  • MtDrexlhuber

    Hallo Felix,

    In Spanischen Örtchen wimmelt es von engen Gassen und Einbahnstraßen (Mtb-Tour auf dem Silberpfad von Sevilla nach Salamanca, letzten September). Die OpenMtbMap hat fast ausschießlich in falscher Richtung geroutet, selbst wenn Einbahnstraßen in korrekter Richtung vorhanden waren, und kürzer gewesen wären. Die Karten-Version war von Anfang September 2012. Angekommen bin ich trotzdem. Danke für die tollen Karten.

    • extremecarver

      Schwer zu sagen – gegen die Richtung sollte nur in kleinen Straßen geroutet werden — allerdings mit niedriger Priorität. Waren die Einbahnstraßen großteils in OSM als Einbahnstraßen getagged? Manchmal versagt aber auch einfach der Garmin Routingalgo.

  • Frans Smulders

    Fiets momenteel in spanje in de omgeving van girona.
    Enkele opmerkingen.
    Net buiten Vidreres richting Sils is op de C63 een rotonde aangebracht.
    In Sant Dalmai aan de GI533 kan men voortaan links af naar Brunyola de GIV 5334 die uitkomt op de C63 net boven St. Colomba. Det weggetje is voortaan geheel geasfalteerd.

    Mvrgr. Frans Smulders

  • Friedrich Kircher

    as a new member I accept the invitation to participate with ideas. And I do it as an active OSM mapper, mountaineer and hobby webmap-producer (see :)

    * The highway=footway dilemma:
    I agree with the difference made above. That footway should be used in cities and for pedestrians, meanwhile path for general use, in particular in rural areas. This is so recommended in the OSM fora. In Latin America we tag also in this sense.

    * Other tags that I find useful
    – heath, scree and bare_rock, congratulations to render this, a nice surprise!

    Tags (surfaces and lines) which are rendered, but colour could be improved:
    – heath: seems to me too dark, not all what is “heath” corresponds to the German Heidekraut.
    – bare_rock: could be a bit darker and more solid, the last to facilitate reading of text.
    – glaciers: the colour is too blue, like water.
    – paths with sac_scale 3, 4: It is typical for this kind of paths that they go through scree, rock and snow, so for better recognition on the screen, they should be less thin or with stronger colours (not grey in grey). The indicator of the name with “T4″, “T5″ moving the GPS cursor helps the user to understand that this path is not easy.

    Tags which are rendered, but icon should be improved (made bigger/coloured):
    – camp_site
    – mountain_pass
    – peak (very important!)

    Tags useful but not yet rendered with openmtbmap:
    – cave_entrance
    – drinking_water

    * So that is a lot of possibilities – what should I do?
    Well, I already learned a lot here in 48 hours reading and using maps and as mapper I will be know more conscious of the “smoothness”-tag which I have ignored.

    Proposal to the openmtbmap:
    When you find the time, please
    - split the countourlines file of South America, 1,8 GB is too big.
    - split the South America Map in country files, for better handling. In recent years the OSM community has grown a lot in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Argentina. (I myself am based in Bogota).

    Again, congratulations for the work done.

    • extremecarver

      When you speak of colours, what layout are you referring too??

      As for making bigger Icons – I think they are big enough, it really depends on the usecase how important they are. My principle is to keep all POI as small as possible. Everything else in the long runs leads to difficult to read maps.

      Both cave_entrance as well as drinking_water should be rendered. Could you checkup versus Mapsource/Basecamp why you don’t see them, and also which layout // at which resolution they are missing.

      South America — well I would actually split them up – but Geofabrik doesn’t offer country files for all countries – hence I will have to keep them as one. And yes the contourlines are big, and you have to select some before sending to the GPS – but as you only need to download them once, I think it’s okay that they are big.

  • mjost

    gibt es einen Tip, wie man einen hoffentlich vorübergehenden unpassierbaren Trail markieren soll.
    Bei mir ist ein echt super Trail im Moment unpassierbar, weil lauter gefällte Bäume drüber liegen. Es ist zu erwarten, dass die Hindernisse früher oder später (hoffentlich) weggeräumt werden.
    Wie soll der bis dahin getagged werden?

  • A1S1

    habe Anfang März einige Tracks in OSM angelegt und dort erscheinen sie auch. Nun habe ich die MTB vom 11ten März installiert und da sind die Tracks nicht drauf. Da es hieß, dass die MTB-Updates alle Änderungen aus OSM darstellen würden, muss der Fehler wohl bei mir liegen. Wie kann ich nun vorgehen um den Fehler zu finden?

Leave a Reply