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.



10 comments to Participate

  • gothandy

    First of all I absolutely love you work! I have all the maps on my garmin device all the time. You’ve also got me started participating and adding mtb trails to OSM.

    I have a question about direction of trails. Above you say you use the “incline=up/down” tag to infer direction. I’ve been using “oneway=yes”. You don’t mention this above, is there a reason?

    Thanks again.

  • punkgeek

    Thank you for doing this! I just purchased a Fenix 6 pro and donated to your effort. Bravo!

  • AK77

    Nach dem letzten Firmware Update auf dem Edge 1030 sehen Wiesenflächen aus, als wären sie überschwemmt. Wird nämlich im selben blau wie Wasser dargestellt. Hat jemand die selben Probleme? Liegt es am Edge (naheliegend, weil erst nach dem letzten Update) oder an OpenMTBMap?

  • marheer

    Ich finde keine Möglichkeit eine Frage zu stellen. Ob es hier klappt?
    Ich habe ein Garmin Edge 1030 und möchte das Grenzgebiet Deutschland und Niederlande auf mein Garmin installieren. Es funktioniert nicht, ich weiß auch nicht was ich falsch gemacht habe. Ich habe einen Win 10 Rechner, und sowohl Garmin Basecamp als auch Mapsource. Über beide habe ich es versucht zu installieren.
    Ich würde mich freuen, wenn mir jemand das schrittweise erklären würde!
    Welche Version- unicode, non unicode
    wie bekomme ich nur diese beiden Länder auf das Garmin?
    Hoffentlich bekomme ich Hilfe

    • extremecarver

      Ich weiß nicht was du genau gemacht hast. Versuche zuerst mal nur eine Länderkarte zu installieren – also Deutschland und die zu senden. Wenn das geht – dann installiere die Europakarte – das ist etwas komplizierter da du ja die 2-3 Downloads brauchst – aber prinzipiell auch einfach.
      Bei welchem Schritt geht es nicht weiter?

      • marheer

        hallo Felix

        in Mapsource lautet der Name omtb_europe_21.11.2020_UC_local

        Die Karten will ich nicht auf die SD Karte ziehen, da ich dort die Topo V 8 als SD Karte schon habe. Ich möchte also das Grenzgebiet auf den Speicher vom Garmin installieren.

        Im Anhang noch eine Beschreibung, welche Karten ich gedownloaded habe und wie ich diese auf das Garmin übertragen wollte.

        Danke Martin

        PS andere Karten habe ich noch nicht übertragen, aber auf meinem alten Garmin edge 830 hat das locker geklappt.

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