I am talking about the dashed and solid brown line you can see here (live OSM version):

enter image description here

For the dash brown line, according to the legend it means "track". For the solid brown line, I can't even find a key.

What does "track" mean in this scenario?

Could it mean track you walk on? If it does, why isn't it a "footway"? Or is it for vehicles, which makes it a different kind of track, than the various footways there are?

What I am trying to do is essentially find unpaved roads or tracks, where I can drive with my car for fun. I have identified the brown lines as potential indicators of such roads, but am curious if this also indicates footways. Or if it only indicates footways. And also if there even is a way to tell which road is paved and which not by looking at the map.

Edit: I found this information: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:surface and I found an app, which, if you give it a destination it will tell you how much % of the way is paved and how much "other". So the information seems to be available, but I still don't know how to find out if a particular road is a road and is unpaved?


1 Answer 1


You can check out the underlying data, which can help to understand what is what, and if you know the area, what may be mis-tagged.

Mostly solid. Even mixture of hard and soft materials. Almost always an unpaved track.

Interesting, at the end of the dashed line there is a "turning circle", according to the map at least.

track is more fitting than residential for the roads through the vineyards

And these tags (link) which include cobblestone:

enter image description here

  • Thanks man, that was a very useful tip! Do you know, if "track" always means vehicle track or could it also mean footway? Dec 10, 2018 at 9:51
  • from my reading of the tag "highway=track", I think all highway-tags are for vehicles
    – philshem
    Dec 10, 2018 at 10:23
  • 2
    @user1721135: As documented on the highway=track¹ wiki page, a "track" in OSM is something that's wide enough for two-track vehicles. (Although there can still be legal restrictions on using the track with a vehicle – for example, access only being permitted for agricultural use or for the owner of a private track.) A footway would be tagged as highway=footway or highway=path. ¹ wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway%3Dtrack
    – Tordanik
    Jan 14, 2019 at 16:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.