OSM Basics

This is a resource that summarizes a few techniques for fixing common OpenStreetMap (OSM) errors that found their way into CityStrides. It is meant as a shortcut for those unwilling to navigate the OSM learning curve for the sake of a few edits, a more detailed write-up/guide can be found here. As of October 2020 map updates are being pulled into CityStrides, detail of the query can be found here.

Signing up:

Head over to https://www.openstreetmap.org/ and create an account for yourself. To start editing navigate to the area of interest and hit “Edit” in the left top. Once all the desired edits (see below) have been made they can be uploaded by hitting “Save” in the right top corner. Keep in mind that OSM is used as a resource for many things besides CityStrides and that changes should be made in a way that reflects reality .

Private streets:

If the entire street is private, select it by clicking on it and change the “access” tags in the left panel to “private”. If only a part of a street is private, it might be necessary to split it so that the private part can be tagged appropriately. This can be done by right-clicking the node where it becomes private and selecting “Split”. The access tags on the private part can now be set as above. If there is a gate blocking access to the private part, this can be added by selecting the node and editing the feature type by selecting from the feature drop-down. Again, appropriate tags should be set for the gate. If the whole street is private, but this street is already spit into several parts, remember to set all parts of the road to ‘private’ if applicable.

Note: Per this [post], streets also tagged “no” or “customers” will also not be imported. The full import query can be seen here: CityStrides Street Query - Google Sheets

Non-pedestrian roads:

If you find a street (or section) on CityStrides that is dangerous/not pedestrian accessible in real life, change the “access” tags for pedestrian/foot to “no”. Keep in mind that longer streets are often modelled as a series of shorter segments, so you may need to repeat this until the entire segment you want to edit is covered.

Did it work?

Once the edits are done and saved it’s possible to see the effect they will (eventually) have on CityStrides by finding the edited area here (overpass turbo, updated query as of 26.03.2022) and hitting run. Only streets in blue will be in CityStrides. OSM might take a few minutes to incorporate your changes to the map.

Note: Per info in this thread, OSM Update Time Tracking , updates from OSM should occur every 5 to 6 weeks.


This explains why some of the obvious hiking/walking routes over here, had no nodes.
Paths missing their names on OSM is one reason, adding the tag Foot:yes to roads is another … now I know what to do once I finish running the whole city :sweat_smile:

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Thanks for this, there has been a few streets that would require trespassing to be completed near me. I managed to mark the private parts of these as private now. And if overpass-link in your post is correct a lot of the changes I’ve wanted done have already been fixed. Can’t wait for all changes to be updated into CityStrides, hopefully a solution can be found soon.

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I have some named pedestrian ways in a garden that charges a fee to access - what should they be marked as in OSM to prevent them coming in to CS? I saw “permissive” as an option, would that work?

Also I have seen a couple streets recently appear that are marked as future streets (or something to that effect), @JamesChevalier any thoughts on leaving those out now you are doing more regular updates? They don’t yet exist or are construction sites so certainly not runnable.

Hi Simon, I’ve updated the overpass link to reflect the current state of the OSM query so you can see how your edits will look like in CityStrides: overpass turbo, just navigate to your area and hit “run”. The query excludes ways marked fee = yes, that would seem a good way to mark the paths in your first paragraph.

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Excellent! Worked perfectly. No toy go make some more updates :slight_smile:

@8f7162110d9eeaf907ab Could a brief description of OSM “admin levels” be added? This is a term I see mentioned, and am not quite sure what it means… Going to Google it next. Thanks

Edit: Key:admin_level - OpenStreetMap Wiki

I think I get it now.


I have got a question regarding changes in OSM for “non-pedestrian roads”, specific to Germany.

I understand that, as stated above, the “access” tag for pedestrian/foot could be set to “no” and this would then be taken over by CityStrides. However, how does the OSM community see this? Access to the road is legally not forbidden (§25 StVO), but I definitely do not consider it safe.

The road in question is marked as shown on the left side in OSM (in red, I have shown the sidewalk or pedestrian walkway/cycleway combination). Note that to the right of the intersection, there is only a two-lane road without any sidewalk etc.:

Citystrides has the road as shown to the right.

Yeah, I ran the turn to the right, I know. :wink: But only to the part where the next road branches off. The road continues without any walkway whatsoever. We have a couple of roads like these, sometimes there is a walkway/cycleway that just ends as well.

So, my question is: how can these be marked correctly in OSM so that it works both for OSM and CityStrides?



you should split the section that should be ‘foot = no’ by leftclicking the street and then rightclick the nod where the split should occur. Use the scissors symbol to split the road. All tagging wil stay intaxct, but you can add the foot = no tag for that section only, and the rest say as it is. During the next CS update with OSM data, the nodes in your pic on the left will still be there, and the ones on your right(where you put foot = no) will be not there anymore in CS


Behind OpenStreetMap is the OSM Foundation. If you wish to get involved more heavily in the OSM and vote on various issues, you need to be a member of the Foundation.

There are two ways to become a member. Send them money, or make edits to the map.

If you want to send them money, membership is £15/year. There’s are two membership classes, Normal and Associate. There are strange legal differences between these two classes of membership, but since I’m not a lawyer I can’t figure them out. I suppose they make sense to an English lawyer.

The other way to become a member is to be an active contributor. The easiest way to become an active contributor is to have at least 42 mapping days in the last 365 days or equivalent. Equivalent isn’t well defined; you need to justify your membership to them.

I just recently became a member of the Foundation as an active contributor. According to their records, as of today I’ve had 73 mapping days and 132 change sets since I made my account last November. I find OSM to be somewhat addicting. After you start editing streets, you start adding paths, adding businesses, and fixing stuff that changed years ago. It’s not hard to get 42 mapping days; that’s less than once a week.

Hey, maybe you too will become a member of the OSM Foundation.

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with almost 500 mapping days and 89K changsets, i am a fervent mapper. So let’s go a step further. We’ll see what membership brings.

Damn i am even in the top 50 mappers in my country. Didn’t know that. Thanks for this insights


Not sure if this is the correct place in the forum but here goes:
In the netherlands we have a lot of “Cycle path” as type in OSM.
Would it be an idea to include them into CS?
Several places you actually must run on this path when the main road is for cars only.
Sure @petje will recognize this and may elaborate on this as he is more experienced in OSM.

True that cyclepaths are significantly part of the cities, especially in NL. Seeing the goal of this site is mapping all streets within a city border, i know a lot of situations where cyclepaths have nothing to do with streets coverage in a city.
Yes sometimes a cyclepath is runnable and the near street isn’t, but in my experience that means running that cyclepath will also cover the nodes of the street you can’t actual run on.

One unofficial tip from my side, go run on times during the day that have empty streets, then it’s possible to get ‘not runnable roads’ nodes. On a very early sunday morning i was for instance able to get a large roundabout on an industrial area. :upside_down_face: (you didn’t hear it from me, each on your own risk)

When a street is really unrunnable, i change OSM. period

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Indeed, sometimes the nodes on the main road get hit anyway but not on some dual carriage ways. On these I put foot=use_side path in OSM if there is a cycle path. Then I thought, maybe the cycle paths could be included in CS.

Not a big thing, just a thought.

(And indeed, it is sometimes fun to cross the street to get the node; why did the citystrider cross the street? :wink: )


There is a stretch of US Hwy 1 that goes through Kittery Maine that has a very large outdoor outlet mall on each side of it. There are nice sidewalks and people walking up and down it constantly. In OSM it is listed as a “Primary Road”, which I think is the reason it’s nodes do not show up on CityStrides. It does indicate yes on foot access. Is there a way to make this strip show up in this situation? This feels like a road that should exist in city strides and it has 3 or 4 different ways to enter and exit it onto various residential streets (so this is not a segment detatched from the rest.) If it matters the speed limit is 25 mph.

It is the orange road here: OpenStreetMap

There is also an automated tutorial at OSM. As I recall, once you sign up, it will ask if you would like to see it.

If not, see this: Interactive tutorial to getting started editing OSM - OSM Help

I found it very helpful.

Got totally confused trying to edit in OSM, so just left some comments, hopefully someone will pick them up! Think I’ll spend my time helping develop Citystrides rather than fiddling in OSM

@JamesChevalier , it seems that the roads I changed to foot=use_side path are still included in CS? My local OSM guru doesn’t want me to put dual carriage ways to foot=no when there is a side path because that will mess up route-planning, which makes sense. But the road is to wide to hit the nodes while running on the side-path. For example here: Groenezoom in Dordrecht, Zuid-Holland - CityStrides

Streets with foot=use_sidepath are included in CS, which is correct in my view. Mostly the sidepath is so close to the street that you catch the nodes, and it’s correct to say you ran this street, even if you’re on the sidepath and not the actual street

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And if it is too wide, you run the other side of the road!

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