The routing data for CycleStreets is based on the maps proved by the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project.
We are very grateful to GeoFabrik for providing extracts of the planet database.
[17 May 2013] Regular updates of the routing system are currently suspended in anticipation of a server upgrade.
Updating the routing data is triggered manually every few days. The procedure starts by retrieving the latest OpenStreetMap planet extract files from the GeoFabrik download site. As at September 2012 it takes about 30 hours to process that into a routing system. The final stage requires human intervention to switch over to new routing data. The log of the latest update is shown below.
For map changes to make it into our routing system they must be saved before GeoFabrik starts building the British Isles Extract. If that extract is available before the CycleStreets import is started, then those changes should make it into the following day's switch over. If either or both deadlines are missed it could be another one or two days before they appear.
The background map tiles are another matter - we do not produce these ourselves but take them from various sources. The OpenCycleMap tiles are updated at the end of the working week.
CycleStreets is now using ODbL licensed data.
Import began at Sun, 21 Apr 2013 10:54:26 +0100.
Extraction from the download via Osmosis took 7.9 hours.
Building the routing system took 23 hours to complete, finishing at Mon, 22 Apr 2013 17:46:30 +0100.
Optimisation took 10.3 hours, finishing at Tue, 23 Apr 2013 04:03:55 +0100.
|Journey planning area:||UK and Ireland|
Definition: compression ratio.
CycleStreets uses the Nominatim service to translate placenames into coordinates of longitude and latitude.
CycleStreets bases its cycle routing on map data from OSM. The ways in OSM are described by tags, and these are interpreted as streets with various types of cycling provison.
The following sections describe the main tags that are used to build CycleStreets routing. The usage column is a count of the number of ways with those tags after the processing described here has been applied.
The following table has been compiled from the OSM wiki and describes the main values of the highway tag of relevance to cycle routing. It is a summary of a more detailed list which is shown at: Basic interpretation of streets from the OSM highway tag. Note the presence of highway tag on a way implies that access=yes.
|highway=residential||This tag is used for roads accessing or around residential areas but which are not a classified or unclassified highway.||1721306|
|highway=unclassified||OSM: Public road, primarily for access to properties, paved, non-residential. In an urban context, these are likely to have pavements (sidewalks) and be fit for two-way traffic, perhaps in an industrial or commercial district.||1148713|
|highway=service||OSM: generally for access to a building, motorway service station, beach, campsite, industrial estate, business park, etc. This is also commonly used for access to parking and trash collection. Sometimes called an alley, particularly in the US.||910157|
|highway=footway||foot=designated||OSM: For designated footpaths, i.e. mainly/exclusively for pedestrians. If bicycles are allowed as well, you can indicate this by adding a bicycle=yes tag.||794384|
|highway=track||OSM: Roads for agricultural use, gravel roads in the forest etc.; usually unpaved/unsealed but may occasionally apply to paved tracks as well.||419143|
|highway=tertiary||access=yes||OSM: A class of road between secondary and unclassified. A "C" road in the UK. Generally for use on roads wider than 4 metres (13'), and for faster/wider minor roads that aren't A or B roads. In the UK, they tend to have dashed lines down the middle, whereas unclassified roads don't.||324394|
|OSM: The highway=cycleway indicates that the used way is mainly or exclusively for bicycles. Some consider it better to use highway=path if use is not restricted to cyclists. No two cyclists will ever agree what constitutes a good cycle route. Cyclists can seek out anything from only off-road routes to the quickest route on a multi-lane highway. Some want a flat commute, while others seek out hills for a recreational challenge. This is the strength of OSM. It can capture the cycling relevant data as possible, and each cyclist can choose the way that best suits.||296528|
|highway=path||emergency=destination||Shaun: Horridly complex tag, everyone uses it differently. For the UK it is probably best to use footway unless there is a bicycle=designated tag OSM: A route open to the public which is not intended for motor vehicles, unless so tagged separately. This includes snowmobile trails, ski trails, hiking trails, horse trails, bike trails and paths, mountain bike trails as well as combinations of the above and other modes of transportation. These routes may have any type of surface. The default access restriction of highway=path is "open to all non-motorized vehicles, but emergency vehicles are allowed". (Although it depends on each country what vehicles are allowed by default). This tag is used for paths for which all and any of highway=footway, highway=cycleway and highway=bridleway would be inappropriate or inadequate (or simply not sufficient), but which are nonetheless usable for travel or navigation. They might be not intended for any particular use, or intended for several different uses. Intended uses can be indicated with the access=designated keys. It is also used for hiking trails. If a path is wide enough for four-wheel-vehicles, and it is not legally signposted or otherwise only allowed for pedestrians, cyclists or horseriders, it is often better tagged as a highway=track.||282167|
|highway=secondary||motorcar=yes||OSM: A highway which is not part of a major route, but nevertheless forming a link in the national route network. It normally has 2 lanes. The traffic for both directions is usually separated by a central line on the road.||188616|
|OSM: A major highway linking large towns, normally with 2 lanes. The traffic for both directions is usually not separated by a central barrier.||140612|
|highway=trunk||surface=paved||OSM: Important roads that aren't motorways. Typically maintained by central, not local government. Need not necessarily be a divided highway. In the UK, all green signed A roads are, in OSM, classed as 'trunk'. Outside the UK bicycles are usually prohibited.||80431|
|highway=pedestrian||OSM: For town centres and civic areas, where wide expanses of hard surface are provided for pedestrians to walk (often between shops). Vehicles are able to use this kind of way, may be allowed during special hours to unload merchandise, but are often prevented from entering by bollards. Cycling may be allowed, depending on the country or local restrictions. This can be specified with bicycle=yes or bicycle=no. For small paths which are too small for cars to pass (no real streets) use highway=footway instead.||53120|
|OSM: For flights of steps on footways.||53004|
|OSM: A way intended for use by pedestrians and horse riders. In the UK and Czech Republic, these are rights-of-way for pedestrians and equestrians (horses). Cyclists are also permitted (by Countryside Act of 1968) unless subject to orders made by local authority. Usually bridleways are signed "no cycles" where this is the case and a reasonable default assumption is that cycles are permitted where not explicitly prohibited. There is no obligation to ensure suitability for use by bicycle.||28468|
|highway=living_street||maxspeed=*||OSM: Living streets - compared to residential streets (highway=residential) - have special regulations like lower speed limits, special parking restrictions, special traffic rules, etc.||26039|
|In order to help calculate the correct exit number from roundabouts for display in route listings, ways of this type infer bicycle=yes here. After roundabouts have been processed all motorway_link ways are deleted to avoid serving them as part of a route.||23398|
|highway=road||OSM: A road of unknown classification. This is intended as a temporary tag to mark a road until it has been properly surveyed. Once it has been surveyed, the classification should be updated to the appropriate value.||21619|
|highway=trunk_link||surface=paved||OSM: The link tags are used to identify ramps or slip roads connecting other more standard highways to each other. Outside the UK bicycles are usually prohibited.||17874|
|OSM: The link tags are used to identify ramps or slip roads connecting other more standard highways to each othe.||7391|
|highway=ferry||Slow crossing, with a half an hour delay.[This is not a valid OSM highway tag value, it is inferred from route=ferry by CycleStreets.]||1666|
|highway=aerialway||Used for various forms of transport for passengers and goods that use wires, including cable-cars, chair-lifts and drag-lifts.||954|
|highway=byway||This is a deprecated tag and describes an UK-only road. Please tag it as highway=track or highway=path as appropriate, and its legal designation with designation=byway_open_to_all_traffic or designation=restricted_byway.||636|
|highway=construction||construction=yes||OSM: The construction tag may be used for any road or railway under construction.||51|
|OSM: A busway that is side guided "rails like", not suitable for other traffic.||7|
The following table summarizes the most common values:
|cycleway=track||bicycle=designated||OSM: A track is a cycle path that is separated from cars.||307361|
|cycleway=lane||bicycle=designated||OSM: A lane is a cycle track that lies within the roadway (known as "bike lanes" in the United States).||27537|
|cycleway=opposite||OSM: The route may be cycled in the direction opposite of other traffic, but does not have a dedicated lane.||16340|
|cycleway=shared||Where the cycleway is shared with other users. The use of this tag needs further investigation - as there seems to be various ways of indicating this in OSM.||2314|
|cycleway=opposite_lane||OSM: The route is a lane, but bicycles may go in the direction opposite of other traffic. Only applies where oneway=yes.||1557|
|cycleway=segregated||When pedestrians and cyclists are separated from each other. The use of this tag needs further investigation - as there seems to be various ways of indicating this in OSM.||650|
|cycleway=opposite_track||OSM: The track may be cycled in the direction opposite of other traffic.||470|
OSM: "Use access tags to describe the allowed or preferred level of access along a footpath, road or any other kind of way element. For describing the legal accessibility of an element. Use the access=* key to describe a general access restriction (all transport modes). This may be tightened or relaxed by adding keys which describe access for more specific modes of transport. These keys each have a place in an implied tree structure in which keys become narrower in scope as they branch out from the root."
The following table summarizes how the access tag is used on OSM ways for the UK and Ireland in December 2010.
|access=yes||OSM: The public has an official, legally-enshrined right of access, i.e. it's a right of way. This is assumed, if not already present, and means that this way is open to the public.||4828940|
|access=no||OSM: Access by this transport mode is not permitted, public does not have a right of way. This route is prohibited and will not appear in CycleStreets (unless overruled in the foot or bicycle tag).||1642224|
|access=permissive||It is generally accepted that you are allowed to use this route without asking for permission. But perhaps this should include a note in itinerary listing.||17583|
|access=destination||OSM: The public has right of access only if this is the only road to your destination. This route should only be used as a means of getting to or from a specific point. It should not be used for transit to somewhere else.||10138|
|access=private||OSM: The owner may give permission on an individual basis. Passing through here requires special permission. Definitely should be noted in itinerary listings.||8557|
|access=designated||OSM: A way marked for a particular use. Normally the designation is with the particular use, such as foot=designated or bicycle=designated.||3472|
The access tag can be overruled by the foot or bicycle tag, see below.
The following table summarizes how the bicycle tag is used on OSM ways for the UK and Ireland in December 2010.
|bicycle=yes||Cycling is permitted, overriding the access tag.||5001671|
|bicycle=dismount||Riders are either required or requested to dismount along this section or route. Use of this tag is expected to grow now that it is accessible in the OSM Potlatch 2 online editor.||1058584|
|bicycle=designated||OSM: The way is a preferred/designated route for a specific vehicle type or types. Basically this means that it is part of a cycle route.||311998|
|bicycle=no||OSM: Access by this transport mode is not permitted, public does not have a right of way. This is interpreted to mean that bicycles are not welcome here, neither ridden nor pushed.||136601|
|bicycle=permissive||OSM: The owner gives general permission for access. Same interpretation as for the access tag.||15233|
|bicycle=destination||OSM: The public has right of access only if this is the only road to your destination. Same as access=destination.||7654|
|bicycle=private||OSM: The owner may give permission on an individual basis. Same interpretation as for the access tag.||5205|
The following table summarises how the foot tag is used on OSM ways for the UK and Ireland in December 2010.
|foot=yes||OSM: The public has an official, legally-enshrined right of access, i.e. it's a right of way. Use of this tag is very high because of a feature of Potlatch 1.||5257653|
|foot=designated||OSM: The way is a preferred/designated route for walking. Means that it is part of a walking route.||698304|
|foot=no||OSM: Access by this transport mode is not permitted, public does not have a right of way. Not for walking. If the way also has bicycle=yes there is usually a separate way nearby for walking.||533176|
|foot=permissive||OSM: The owner gives general permission for access. Same interpretation as for the access tag.||37255|
|foot=destination||OSM: The public has right of access only if this is the only road to your destination. This route should only be used as a means of getting to or from a specific point. It should not be used for transit to somewhere else.||7816|
|foot=private||OSM: The owner may give permission on an individual basis. Same interpretation as for the access tag.||3196|
The following table summarises how the oneway tag is used on OSM ways for the UK and Ireland in December 2010.
|oneway=no||OSM: Oneway streets are streets where you are only allowed to ride in one direction. This value means that it is not a one way street.||6040011|
|oneway=yes||OSM: Oneway streets are streets where you are only allowed to ride in one direction. This value means that the direction of flow is with the direction of the way. If bicycles are allowed to ride in the opposite direction tag with one of the values of cycleway=*||492282|
|oneway=-1||OSM: Oneway streets are streets where you are only allowed to ride in one direction. This value (-1) means that the direction of flow has the opposite sense to the direction of the way. If bicycles are allowed to ride in the opposite direction tag with one of the values of cycleway=*||8327|
An example: http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/way/4937416
This page is work in progress, and may be incomplete [Late Jan 2011].
The procedure applied to the extracted planet data is a script of SQL statements (see Conversion from OSM - sieving) and is explained below.
At this point the highway field has a wider range of values than the recognised values in the table above. Some of the values will be spelling mistakes, which can be corrected, and other values mean that the way is not relevant to cycle routing. The repair phase, next, narrows the range to the recognised values.
The sieving script continues with the following steps.
The result of this step is that the way fields have a well defined set of values.
The sieving script continues by adding all of the implied tags in the highway table for the recognized fields.
Some special case rules are applied:
There are various methods for marking cycle routes in OSM, either in relations or on the ways directly. The script looks for: