The hiking and mountaineering trail network

The digital hiking trail network is a valuable planning tool. It not only shows you where officially signposted hiking and long-distance hiking trails run, but also helps you to work out the optimal route to take.

The digital trail network

Our digital trail network seeks to create a complete, virtual image of all trails that have been signposted.

In order to be as accurate as possible when creating the Outdooractive maps and route networks, we use the geodata of official surveying bodies and work closely with tourist destinations. By doing so we are able to assert that, together with our partners, we play a major role in the development and maintenance of signposted trail networks on a regional level.

OpenStreetMap is based on the work of the OSM community and represents a map that covers essentially everything that exists in reality.


The hiking trail network on the map

All local hiking trails are shown on the map as thin, red lines.

If these lines have been specially labeled, they are considered ‘premium’ or quality routes that have been selected according to official criteria. These routes are also clearly marked on signage once you are in the area.

We classify any routes requiring more than two full-day stages as long-distance hiking trails and interregional hiking trails. They are shown on the map as thick, red lines and with red labeling. 

Each trail network is made up of a large number of individual segments or sections. These differ from each other in terms of trail's surface type, the quality of that surface, its width and the technical difficulty.

Our aim is to map these conditions as realistically as possible on the digital map. We achieve this by representing these sections in a different ways.

 

The following classifications are displayed on the map:

  • Agricultural road
  • Track
  • Footway
  • Path
  • mountainerring
  • Chain 
  • Vie Ferrata

Looking at these classifications gives two clear indications of the trail’s difficulty level:

 

  • The shorter the dash, the more difficult the trail.
  • Special trails are also marked with a symbol.

  

Combine the route’s classification and the trail network marked in red and you can then distinguish between certain activities:

  • Hiking: a trail with solid or long dashes + network of hiking trails
  • Mountaineering:  a trail denoted by short dashes or dots (possibly with a rope symbol) + network of hiking trails
  • Via Ferrata: a dotted path with a ladder symbol + network of hiking trails

What is the application of the hiking trail network?

The hiking trail network can be placed on the map as an additional layer, enabling you see all officially signposted routes at a glance.

The network plays a greater role in the route planner. An individual route network is stored in the system for each activity. This means that if you are planning to go “Hiking” (as an activity), the routes suggested to you are automatically generated based on the official hiking trail network.


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