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Trail, path, and railway attributes

Attributes describe important components of a trail, path, or railway.

Segment usage

Segment usage describes how a particular segment can be used.

  • Trail/Path: Path that is used for walking or bicycling.
  • Pedestrian/Bicycle overpass: Describes a trail that crosses over another road or trail. See example:
  • Pedestrian/Bicycle underpass: Describes a trail that passes underneath another road or trail. See example:
  • Marked road crossing/ Zebra crossing: A segment/path marked across two segments of a split road that is used by pedestrians to go from one side to another.
    • Do not select this if the road section is near a junction/roundabout. In such cases, instead of marking a separate Trail/Path, update the Bicycle and pedestrian info to the road itself. See example:

The "access" attribute specifies whether bicycles and/or pedestrians are allowed to access the trail/path.

  • Bicycles and pedestrians: This is the default setting for trails and allows full access for both bicycle and pedestrian traffic. This attribute should only be changed if access to a trail/path is explicitly restricted for bicycles or pedestrians.
  • Pedestrians only: Only pedestrians are allowed to use this trail/path.
  • Bicycles only: Only bicycles are allowed to use this trail/path.
Bicycle suitability

This attribute indicates how suitable a trail is for bicycle use. The following options can be set for this attribute:

  • Preferred: These trails are optimal for cycling and will be included in Google Maps biking directions.
  • Avoid: These trails that are sub-optimal for cycling.

Bicycle suitability should mirror trail/path "access." For example, if "trail access" is set for "Bicycles and Pedestrians," the "bicycle suitability" attribute should not be set to "avoid."


Stairway: Select this attribute when a stairway can be seen in satellite imagery or street view. For other common road elevations, read about road attributes.

Grade levels

Grade levels are used to represent the trail appropriately on the map, especially to indicate that the trail that appears on top of a road actually intersect.

  • Overpass: Trail segment that is above a surface-level road.
  • Underpass: Trail segment that is below a surface-level road.

Read more about grade levels on flyover or underpass page. The same concepts for roads applies to trails as well.

Surface type

Select the surface type to indicate whether a trail is paved or unpaved, or specify the type of material used in its construction. Learn more on surface types.

  • Paved: Trails with a hard smooth surface. The following are specific types of paved trails:
    • Asphalt: A black top trail made with a combination of tar & asphalt.
    • Chipseal: A trail made with a combination of asphalt and construction aggregate.
    • Concrete: A trail that has been made primarily of cement and other materials such as lime stone, granite and other chemical mixtures.
  • Unpaved:This can be used for trails that are formed of native material like mud/dirt
    • Gravel: A trail that has been laid out using sand, silt & loose rock.
    • Dirt: A trail that has been formed naturally or laid out using local elements around that area.
    • Sand:A naturally formed trail composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles.

Select one of the options below to indicate the trail's condition. Good trails are preferred over bad trails when routing directions.

  • Good: A well-laid trail that supports the flow of bicycle or pedestrian traffic.
  • Bad: A poorly maintained trail that is not recommended for use.
Construction status

This attribute is assigned based on the construction status of the trail.

  • Started: This attribute is applied roads that are planned and construction has commenced. Pathfinder will not use these roads for routing.
  • Planned: This attribute is applied to roads that are in the proposed or planning stage and no construction work has started. Pathfinder will not use these roads for routing.
  • Completed: This attribute is the default type. To remove a set construction attribute (Started, Closed For Maintenance, or Disturbed by maintenance) from a segment, "Not Set" must be assigned to that segment.
  • Disturbed by maintenance: This attribute is applied to roads that are undergoing maintenance but remain open to traffic. This includes roads where both directions of traffic are diverted to one side.
  • Closed for maintenance: This attribute is applied to roads that are temporarily closed due to construction.
Track Gauge

Track gauge or rail gauge is the distance between the inner sides of the heads of the two load bearing rails that make up a single railway line. Sixty percent of the world's railways use the Standard Gauge Track.

  • Standard Gauge Track: Distance between the inside edges of standard gauge track rails is 1,435 mm.
  • Broad gauge Track: Track with gauges are greater than the standard gauge of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in).
  • JR Railways Track: Japan Railway track. Gauge is bolted using metal fishplates and supports considerably high-speed railways.
  • Light Rail Track: Rapid transit-style tracks usually used with electric rail cars. These mostly operate separated from other traffic but are sometimes mixed with other traffic in city streets.
  • Monorail Track: Single-rail tracks.
  • Narrow Gauge Track: Track with gauges that are narrower than the standard gauge railways.
  • Railway: Generic track gauge that can be used in the absence of specific gauges.
  • Subway Track: Part of an underground subway, which acts as a public transportation system.

Best practices

  • If a trail will be closed fewer than 60 days, it’s best to Report a Problem on Maps.
  • Construction status should be assigned for the entire stretch that is under construction.


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