MapBuilder Topo vs OpenStreetMap tracks and paths

Jordan Brown's Avatar

Jordan Brown

03 Apr, 2021 12:16 AM

I was noticing that my MBT maps didn't have a couple of the trails in my local park, so I looked more.

I found that they are there in the OSM data, but not the MBT data. This of course makes me wonder what layer(s) I should be using for my hiking maps.

The area I'm interested in is at 34.2915, -118.5344, zoomed to maybe level 17.
Here's a link:,-118.53409&z=17&b=om

The main trail in the area runs NW-SE, paralleling the creek. There's a roughly E-W trail that connects the main trail to Longacre. Those are both shown on MBT and OSM. They are both marked in MBT as black dashed lines, and in the OSM view as alternating dashes and dots in sort of a brownish color. OSM calls these 475526370 and 475526372 respectively.

If you switch to OSM, you see two more trails. There's a short trail leading SW to Beaufait, shown as brownish dashes. There's a longer trail leading from the main trail north to Longacre (near where the other Longacre connector ends), shown in fine red dashes. OSM calls these 893179974 and 912998918 respectively.

On OSM proper, the key says that find red dots are a "Footway", brownish dashes are a "Track", and there's no definition for alternating dashes and dots.

What is it about these that makes them not be in the MBT view?

I suppose I can stack the OSM and MBT views to get both these secondary trails and contour lines, but the result is not very satisfying.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Julie on 05 Apr, 2021 04:30 PM

    Julie's Avatar

    Hi Jordan,

    Impressive collection of data you have done here! We are working on a new import from OSM as I write this, so some things will change on the MBT layer very soon. If the trails don't match up after that, you can edit them in OSM and the next time we pull data from OSM, it will update in MBT.


  2. Julie closed this discussion on 05 Apr, 2021 04:30 PM.

  3. Jordan Brown re-opened this discussion on 05 Apr, 2021 04:47 PM

  4. 2 Posted by Jordan Brown on 05 Apr, 2021 04:47 PM

    Jordan Brown's Avatar

    It sounds like you think the answer is that these paths are relatively
    new in OSM (and they are, three months and one month), and that you just
    haven't copied the OSM data yet.  That makes sense.  I thought CalTopo
    was using the OSM data live.

    Approximately how often do you copy the OSM data?

  5. Support Staff 3 Posted by Julie on 05 Apr, 2021 07:06 PM

    Julie's Avatar

    We aim to bring in OSM data a few times a year, but it depends on other projects we have going on. I think it's been a little longer than usual right now.

  6. Julie closed this discussion on 05 Apr, 2021 07:06 PM.

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