I recently started experimenting with Mapbox Studio and have encountered some discrepancies between feature tags in OSM and the corresponding feature fields in the vector tiles from Mapbox Streets. The Mapbox Streets documentation for the roads layer states that the type field for most roads will be the value of the OSM highway tag. However, it appears that in OSM the following feature has the value 'path' for the highway tag while the attached image showing a query of the feature with the same id in the Mapbox Streets vector tiles shows it type value as 'piste' rather than 'path'. I encountered several instances of this that were giving me some unexpected styling results in one region.

How are OSM tags mapped to vector tile fields?

enter image description here

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    The way you referenced is both a path and a piste (ski trail).
    – scai
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 7:53
  • I believe most ways which have a piste:type tag also have the value 'path' for their highway tag, this doesn't seem relevant to the question, which is how Mapbox is determining the value of the type field for the road layer in the vector tiles for Mapbox Streets. The documentation states that they use the value of the highway which is not true in this case. Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 19:42

1 Answer 1


The documentation in your link says:

"The main field used for styling the tunnel, road, and bridge layers is class.


'path' Foot paths, cycle paths, ski trails."

Type tag shows additional information and it seems to be taken from tag "piste:type=nordic". However, you are right the documentation could be more clear.

  • Agreed that it seems they are taking the fact that the feature has a piste:type tag and assigning the vector tile feature's field value as piste. The part of the documentation which I find contradictory is "The type field is the value of the road’s “primary” OpenStreetMap tag. For most roads this is the highway tag, but for aerialways it will be the aerialway tag, and for golf holes it will be the golf tag." I'd like to know how this type field actually gets populated as I have some styling which relies on it. Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 19:49

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