In this article we describe how you can report content that may violate conservation laws or other legal requirements. If you only want to submit an improvement idea you can use the corresponding suggestion feature for Highlights and routes.
Access claims are complex and time-consuming cases but there may be quicker, more appropriate ways to solve your complaint. To save you time on completing a fruitless claim, we give you some important background information below so you understand how we handle these cases. You’ll also find out the most effective ways for dealing with each type of issue.
If an access claim is the best option for your case, you’ll find the form and instructions below.
Komoot’s commitment to protect nature
Komoot’s mission is to enable people to explore more of the great outdoors. We believe that spending time in nature is a fundamental opportunity to connect with the environment, understand its value, and feel motivated to protect it.
In our experience, the vast majority of people are willing to follow existing rules and regulations. When conflicts arise and mistakes happen, this is usually due to a lack of information available. We believe that, while we cannot take responsibility for the decisions komoot users make, we serve the community best by providing our users with the information that’s necessary and available to make informed decisions. We encourage you to help us in improving the information available for others.
Additionally, we encourage all users to inform themselves about local regulations and to behave responsibly when they’re out exploring. Behaving responsibly can mean:
- finding out what is permissible where and following those guidelines
- being careful where you’re going
- following the signs that are available
- avoiding damaging or disturbing wildlife
- avoiding churning up the surface of the ground
- being careful to clean up litter
We also encourage all users to be mindful of other people when they’re out exploring. Nature is a limited resource that all of us share and being respectful mitigates conflict. This can mean:
- dismounting if there’s high foot traffic
- giving way to others when you see them
- riding (and hiking) carefully in tight areas
- giving others advance warning of your presence
This is by no means a comprehensive list. Keeping an eye out for local guidelines and being respectful of other people are good guiding principles to follow.
Types of content on komoot
To understand how we handle your content report it is important to understand what types of content you find at komoot. We differentiate between the topographic komoot map and user-generated content, such as Highlights incl. photos and tips.
The komoot map
The komoot map displays objective information. It should depict reality as accurately as possible. We use OpenStreetMap as the basis of our mapping data, which is open-source software that’s maintained by a worldwide community of editors and contributors. More information about OpenStreetMap can be found here.
Errors in the komoot map can be identified and corrected, as they’re objectively verifiable. The best way to handle errors in the map is to ensure that all information is added correctly to OpenStreetMap. This means that paths are used in the correct way, not just by komoot but by all providers that base their mapping data on OpenStreetMap. Deleting paths from the map when they objectively exist is falsifying that information and would result in those paths being added again.
To provide our users with the best possible information we developed a system of route warnings based on the information in the komoot map. This information is displayed during route planning, and informs users of any potential areas that they should be aware of before going on a Tour. More information about the warnings provided in our system can be found in the Route Warnings help guide. We display this information prominently in our route planner, so that it’s visible for any user when they save a particular route. As these warnings depend on the information available in OpenStreetMap, they can be incomplete.
As komoot represents only a small proportion of all people who are active outdoors, these warnings cannot function as a replacement for informing people on-site in the place that’s affected. It’s therefore important to ensure that the information is available on-site (through signs, for example), so that all people can be informed.
Recommendations from the community
Highlights and completed Tours constitute recommendations from the community. Highlights depict the subjective opinion of individual users. Our platform provides a way for users to specify certain spots or segments that they would like to recommend to others. These cannot be objectively verified, since they are opinions. Any user can look at a Highlight and think that it’s great, or vice versa. All users are also free (and encouraged) to leave tips on Highlights, letting others know if there’s anything they need to watch out for. Completed Tours are similar. They’re simply a recording that another user has taken and uploaded, that they wanted to share with their friends.
We want to enable our users to exchange freely on our platform so we do not generally limit Highlight creation or uploading Tours in any way. Our starting point when it comes to user-generated content is to ensure that the factual information in the map is accurate and that any additional information is added to Highlights. Deleting Highlights simply removes the availability of that information and the chance is always high that another user will recreate the same Highlight in the future. Therefore the only long-term solution is to make sure that all users have access to the correct information instead. The best option to provide all users with the correct information is to leave a comment on the Highlight, so every user can see the additional information when they have a look at the Highlight.
Filing an access claim
In order to file a complaint about any komoot content, please fill out the following form. Please fill out the form individually for each piece of komoot content that you would like to improve.
We use the information submitted in the form to evaluate the validity of the claim, to investigate the individual complaint, and determine the best way to handle it. Please provide as much detail as is available, since it is our responsibility to verify the information provided to handle the claim properly. Thank you for taking the time to do this.
Once we’ve verified the claim, we will respond informing you of the outcome. Valid claims will usually result in edits made on OpenStreetMap directly, although we will file a report to OpenStreetMap in some cases, if extensive edits need to be made or if we’re unable to fully verify the claim. It can take up to four weeks for changes in OpenStreetMap to be applied to komoot.
Further information for specific interest groups
We have summarized additional information for representatives of national parks and nature reserves, private landowners, volunteers, clubs and advocacy below. We recommend reading the information there if it is applicable to you, as it provides more background on how we deal with specific cases.
Representatives of national parks, nature reserves and tourism organizations
Both OpenStreetMap and komoot offer a great opportunity to inspire people in nature and its conservation. A large number of people can be reached for free and together we can inform them, for example, about access restriction or breeding times. Therefore we already work with a variety of organizations such as Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald, Nationalpark Sächsische Schweiz or Nationalpark Schwarzwald.
If you’re interested in partnering with us, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to support you in matters regarding OpenStreetMap or setting you up on komoot.
The komoot planner routes through legally accessible roads, as long as the information in OpenStreetMap is correct. If it happens that the komoot route planner is routing across private land, it’s often because the information hasn’t been added to OpenStreetMap. Please report the specific segments to us with any supplementary documentation using the form above. It’s especially helpful to mark out the specific paths that should be private. We correct those paths in OpenStreetMap accordingly, as long as the necessary legal information has been provided.
Volunteers, clubs and advocacy
We’re happy that people are engaged in different ways to enable activities in nature. Nature is shared by many groups with different interests, which are sometimes not fully aligned with each other. Conflicts in this area are therefore extremely complex. They often involve multiple parties with differing perspectives and local expertise, with different levels of awareness of what’s happening on the ground.
As an external company, komoot is not able to provide support in finding long-term, sustainable solutions here. As outlined above, our primary focus is to ensure that the factual information displayed in the komoot map is accurate. Restrictions and limitations have to be negotiated on the local level and then mirrored in the data available on OpenStreetMap. We’ve collected some resources prepared by organizations who are active in this area in the hope that they help as a starting point.
- “Mountainbike-Handbuch - Leitfaden zur Entwicklung von MTB-Strecken und -Trails” vom Naturpark Südschwarzwald
- “Leitfaden zum Mountainbike Streckenbau” vom Deutschen Initiativen Mountainbike e.V. and “allgemeine Fachberatung”
- “Mountainbikes vs. Wald: Was sagt Deutschlands bekanntester Förster dazu?” von MTB News
- Wandern und Mountainbiken - Entscheidungshilfe zu Koexistenz und Entflechtung von dem Bundesamt für Strassen
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