[Tagging] ref tags and "reference routes"

Richard Welty rwelty at averillpark.net
Fri Feb 5 15:01:07 GMT 2010

On 2/5/10 8:22 AM, Richard Finegold wrote:
> You say some reference route numbers don't appear on signs. I can
> think of two possibilities to explain this:
> 1) The state maintained road doesn't have a small green reference
> marker. Maybe it's too short, or maybe any markers that would be
> present are frequently stolen.
> 2) The small green reference markers are not considered signs, and the
> web page http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NY_51_old_and_new_ref_mkrs.jpg
> should have "[[Category:Road signs in New York]]" in the wiki source
> deleted.
> Are either of these correct?
i should have phrased it differently.

the reference route numbers are only supposed to show up on the small 
green reference
signs. these are too small to be easily readable at highway speeds.

in cases where they don't show up on the small green reference markers, 
either it is because
the reference markers have not been changed and carry an even older 
designation, or because
the way is shared with a state touring route and that route number has 
been used on the reference
marker instead.

the distinction that i failed to make clear is the difference between a 
black & white shield
for a NYS touring route, which in 4 cases carries a reference route 
number (done by accident,
apparently), and the small green reference markers which are primarily 
used by emergency
and sevice vehicles.

so yes, there is usually signage. but someone trying to navigate using 
OSM would find it
easier to follow the Bronx River Parkway if the shield generated by 
mapnik says (BRP)
which resembles the sign used ( 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bronx_River_Pkwy_Shield.svg )
than if it contains (907H) which will only be seen on the small green 

it comes down to what does the "ref" tag really mean. the renderers in 
common use stick it
in a generated shield; if i stick a symbol tag on the relation for the 
road, well, currently
that isn't being used (and i would agree with the position that 
renderers maybe should honor
that, but well, they don't right now.)

in building relations for the parkways, i have been entertained by the 
fact that the reference
route numbers are showing up frequently in the name_1 tag from tiger, 
and i see that they
are showing up in google maps as the names of the roads as well.


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