[Tagging] designation=* is a mess in Germany

Ronnie Soak chaoschaos0909 at googlemail.com
Tue Oct 23 08:38:34 GMT 2012


I've recently stumbled upon some confusing usages of the key
designation=* in my area, so I tried to find out what it really means
and how it is used correctly.

I haven't succeeded.

Of course there is the wiki page [1] at
which explains that it is used for the local classification of roads in the UK.
But on the same page the usage as a descriptive tag for nature
reserves is also documented.

Looking at taginfo [2] seems to harden the case for road
classification, but also shows 'shed' in 5th rank.
But I was curious about how this is actually used outside of the UK.

So I did a OverPass-Api query for 500 ways on designation=* with a
bounding box of Germany [3]
and fed that through a 'grep designation' which gave me a horrifying list [4].

Seems like I can delete my fresh wiki page translation [5] and replace
it with a 'just tag anything you want with it'.
Now this might be unfair, as OverPass sorts by way ID which might be a
bad choice for a random sample. But I actually didn't find even one
correct example of usage in there.

I'm so baffled by this, I don't even have a decent question to ask.

Where to start? Modify the wiki according to usage? To what usage?
Modify the tags? All of them? To what?
(I said 'decent'. Not that I don't have questions ...)

Or just slowly walk away from that topic?


[1] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:designation
[2] http://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/keys/designation#values
[3] http://overpass.osm.rambler.ru/cgi/interpreter?data=%5Bout:json%5D;way%5Bdesignation%5D%2846%2E845703125%2C5%2E185546875%2C55%2E634765625%2C15%2E46875%29%3Bout%20500%3B
[4] http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=ymViH17J
[5] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/DE:Key:designation

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