[Tagging] Cycle route relations, networks and refs

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemeD.net
Sun Aug 16 10:21:08 UTC 2015

I've encountered two fairly widespread issues with bike route tagging 
and would appreciate help sorting them out.

In parts of Germany and elsewhere, networks of local/regional cycle 
routes are grouped into regions. The Nordrhein-Westfalen network is a 
good example.

The master relation
is tagged with type=network, which is perhaps appropriate (insert usual 
'Relations are not categories' citation here).

However, its child relations are tagged with type=route:
which is not appropriate. As the osm.org geometry shows, this isn't a 
route, it's a collection or network of routes.

A second issue is the misuse of the ref= tag in these relations. The 
ref= tag is intended for a number that appears on a sign or other 
on-the-ground evidence. It is not "some arbitrary bunch of letters I 
made up to get it to render". However, it's being used as the latter in 
this (ref=NRW) and many similar cases.

The most "correct" way forward would seem to be:

	- break the child relations up into individual routes
	- group these together within a parent type=network relation
	- remove the ref tags

The first step would, of course, be Hard Work.

Thoughts and suggestions welcome.


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