[Tagging] how to tag a "highway" that doesn't exist?

GerdP gpetermann_muenchen at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 23 13:34:00 UTC 2015

Andy Townsend wrote
>> Now, as so many before, I try to find a good tag to express this.
>> Using a line with only a note tag is no good idea as QA tools
>> will not like them.
> I'd suggest that if a QA tool objects to that, it's a problem with that 
> QA tool. :)

Well, yes and no. When I start to change all these ways with strange highway
tags to ones with only a note and they pop up in tools like JOSMs validator
it is 
likely that the next mapper will invent a new tag or revert my change.

Andy Townsend wrote
>> IMHO the only already used tag which looks acceptable
>> for this is
>> highway=none
>> in combination with a note saying why the way is no highway
>> maybe combined with an explicit tag
>> mapping_error=yes
>> Does that make sense?
> Using a highway tag when there isn't a highway is going to cause 
> problems for someone, somewhere down the line - anyone who doesn't look 
> at the values and just processes "highway=*", for example (not that 
> that's a good idea - but someone's going to do it).

Well, that is nearly what happens in the default rules of mkgmap, 
the tool I am helping to develop, see
It has several rules for the well known highway types and a so called
mop up rule for the rest which is treated like a bad but existing way.
I also try to remove many of the special cases since a few days.
(removed more than 200 until now, taginfo still repors 697 different
highway=* tags)
On the other hand, many of the "wrong" tags are just typos or (iD) merge
a highway=primary;residential is likely to be usable, a
(note the typo) is probable not. It is nearly impossible to formulate rules
which will use most good cases without possibly matching garbage as well :-(

Andy Townsend wrote
> Some sort of lifecycle tag might work in some cases (though it'd be 
> interesting to see the justification for the "planned but never built, 
> and now never will be built" ones), but even after that there'll always 
> be a small number of odd values - possibly the least worst solution in a 
> particular case.

Well, it seems that highway=proposed is considered to mean "will be there in
future because some government or land owner decided it". 
Some mappers told me that there are stages like "not yet officially
which explains the tags like "pre-proposed" or "preproposed"
 (I guess we only need one spelling)


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