[Tagging] Is a reference a name if it is actually used as a name on the ground ?

Tijmen Stam mailinglists at iivq.net
Sat Feb 6 08:46:54 UTC 2016

On 06-02-16 00:22, Shawn K. Quinn wrote:
> On Sat, 2016-02-06 at 00:14 +0100, Jean-Marc Liotier wrote:
>> For residential streets, we have a well-known and documented naming
>> scheme as follows:
>> - name=* bears the official name
>> - loc_name=* bears a local name, which is often an old name but what
>> matters is that it is a locally well used name
>> - ref=* bears a government official universal reference, which
>> abbreviates the district and suffixes it with a number (for example
>> "GY-63")
>> So far, so good. Now, the problem is that not all streets have a name
>> -
>> actually most streets are unnamed, so value of the ref=* is actually
>> what people use as a name... It is not a name but it is used as a
>> name.
>> If it quacks like a duck... So here is the dilemma:
> Occasionally, in the US, the value of ref=* is used similarly to a name.
> ("Turn right onto US 59", etc.) I see no issue with leaving name=* blank
> in those situations, unless mail is actually addressed to something like
> 1234 GY-63, Somecity, Senegal. It is not uncommon for rural roads at
> least in the US to have only a ref=* and no name=*. However, sometimes
> there are things like name="County Road 123" and ref="CR 123".

I think the pure copying ref->name is a terrible idea.
Some (most?) Routing software already searches for the ref (in fact, 
where a highway=motorway has a name and a ref, Osmand speaks the ref 
first: "Turn right onto A9 Gaasperdammerweg".

If it's not a name, it shouldn't be called that. It pollutes the "name" 
tag with things that are not names.

There are some interesting border line cases though.

In the case where the ref has turned into the name, such as (fictive 
example) "FM 110" which becomes "Farm to Market road 110" (which is what 
FM) stands for, I think one can use name if the literal words "Farm to 
Market road" are posted, and loc_name otherwise.

Something similar happens in France, where roads like N20 or RN20 (which 
stands for Route National - national road) are often locally called "Le 
national" or "Route national" - omitting the number. In that case the 
"loc_name" can be used.

In the Netherlands, many roads are officially named "Rijksweg" (state 
road) - interestingly, (almost) none of those roads is still under 
management of the state, having passed down to provinces or 
municipalities - Those should have "Rijksweg" as name. Sometimes, they 
also have a ref.

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