[Tagging] Proposal to Change Road Classification, Road Surface, Road Condition, and Add Number of Lanes

Tom Pfeifer t.pfeifer at computer.org
Sat Mar 5 15:11:19 UTC 2016

Alberto wrote on 2016/03/05 15:25:
> I [...] noticed that OSM does not establish the difference between inter-urban (rural)
> roads and urban roads (comprising mostly avenues and streets).

What advantage would we gain when making such distinction?

> If the following classification is adopted, it will be a "*universal standard*" and you

Reading your definitions they seem to be very focused on the US road network.
How universal are they?

> will not need to adopt different criteria for developed or developing countries,

You would still need to map the definitions to national road classification.

> like the OSM example for East Africa.

which example, specifically?

> It would be useful to define a road class (paved/unpaved) and
 > a road surface type (concrete, asphalt, surface treatment, gravel, earth).

surface=* already exists.

> ... reduce the options for road condition to only five categories

This is wishful thinking in OSM, since free tagging is allowed and helpful
to progress development.

> defined by the need for maintenance or rehabilitation.

This is not the purpose of OSM. We tag what we see on the ground, thus
the usability of the road.

OSM is not the primary tool for planning maintenance, though it may help of course.

> I am fully aware that these changes present a major challenge for the existing, coding, renderer, editors, etc.

I think it would lead to extreme confusion, which is not worth a marginal gain.

> and adding the number of lanes)

lanes=N already exist, complemented by lanes:forward=N and lanes:backward=N


surface=* already exists.


smoothness=* already exists.


lanes=N already exists.
width=N already exists.

 > traffic flow direction,

lanes:forward=N and lanes:backward=N already exist
oneway=yes already exists, together with the road vector it maps the traffic flow direction

> useful to indicate if the road is physically
> divided or not by a median or other.

physically divided roads are mapped with separate way vectors, thus the
distinction already exists.

 > As for the urban roads indicate if the roads have sidewalks or not.

sidewalk=both/left/right already exists.

You started the mail with
 > I have read the definitions, concepts and description that OSM uses to characterize (tag) roads

What did you read?


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