[Tagging] The direction=* tag

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Fri Mar 17 10:25:22 UTC 2017

2017-03-16 5:13 GMT+01:00 Tod Fitch <tod at fitchdesign.com>:

> The “direction” tag [1] has different uses that seem disjoint to me.
>    1. To specify the orientation (compass point or degrees from north) of
>    an object (adit or cave entrance, etc.).
"orientation" would have been a better descriptor IMHO, but the crowd uses
this tag differently (see taginfo, also subtags like roof:orientation,
...). Direction is working for me nonetheless.

2. To specify direction (clockwise/counterclockwise) around a roundabout
> (not sure why this is needed as it should be apparent from local laws or
> specified with a “oneway=yes”).

agree with you

3. To indicate the direction (forward/backward) a stop or yield (give way)
> sign has effect along a way.

broken. From time to time people are coming up with features to tag on
nodes that require (or seem to require) the information of a direction.
Taking the direction of a different object (e.g. here a way) doesn't seem a
healthy way to represent this. Ways might get split, might get reversed,
nodes might be (or become) part of several ways, etc. Either use a cardinal
direction or a short way stub or a relation, etc., but not "forward" or
"backward" tag values on a node, it simply doesn't make sense. Tags should
refer to the object they are tagged on.

> Oddly, that third use seems only for stop and yield signs but not for
> traffic signals where a “traffic_signals:direction=forward | backward”
> tag is to be used. However that seems to be the most used form [2].
> Apparently some have figured that if we have “traffic_signals:direction”
> there should be “stop:direction” [3] and “give_way:direction” [4] tags.

similarly broken

I would keep the variant 1 and discourage 2 and 3.

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