[Tagging] Classifying roads from Trunk to Tertiary and Unclassified

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 12 15:30:18 UTC 2019

On Mon, 12 Aug 2019 at 15:56, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com>


> > If your country's government indicates with signs
> > that a road as a primary route then that is what it is.
> no government says „primary“ road, they might say „A road“, or
> „Bundesstraße“ but the latter is only telling that the Federal government
> of Germany is in charge of the maintenance (i.e. it is somehow deemed to be
> important, but it doesn’t say _how_ important it is, because importance
> varies among Bundesstraßen, and it is only generally more important than a
> Kreisstraße (local connection road), while in a specific case it may be
> less important than a specific Kreisstraße.

There's always one country does it differently. :p  I've just had a look
into it, and Germany is
rather messy. :(

Here the national government decides on which roads are primary and which
are secondary.
Some primary roads are designated trunk roads and they are maintained by
government with all others being maintained at the county level.  It's
possible somebody
could find an exceptional case and argue that a UK B-road ought to be
tagged as a
primary route, or an A-road be tagged as a secondary, but I doubt it.  In a
few cases new
roads or motorways have resulted in former A-roads being given a new B
number by
the government itself.  I'd hesitate to buck the system in the UK even if I
found a
very exceptional case.  Especially as speed limits and lane counts could be
by routers to prefer a secondary route to a primary route in some

A map that highlighted roads in a way that conflicted with signage would be
confusing.  Here we're used to the idea that a primary route is a better
choice than
a secondary route, all other things being equal.  If you're planning a
journey you look
at the primary routes first and maybe refine it a little by diverting onto
secondary routes
for part of the journey (actually you'd look at motorways first).

I’m all for recording these classes (we do it in ref in Germany and Italy),
> but they cannot be an argument in the individual case in favor of a
> specific osm highway class.

In the case of Germany, I agree.  In Germany it's not that simple.  From
what I've read
the number of digits indicates how important the road is.  Sort of.  There
are exceptions.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/tagging/attachments/20190812/e1758b33/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Tagging mailing list