[Tagging] Was public_transport=platform intended to always be combined with highway=bus_stop?

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Tue Jul 30 01:38:37 UTC 2019

I think you might be referring to this proposal from Zverik last
summer, which suggests stopping using
public_transport=stop_position/platform/station, but keeps the

- =stop_position is not really needed for routing; doubles work for mappers
=platform is ambiguous; use =bus_stop, highway=platform (if the bus
stop has a physical platform) railway=platform etc
= public_transport=station is not specific, use amenity=bus_station,
railway=station etc).

re: > "It's hard to ascertain precisely why PT was originally created"

According to this comment, it started with imports, and a dispute
between English mappers and a few Central European mappers (or just
one?): back in 2010 there were 200,000 highway=bus_stop mapped beside
the road in England, at the location of the bus stop sign. But there
was data available in Switzerland that could be imported that had the
node in the center of the highway, probably for bus operator purposes,
and a mapper started importing these and changed the wiki to say this
was better. There was a dispute about this. To resolve it, the
proposal that was eventually approved created specific tags for
stop_position (on the highway) which could use access tags like
"bus=yes" to specify the vehicle and "platform" (for the bus stop),
and a stop_area relation.

This wasn't sufficient information to render bus stops differently
than tram / light rail platforms, so the original tagging method
remained more common up until now.

This hasn't stopped some mappers  from claiming that there is a
"version 2" of mapping for transit which should replace the "old"
tags, and editing the wiki pages to put this view at the forefront,
going so far as to suggest public_transport=platform and =station for
ferry terminals and taxi stops, where this tagging is very rare.

I've made to various wiki pages to describe the current situation. I'm
also working on making specific wiki pages for tags like bus=yes (used
for both access restrictions and to specify the type of public
transport vehicle at a feature).


On 7/30/19, Dave F via Tagging <tagging at openstreetmap.org> wrote:
> Hi
> This is not a criticism of Joseph.
> This post confirms what I've been saying for the past year - PT tags add
> nothing but confusion to OSM, which directly leads to errors.
> highway=bus_stop is a completely separate tag to any in the PT schema.
> It was created long before the invention of the PT schema and is the
> original & the most popular, accurate way to map a bus stop.
> The PT schema purely duplicates existing, well used, clearly defined
> tags. It adds no extra detail or information.
> A platform is a raised physical object compared to the surrounding area
> to aid vehicle boarding. Popular tags such as railway=platform,
> tram=platform are used for such entities.
> Public_transport=platform has been hijacked by PT to falsely represent a
> bus stop as an imaginary area on a pavement. As defined in OSM's welcome
> page: "OpenStreetMap is a place for mapping things that are both /real
> and current/ ".
> It's hard to ascertain precisely why PT was originally created but it
> appears to be that the existing tags weren't complete. However instead
> of adding that missing data, somebody though it would be a great idea to
> start from the very beginning with a completely new set of tags & try to
> paper over the gaps. The irony is that, after a lot of discussion over
> tag names & locations & quickly waning enthusiasm for adding them to the
> database,  PT is *less* complete than the original data. What a waste of
> time. It's a mess.
> Over on the transit forum the PT schema has become so convoluted even
> those who helped create it are baffled. At least one is advocating its
> removal.
> It's time for the PT schema to be redacted.
> DaveF
> On 29/07/2019 15:29, Joseph Eisenberg wrote:
>> I read up on the rather exhausting history of public transport tagging.
>> The strange thing is that the approved proposal which introduced
>> public_transport=* and the current public_transport pages suggest
>> using bus=yes only for public_transport=stop_position. In contrast,
>> public_transport=platform doesn't have bus=yes added.
>> Does this mean that tagging highway=bus_stop on the same node as
>> public_transport=platform is the approved way to specify that a
>> certain "platform" is a bus stop?
>> It certainly looks that way. Does this mean that tagging
>> public_transport=platform + highway=bus_stop was the tagging that was
>> intended by the proposal to specify bus stops, and
>> public_transport=platform + railway=platform for train platforms, etc?
>> It appears that the proposal specifically said that the existing tags
>> like highway=bus_stop were not deprecated. Current usage confirms
>> this: in the past year just as many (or perhaps slightly more?)
>> highway=bus_stop have been added as a public_transport=platform -
>> about 350,000 each - though the latter tag also can be used for
>> railways, trams, etc.
>> Joseph
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