[Tagging] Divided highways, and not so divided highways, one way or two

Dave Swarthout daveswarthout at gmail.com
Thu Oct 10 07:16:40 UTC 2019

Asking OSM mappers if they have "strict standards" on this issue is chasing
a fantasy, IMHO. We discussed this in our local Thailand mapping forum and
AFAIK, it wasn't resolved. In one example, a five-lane highway with no
physical barrier and the "fifth lane" painted with big yellow stripes, the
mapper used two separate ways, both tagged oneway=yes to represent the
situation. I disagreed. My thinking is that OSM prefers having a physical
barrier before tagging two separate ways and I do too. By the way, Google
maps uses two lanes both tagged as oneway for this particular example.


On Thu, Oct 10, 2019 at 1:40 PM Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> Hi,
> DWG has been asked to mediate in a user dispute in Germany where a local
> mapper has chosen to represent a busy four-lane primary highway (two
> lanes in each direction, and a double continuous line painted in the
> middle which is physically possible but legally not allowed to cross).
> Other mappers object to this saying that it violates the rule that there
> must be some sort of physical division to allow that form of mapping.
> The original mapper claims that using two separate oneway=yes ways is
> clearer and easier, as it does away with the need for turn restrictions
> at junctions. Other mappers claim that the two-separate-way mapping is
> violating rules and that OSM will soon become unusable if everyone maps
> how they want.
> The question is basically two-fold; one, what are the established
> standards and rules concerning this situation, and two, in how far is it
> acceptable to deviate from these standards if a local mapper thinks it
> is a good idea.
> Personally I believe that "physical division => separate ways; no
> physical division => shared way" is the standard in OSM, or perhaps at
> least the "rule of thumb". But (since people in the German discussion
> have more or less claimed that the world is going to end if local
> mappers are allowed to treat this differently) I'd like to hear from
> mappers in other countries how rigidly this standard is applied. Is it
> something where local mappers have some freedom of judgment (like when
> choosing which highway=* category to apply to a road) or do you have
> strict standards and definitions?
> Bye
> Frederik
> --
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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Dave Swarthout
Homer, Alaska
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Travel Blog at http://dswarthout.blogspot.com
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