[Tagging] Route names that aren’t names

Clifford Snow clifford at snowandsnow.us
Sat Mar 28 21:18:50 UTC 2020


Richard - and anyone else who can help.

Can someone help with an overpass query to find problem route relations?
I'm happy to help fix, but my overpass skills are, well to put it bluntly,
not worth shit:-)

Thanks,
Clifford

On Sat, Mar 28, 2020 at 11:18 AM Richard Fairhurst <richard at systemed.net>
wrote:

> Hello folks,
>
> Route relation names aren’t in a great state, are they?
>
> Let’s say that I want to render cycle route names on a map (because, well,
> I do). I zoom in on a way along the East Coast of Britain and I find it’s a
> member of this route:
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/9579
> name=NCN National Route 1
>
> Hm, ok. That’s not the name of the route, it’s a duplication of the ref
> (and network) - something we’ve known not to do with the name/ref tags for
> roads since time immemorial. No matter, there are other relations for the
> way, so let’s see if they’re any better:
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/9476069
> name=EuroVelo 12 - North Sea Cycle Route - part United Kingdom 5
>
> That’s _definitely_ not the name of a route. “part United Kingdom 5” is
> some OSM mapper’s shorthand. If I were to tell someone that I’m having a
> holiday on “part United Kingdom 5”, even someone who works for the route
> authorities at Sustrans or the European Cycling Federation, they’d look at
> me blankly. Anyway, this has a parent relation:
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/9476239
> name=EuroVelo 12 - North Sea Cycle Route - part United Kingdom
>
> Nope, that’s not great either. It in turn has a parent relation:
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/1207220
> name=EuroVelo 12 - North Sea Cycle Route
>
> That’s not good. It duplicates the ref and the network; it enforces
> arbitrary punctuation upon the data consumer. It is, I guess, the least
> wrong of any of these names. But that’s not saying much.
>
> This isn't just a British thing, or an NCN thing, or a EuroVelo thing.
> Refs in names are depressingly ubiquitous. Better still: there are hundreds
> of routes with something like ref=12-83, name=(12) - (83) - with the
> added brackets meaning you can’t even filter them out based on a simple
> match. Then there are routes called "Aare-Route (Etappe 3)” and "Alpenpanorama-Route-
> Etappe 6 (Thun-Fribourg)” and "[D10] Elberadweg [Abschnitt K]
> Dessau-Roßlau - Elster [linkselbisch]”. I wish I were making this up.
>
> The upshot: bad luck if you want to render the actual names of routes on a
> map. You can’t.
>
> A modest proposal: let’s use the name= tag in route relations for route
> names. Let’s use the ref= tag for route numbers. If it doesn’t have a name,
> it shouldn’t have a name= tag. Same as we do everywhere else.
>
> If you need somewhere for a mapper-facing route description (and I can see
> that you need that for “part United Kingdom 5”), then I guess the obvious
> place to put that is the note= tag. But let’s keep it out of the name tag;
> and let’s have a concerted effort to remove them from existing name tags.
>
> Richard
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>


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OpenStreetMap: Maps with a human touch
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