[Tagging] Route names that aren’t names

Andrew Hain andrewhainosm at hotmail.co.uk
Sun Mar 29 10:19:37 UTC 2020

This tagging habit arose because the ref isn’t displayed in the side panel, only the name. Fix that and we can do a big clean-up.


From: Sarah Hoffmann <lonvia at denofr.de>
Sent: 29 March 2020 10:41
To: Tag discussion, strategy and related tools <tagging at openstreetmap.org>
Subject: Re: [Tagging] Route names that aren’t names


On Sat, Mar 28, 2020 at 06:18:01PM +0000, Richard Fairhurst wrote:
> Route relation names aren’t in a great state, are they?
> The upshot: bad luck if you want to render the actual names of routes on a map. You can’t.

Or want to search for them. The sad state of the name tag is the
only reason why you still can't search for hiking/cycling
routes on osm.org[1].

[1] https://github.com/osm-search/Nominatim/issues/413

> 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.

Problem is that a large part of routes is mistagged this way.
The public transport people even officially recommend this crappy
tagging for the name tag[2]. So I suspect that this particular ship
has sailed a long time ago.

[2] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Proposed_features/Public_Transport&oldid=625726#Route

These days I wonder if it wouldn't be better if we introduce a tag
that explicitly contains the name only. How about official_name for a,
well, official name of the route and local_name for one that is used
by everybody else.

On top of that, it would be good to encourage more use of tags for all the
other info that nowadays ends up in the name tag. Most of the are actually
defined somewhere already:

* ref
* symbol
* operator
* region [3]
* itinary (or, as PT people prefer: from, to, via)
* section_name (section? stage? leg?)
* section_ref

[3] Basically the entity that 'ref'refers to. Sometimes that is a touristic
    area, sometimes the operator. I'd rather call it 'network' but that tag
                is already used for something else.

If this kind of extended tagging gets widely enough used, then the
name tag can just fall into oblivion.


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