[Tagging] Tagging Cycle Route Relations vs. Ways

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com
Tue Nov 17 02:42:51 UTC 2020

On Mon, Nov 16, 2020 at 9:20 PM Dave F via Tagging <
tagging at openstreetmap.org> wrote:

> Be careful. This is where many contributors get confused. The name of the
> *path* is often not the name of the *route*. A route relation can, & often
> does, go along paths with different names. Multiple routes can go along a
> path.

To give a more concrete example, there's a rail-trail in my neighborhood
called the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail.
It has a relation, for several reasons that I'll discuss below.  Most of
its member ways are also named 'Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail'. There are a
few ways, however, that have the names of highways because freeways and
active rail lines interrupt the rail grade, and the trail follows some
lightly-trafficked streets for a short distance before rejoining the
grade.  Those ways have name='Dunsbach Ferry Road', name='Island View
Road', name='Scrafford Lane', name='Iroquois Street', etc, but remain
members of the route named 'Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail'. (Actually,
there are two route relations: one for cycling and one for walking.)

Large portions of the rail-trail are, in turn, used by two long-distance
routes: the Erie Canalway Trail and the Empire State Trail.  There are
separate relations for these two, and most of the members of the
Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail are also members of these other relations.
(That does not affect the names of the member ways. The Mohawk-Hudson
signage is consistent, while the signage for the other two trails is still
something of a work in progress, although there's a lot more of it than
there used to be. The naming of the member ways follows the commonest

There are a great many member ways because of changes of the
characteristics of the way (bridge=yes, embankment=yes, bicycle=dismount,
surface changing from asphalt to wood on a bridge, and so on.)

The Mohawk-Hudson relation exists (a) because not all the member ways have
its name (since it borrows roads for short segments) and (b) because
Waymarked Trails and other data consumers do better with a route relation
grouping all the ways, rather than trying to assemble a route from ways
with nothing in common other than being named alike.

> I assume this is not prefered because a number of applications use the
> names in the Ways themselves and not the Route Relation, most notably
> osm-carto.
> It renders the names of the paths, not the routes.
> However, some benefits of doing this might be:
>    - Takes up less space in the DB
>    - More tags that apply to the whole coute could be added to the
>    Relation like surface <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:surface>
>    =* and source <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:source>=* (like
>    the official map of the route).
> Surface has no place in a route relation as it refers diectly to the path,
> not the multiple relations passing along it. Similar for the source tag.
> DaveF
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> Tagging at openstreetmap.org
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73 de ke9tv/2, Kevin
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