[Talk-GB] NaPTAN station codes

Dave Stubbs osm.list at randomjunk.co.uk
Tue Oct 26 10:04:37 BST 2010

On Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 9:11 PM, Andy Mabbett <andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk> wrote:
> On 25 October 2010 12:47, Ed Avis <eda at waniasset.com> wrote:
>> Shaun McDonald <shaun at ...> writes:
>>>I have been adding the three letter short code as the ref tag when I have been
>>>editing around stations. e.g. http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/node/9779990
>> OK so 'ref' is the de facto convention for this three-letter code.
> Wouldn't it be better to have a unique key?
> If not, why not?
> (Genuine question; I'm relatively new to this.)

The contents of the ref tag is generally the publicly used reference
code for an object. For roads that'd be M1 or A303 etc. For stations
it'd be the three letter code that's in all the timetables and gets
printed on online booking receipts etc.

There's no harm in using ref for this as it doesn't really conflict
with anything else and it's what the key is for. To do a special key
would be a lot like doing a special key for station_name -- there's
little point and it just makes it harder for everyone to remember what
the keys are :-)

The main reason you would do a special key is if there where two
distinct references of equal prominence and it wasn't appropriate to
use loc_ref (local), int_ref (international) etc. In this case the
naptan code should use it's own key because nobody (in the general
public at least) actually uses them, leaving the ref key open for the
common 3 letter code.


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