[Talk-GB] Road refs

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Thu Aug 30 08:34:44 UTC 2018

All "ref" values are relative to some authority who is responsible for
maintaining the list. The "A1" in ref=A1 is not unique unless you
specify that (for example) the UK Department for Transport issued that
value. A C-number is still a valid ref, but the maintainer of the list
is a local council. Even within the UK there are duplicates by the way -
Northern Ireland has its own set of road numbers which often duplicate
numbers in GB. So we can't say that a plain "ref=*" is nationally unique

Assuming the formal definition of "ref" is "the value in some
administration" and not "the value on the sign", the proper fix is to
change all ref=* to ref:XXX=* where XXX represents the issuing
authority. Alternatively keep ref=* and add authority:ref=XXX. Using
source:ref is no good because that represents how you found out, and may
be something like source:ref=sign.

If we define "ref" as "the value on the sign" it should be
"signed_road_number" or something, not "ref" as this implies a
referential relationship with some other entity. 

On 2018-08-30 01:57, Dave F wrote:

> On 29/08/2018 20:32, Toby Speight wrote: 
>> I consider it a "niche" that wants them hidden.
> The vast, vast majority are hidden on the ground.
>> I don't see
>> that we have to mis-tag them all to have them hidden - I can see it
>> would be useful to have a map with less clutter, but it shouldn't be
>> hard to do that without having to mangle the underlying OSM database!
> Separating tags isn't "mangling" It makes the database more detailed & accurate.
> How would you propose to do it?
>> Yes, I appreciate that if the highways_authority_ref were documented and
>> somehow agreed to be correct, then for mkgmap it would be a simple
>> matter of "add ref ${highways_authority_ref};" near the beginning; it
>> would be a bit harder to get a workable tag template for Merkaartor, but
>> tools like KeepRight and Geofabrik QA aren't so easily adjusted, and
>> unlikely to adopt new tagging until it's at least documented.
> I'm sorry, but this is poppycock. All data users should have ability to responded to changes in the database. The tail does not wag the dog.
> DaveF
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