[Talk-transit] Town names in bus stop names

michael at vonglasow.com michael at vonglasow.com
Tue Dec 21 01:23:19 GMT 2010

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Hello list,

While mapping bus (and other) routes all over Europe, I have frequently encountered bus lines linking two (or more) towns, with multiple stops in each town. For example, a bus route might include the following stops (free adaptation of commonly encountered situation):

Greenmond, Station
Greenmond, Doe Square
Greenmond, Church
Greenmond, Roe Street
Greenmond, New Market Mall
Whitepool, Primary School
Whitepool, Church

What should we put in the name= tags for these stops? Where should we best put the name of the town? 

To complicate matters, let us look at the following conditions:

- The name on the pole itself does not include the name on the town. So the pole at the station in Greenmond would just read "Station".
- There is also a bus line operating only within Greenmond, which shares some of the above stops. However, timetables and line sketches for this second line omit the town name in the bus stops (i.e. Station, Doe Square, New Market Mall).
- When rendered on a map, it is also advisable to omit the town name - thus names are shorter, the map is less cluttered and the town name can usually be derived from the on the map.
- Line sketches and timetables for the above line list stop names along with the towns they are in. There are different ways of dong this:

Greenmond, Station (like shown above)


Station (Greenmond)


Doe Square
Roe Street
New Market Mall
Primary School

Or (since Greenmond is a big city of a million residents or more), town names are given only for stops outside of Greenmond.

I have seen attempts in the wild to solve this problem by tagging stops as name="Greenmond, New Market Mall" (or the equivalent thereof). 

However, the more I think about it, the more correct it seems to me to put the town name in a separate tag. That way renderers get the actual (local) name of the stop separately from the town it is in and can decide how to process these: A map renderer may just ignore the town name, a route sketch renderer may get more sophisticated and decide to ignore the town name if it is the same for all stops of a given route, else render them in one of the ways described above, or render town names unless it is the preconfigured name of the big metropole or...

Question: what tag should we use for the town name? is_in=*? Or addr:city=? Or something else? (Does anyone know about other map features with similar issues and how it was solved?)


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