[Talk-us] "highway" tags in the US

Alex Mauer hawke at hawkesnest.net
Tue Mar 4 17:17:34 GMT 2008

Bone Killian wrote:
> On Mon, 2008-03-03 at 19:55 -0600, Alex Mauer wrote:
> IMHO the only thing that qualifies a road as a motorway (in the US) is
> the big red and blue signage identifying it as part of the interstate
> highway system.

Meeting the Interstate highway system standards also qualify it as a 
motorway, for the US.  The sign is, for the most part, an indicator that 
it meets these standards.  Where it doesn't meet standards but is still 
designated, OSM can make an exception just as the US gov't does.

> If we tag things based on what it looks like (subjective) instead of
> what it *is* (objective), the map will be a big mess of different
> colors, without any consistency.
> I think we need an 'official' one-to-one mapping of tags to real
> road-types.  Maybe we should arrange some sort of a vote or something?

One problem is that the signs have little to do with the real road 
types.  One potential solution to this is my proposal here:

It separates the signs from the real road types.

Unfortunately, reality is complicated and so are the definitions there.

-Alex Mauer "hawke"

More information about the Talk-us mailing list