[Talk-us] Highway Tagging Consensus to Improve OSM (and address some of 41 latitude's concerns)

Toby Murray toby.murray at gmail.com
Tue Oct 19 21:27:11 BST 2010

So to get back to the basics of this thread... I think we can all
agree that we should (and are) using relations to represent highway
routes and that we need to get renderer support for route relations

So then the question is what tags to use on relations. From what I
have seen in the wiki and from most people around here, the accepted
convention is as follows.

For example, Kansas highway 18:
type = route
route = road
network = US:KS
ref = 18
(optional?) symbol=* tag

I haven't messed with any US highways. I believe I saw someone suggest
"US:US" for the network? And interstates seem to be "US:I"


There does seem to be some debate about county roads. I would probably
throw my vote in with something like "network=US:KS:Riley"

If this information is accurate then renderers can decide if they want
a dash or a shield or what have you. That is not a concern of the

I do have one question: Is it acceptable/proper to have a name=* tag
on a relation? I have seen it on some and have actually used it a
couple of times - for example "name=KS 18"

The only advantage I see is that it makes things easier to read in
editors and when browsing data since the name tag is used when
displaying relations in lists or listing what relations a way is part
of instead of just showing the numeric ID. But this is a case of
tagging for tools so I could see reasonable objections to it.

What to do with ref=* tags on individual ways is a separate
discussion. Let's focus on getting a concrete system in place that we
can go beat the rendering people over the head with. I think if we as
a US community come out with a solid plan and say "we need this now"
people will listen.


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