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

Craig Hinners craig at hinnerspace.com
Sat Oct 23 14:30:48 BST 2010

> > On 10/15/2010 09:44 PM, Richard Welty wrote:
> > Sans prefices, the highway=motorway where US Highway 10, Wisconsin Highway
> > 66, and Interstate Highway 39 run together would have ref=10;66;39.  Not
> > very useful for determining which is which.

This is why I keep arguing for using *non-ambiguous tag names*: the
"what" should go in the tag name, and the "which" should go in the tag
value. So, instead of the current situation where we have half a
bazillion ways with a "network" tag name, you'd have:

network:country[US]:unitedStatesHighway = 10
network:country[US]:state[WI] = 66
network:country[US]:interstate = 39

(Or, if you're of the brevity and ambiguity trumps verbosity and clarity
camp, I give you "network:US:WI", "network:US:US", "network:US:I".)

Point being, by making a clean separation between the "what" and the
"which", it makes it easier from the standpoint of an automated agent of
OSM data, be it a renderer or whatnot: you have a clean query on the tag
/name/ to get all routes of a certain classification (the "what"),
regardless of /which/ route number it is.

No endless parsing of the tag value, looking for "I-" to determine
whether that way is an interstate, oh, oops, this guy doesn't like
hyphens, I need to look for "I*", oh, oops, that gets me everything for
Iowa and Idaho, oops, now my function to determine whether a way is an
interstate is 10000 lines long with 500 "if" statements and regular
expressions that would make a CS major run for the hills.

No, none of that. Simply: if tag name =
"network:country[US]:interstate", render the AASHTO shield with the
number(s) in the tag value. Easy peesy.

No arguing about relations, super relations, super duper relations,
relations of relations of relations of sub-relations, orphan relations,
bastard relations, divorced relations, etc. You just tag the ways with
these non-ambiguous tag names. Relations are WTFs of complete and utter

More information about the Talk-us mailing list