[Talk-us] Consensus on "SR" for state route versus state abbreviation?

Charlotte Wolter techlady at techlady.com
Thu Sep 13 16:51:58 BST 2012


         I agree with much of what you said.
         However, I'm not sure why the size of a 
state should make a difference in what 
abbreviation is used. Large or small, shouldn't 
the state abbreviation be consistent?
         Also, in the "B" section, where you 
suggest US 1 plus US 9 could be abbreviated as US 
1-9, I think that could be misleading. It is 
common to use a hyphen between numbers, such as 
1-9,  to signify 1 through 9. That's not what you meant.
         And the use of a slash would seem OK if 
the prefix always is there, the "I" or whatever 
state prefix applies. For example I 70/I 71 or I 
95/MA 128. Otherwise, I think, there is potential for confusion.
         At any rate, I hope we can come to some 
kind of agreement on what to do about overlapping 
routes. Now we use semicolons to separate 
overlaping routes, but Potlatch 2 always flags 
those as incorrect. I "corrected" a bunch of 
those before someone told me that it's just a 
problem in Potlatch 2. So, it would be great if 
there were some clarity on that. Anyone?
         And, bring back the hyphen in interstate 
highway refs! Here's to I-10, which really does need a hyphen.
         So from now on I'll use state 
abbreviations and do relations, relations, relations.


At 11:57 PM 9/12/2012, you wrote:

>Concerning ref tags on ways, I don't think 
>there's a need to impose nationwide 
>"consistency".  I also don't think it's worth 
>even adhering to a strict machine-parseable 
>syntax (particularly dealing with overlaps) 
>since that kind of information is much better organized in relations.
>That said, here are my "ideal" guidelines for 
>formatting ref tags on single state highways:
>1) If there is one clearly-popular abbreviation, 
>such as M-xx in Michigan or possibly K-xx in Kansas, use it.
>2) If a state has primary and secondary state 
>routes, or numerous classes of state routes like 
>Texas, the prefix should indicate the route class.
>3) If a state allows its state routes to have 
>the same number as a US or Interstate route in 
>that state, a state-specific prefix (postal 
>abbreviation or other as described above) should be used.
>4) If a state is large (such that most places 
>aren't "near" the borders) a generic prefix like 
>SR or SH or STH (depending on preferred local 
>terminology) may be used, notwithstanding guideline 3.
>5) If a state's state route markers are generic 
>(circle/oval or box) and don't specifically 
>identify the state, a generic prefix or no 
>prefix may be used, notwithstanding guideline 3.
>6) Consistency within a state, or within broad 
>regions of larger states, is probably still of 
>value.  A format should be chosen by consensus 
>of mappers familiar with the state or region in question.
>6a) As a mapper familiar with Ohio, I prefer SR 
>xx, but would be amenable to OH xx or OH-xx.
>Slightly off-topic:
>A) I strongly prefer I-xx and not I xx (and 
>definitely not Ixx) for Interstates.  The 
>hyphen enhances readability and reduces the 
>chance of the I being mistaken for a 1.  The 
>reasons I've heard in support of I xx are: to 
>match US and state routes (why does it have 
>to?); to match European route designations 
>(making apples look like oranges); because "all" 
>the Interstates are already tagged as I xx (due 
>to a few editors who value consistency a little 
>too highly, plus I see that as a circular 
>argument); changing it breaks renderers (nearly 
>all renderers just pass a way's ref tag directly 
>to the output, and those that do try to parse it 
>can and should normalize tagging variations as a 
>preprocessing step anyway).  On the other hand, 
>I would't argue against the format IH xx in 
>Texas because most Texans I've encountered write it that way.
>B) When routes overlap, there is no "right" way 
>to format the way's ref tag.  I don't think any 
>active renderers attempt to separate it into 
>multiple values; considering this information 
>can be stored with much better structure in 
>relations, I don't think any programmer wants to 
>bother with trying to parse a ref string 
>anyway.  That just leaves humans who will ever 
>read it, and we can optimize for that.  Brevity 
>may be more important than technical correctness 
>when a human is reading.  Local understanding 
>of routes' relative importance may play a 
>role.  The following "equations" demonstrate 
>options to represent overlapping routes in a 
>way's ref tag that seem perfectly sensible to me:
>US 1 + US 9 = US 1-9
>I-70 + I-71 = I-70/71
>US 40 + US 62 + OH 16 = US 40-62
>I-74 + I-465 + (?) = I-465
>I-95 + MA 128 = I-95/128
>US 68 + OH 15 = OH 15
>These little white lies are close enough to 
>match the line on the map to the road on the 
>planet.  (Every good map has to lie in some way 
>to convey information effectively.)Â  If someone 
>really wants to know which routes follow a 
>particular way, they should examine the 
>relation(s) that contain it.  If a mapper 
>really wants to make sure the correct, official 
>truth is represented in the database, they 
>should make sure all relevant route relations 
>exist and are correct.  Trying to squeeze all 
>that information into a single string with a 
>rigid syntax is optimizing for a use case that essentially doesn't exist.Â
>On Sep 12, 2012 8:59 PM, "Charlotte Wolter" 
><<mailto:techlady at techlady.com>techlady at techlady.com> wrote:
>Hello all,
>Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Was there ever consensus on 
>whether to use "SR" (or some variation on that) 
>for state highways versus an abbreviation of the 
>state name ("CA" or "NY"). I remember that there 
>was discussion, but I don't remember if there was consensus.
>Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Thanks.
>Charlotte Wolter
>927 18th Street Suite A
>Santa Monica, California
><mailto:techlady at techlady.com>techlady at techlady.com
>Skype: thetechlady
>The Four Internet Freedoms
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Charlotte Wolter
927 18th Street Suite A
Santa Monica, California
techlady at techlady.com
Skype: thetechlady

The Four Internet Freedoms
Freedom to visit any site on the Internet
Freedom to access any content or service that is not illegal
Freedom to attach any device that does not interfere with the network
Freedom to know all the terms of a service, 
particularly any that would affect the first three freedoms.
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