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

David ``Smith'' vidthekid at gmail.com
Thu Sep 13 20:31:56 BST 2012

On Sep 13, 2012 11:51 AM, "Charlotte Wolter" <techlady at techlady.com> wrote:
> David,
>         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?

In most parts of a big state, one is surrounded by that state and no
others, so "state route" is unambiguous.  In a small state with many
neighbors, there are always other states nearby, so disambiguation may be
called for.  Anyway, this particular guideline wasn't meant to carry a lot
of weight.

>         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.

I've seen photos of single US route markers that literally say "1-9" in the
interior.  I have also seen people refer to combined US routes in this
way.  And to split hairs, a range of numbers should be written with an en
dash, not a hyphen.

>         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.

Confusion because someone might read Interstate 128 when it's a state
route? I'm sure that mistake is not new, and it still doesn't really
interfere with a human matching the map to reality.

I value brevity when writing refs for human consumption.  In the context of
agging ways, I assume the ref value is displayed unmodified to a human (if
at all), so I choose to optimize for humans.

>         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?

The semicolon method is, in my opinion, just as valid for overlaps as the
examples I provided; it's just not optimized for humans.   Potlatch doesn't
actually flag it as an error, but it thinks it might need to be checked (as
if two different values were combined when ways were joined, and maybe only
one value should apply).  I think it just needs to be tweaked so mappers
interpret it as a warning that can be OK as-is, and not an outright error.
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