[Talk-us] ref tags

Chris Lawrence lordsutch at gmail.com
Mon Feb 11 20:30:03 GMT 2013

On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 2:45 PM, Clay Smalley <claysmalley at gmail.com> wrote:
> The "SR" and "SH" designations were mostly put in by NE2, IIRC. Go figure.
> I'm personally okay with this mass edit, but expect a lot of hate mail from
> NE2.

FWIW I did get a pair of emails from NE2 that says, in part, he would
"grudgingly accept such a change."  I'd pass them along except (a) I'm
not sure I have permission to do so and (b) I'm not sure it would be
permissible in the sense that it might constitute posting on his
behalf.  In lieu of certainty I'll paraphrase and lightly quote...

He does reiterate the point it would lead to long ref tags that would
conflict with Mapnik's limitations.  He also argues that it would make
the Mapnik rendering erroneous (I suppose he's referring to the
practice of using "SR xx" on blade signs and lighted overhead street
signs, where the postal abbreviation is not used).  He also expresses
concern that the "anti-import bullies" might disapprove of a mass

(My thoughts follow.)

As far as the blade sign issue goes, I expect that directions are more
likely to use street names rather than the ref tags for routes that
have both, and that the average driver is unlikely to be confused by a
reference to "Florida xx" or "Florida Highway xx" instead of "State
Road xx," even if it's not the local vernacular, especially since the
shield in most of these cases - Florida, Georgia, and Alabama -
actually looks like the state itself* (and certainly less likely to be
confused by "Florida xx" than "xx" - "Turn left on 46? 46 what?") -
after all, I don't think anyone has seriously proposed renaming the
ref tags on US 101 in Los Angeles as "The 101."


* Ironically this argument would carry more weight in Mississippi...
where the shield is a circle, even though legally they're "Mississippi
xxx" (local vernacular though tends to be [State] Highway xxx in my

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