[Talk-us] State highway refs (was Re: New I.D Feature)

Paul Johnson baloo at ursamundi.org
Sun Nov 30 05:11:10 UTC 2014

On Sat, Nov 29, 2014 at 10:50 PM, Dave Mansfield <mansfieldd at chartermi.net>

> Please forgive me I’m not trying to stir things up. I’m new to OSM and
> trying to learn and I don’t have any idea what the NE2 you refer to is.

Glossing past this since it's extensively in the archives at this point.

> I understand that a lot of things are tagged different then what I would
> think do to standards. I understand that and I’m doing everything I can to
> learn the correct way to tag. I’m always looking at the Wiki and also how
> others are tagging. I’ve also sent emails asking for help on tagging. I
> understand that we normally don’t abbreviate but that states are the
> exception and we use the 2 letter abbreviation. So I’m only trying to learn
> but in this case a ref tag seems like a name tag for the name of the route
> to me and I’m having a hard time understanding why we would tag a name
> something other then what it is.

Don't take it too hard.  People game the wiki regularly, which makes it
confusing for humans.  We've arrived at using the state name for the
primary (and often only) state highway networks as this provides for a
consistent, unambiguous and geographically context-free (ie, you don't need
to know what state you're in to get it by context) way for routing engines
and renderers to understand that it's a state highway, and from which
state.  This system breaks down in ways route relations don't mostly
because of the way the network tag works for state highways (ie, US:TX,
US:TX:NASA, US:OK:Turnpike etc) for states that have multiple highway
systems and that the ref tag on a way is still a legacy from when this
whole system was an experiment on some guy's home server in London and
didn't think it was really going to take off.  ;o)

> Is there someplace I can go to read why it’s this way?

#osm-us on OFTC seems to be the best place to get a quickish answer, though
in this case, sounds like you got it (even if it didn't sound great...)
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