[Talk-us] Common names of highways do not match road signs.

Minh Nguyen minh at nguyen.cincinnati.oh.us
Sat Jul 9 01:15:12 UTC 2016

Paul Johnson <baloo at ...> writes:

> On Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 9:32 PM, Kevin Morgan
<morgankevinj-97jfqw80gc6171pxa8y+qA at public.gmane.org> wrote:It is confusing
to use open street maps in my area(Central Ohio) for
> driving directions since the "common names" of high ways do not match
> road signs. The common names are used by open map chest for road names.
> For example when turning on to State Route 315 with OpenMapChest loaded
> on my GPS I am directed to turn on to Olentangy Freeway. However the
> tiger name on open street maps is State route 315. Would it make more
> sense to configure driving maps to use tiger names for driving
> directions,  change commons names to include the state route number or
> interstate number, or add state route number/ interstate number as a
> different tag?
> ref=* isn't name=*, don't tag for the renderer.  I'd go with the official
name for name=*.  If you're inclined to do something like, name=State Route
315, you really want ref=OH 315.

You mean `ref=SR 315` and "don't tag for the router". ;-)

The established tagging conventions are designed so that any software that
needs to say something more sophisticated based on the route designation
would parse `network=US:OH` and `ref=315` from the associated route relation
and expand it into "State Route 315". You can find out more about tagging
Ohio route relations on the wiki. [1] The TIGER name Kevin refers to is a
vestige of an import; it isn't customary to tag this way when mapping by hand.

Ohio's DOT makes a point of avoiding names for any Interstate or state route
on signage, in favor of listing control cities. This is different than, say,
Kentucky, which tends to place the highway name next to the route marker on
overhead guide signage.

But Ohio highways still often have official names which are still known
locally, even if they aren't signposted. One example in the Cincinnati area
is the freeway portion of SR 562. The official name is "Norwood Lateral
Expressway", and Cincinnatians universally refer to it as the "Norwood
Lateral", to the point that pretty much no one knows what "SR 562" refers
to. It's clear that `official_name=Norwood Lateral Expressway` and
`loc_name=Norwood Lateral` would be appropriate. `unsigned_name=Norwood
Lateral` is another option.

(Incidentally, a nearby highway was exempted from ODOT's policy after being
renamed for Ronald Reagan. So the signs do include the road name. [2])

If you take the position that `name` should reflect signage, perhaps because
finding signage is more verifiable than asking someone at the nearby gas
station, then `name=Norwood Lateral` would clearly be inappropriate. (A part
of the world that doesn't signpost this way must look rather bare on the
map.) On the other hand, if your reasoning is that `name` should be whatever
name is most useful to someone attempting to use OSM for navigation, then
"Norwood Lateral" isn't entirely useless for that purpose. (You'll never
hear "562" on the traffic report.)

[1] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Ohio/Route_relations
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan_Cross_County_Highway

minh at nguyen.cincinnati.oh.us

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