[OSM-talk] RFC: Tagging and rendering Australian highway numbers

Cameron Patrick cameron at patrick.wattle.id.au
Wed Jul 25 13:53:56 BST 2007

G'day again,

Along with the experimenting with Mapnik I've been doing, I've also been
trying to add the correct symbols for Australian highway numbers.
Unfortunately, it's a bit of a mess because there are several different
types of them, each with different colours and their own 'shield'

But first, the cool stuff - here's a map of Perth with ref= rendered
using the right symbols:


You can see the blue-and-white state routes and green-and-yellow
national routes (Great Eastern and Great Northern highways here).  The
icons come from Wikimedia Commons and are public domain.  The downside
is that I'm using a different image for each route number, which doesn't
scale particularly well, because it entails a new mapnik rule for each.

You also see that the city turns into somewhat of a sea of route shields
in the zoomed-out view; and there are plenty of roads with route numbers
assigned which aren't shown in that image above!  Some kind of control
over this in Mapnik would be handy.

There's also been quite a few 'standards' that people have used for
tagging the route numbers, with additional, er, excitement from the fact
that a single stretch of road can have multiple routes assigned to it.
Does anyone on talk-au have any opinions there?  From what I've seen
driving around (and from consulting Wikipedia), here are the various
types of route signs in use in Australia:

 * State routes (white text on blue shield for numeric; white text on green
   rectangle for alphanumeric e.g. M5, A8)
 * Australian routes (black text on white shield; AFAIK Highway One is
   the only one of these that exists)
 * National routes (yellow text on green shield)
 * Tourist routes (white text on brown shield)
 * Metroads (blue number inside a hexagon - only in Sydney and Brisbane)

I'm not sure whether it'd be best to use different tags for each type
(e.g. ref=2, national_ref=94, etc) or to have a more detailed value for
ref, e.g. "ref=Metroad 5", "ref=National M1".


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