NOTICE: is being shutdown on 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum

In South Tyrol, roads that are under the supervision of the province are named SP (Strada Provinciale) in italian, and LS (Landesstraße) in german. Roads under the supervision of the comune are named SC (Strada Comunale) or GS (Gemeindestraße). Now I know that I can use name:de and name:it to specify names in multiple languages, but is this also possible for refs?

Current use seems to be to write LS/SP 123 as ref. In some road maps usually they are not written as such, but alternating on the road both LS123 and SP123 (this is, of course, a thing for the renderer). But then there should be a way to specify this to indicate to the renderer that there are more names for it that should be put on the way alternating.

Such a tag (alternating) would also help for street names. Currently, one can specify name:de=Romstraße name:it=Via Roma and name=Romstraße - Via Roma, but apparently, this leads to names that are always very long and sometimes (for streets with obstacles), doesn't display well. For the renderer having the choice between more names would -- I think -- help at placing street names in this case.

asked 07 Nov '10, 12:42

Alexander%20Roalter's gravatar image

Alexander Ro...
accept rate: 0%

edited 08 Nov '10, 10:10

Andy%20Allan's gravatar image

Andy Allan


The rules are quite simple. For ways with several references you can use ref=[primary ref];[secondary ref]. name=* is the name of the road in the language spoken by the local citizens.

permanent link

answered 07 Nov '10, 14:25

Gnonthgol's gravatar image

Gnonthgol ♦
accept rate: 16%


Do you mean a wiki page, when you refer to "the rules"?

Maybe this one? :

And a little fodder for thought: I guess "the language spoken by the local citizens" does not exist, because there are obviously two languages in use in South Tyrol. - And where I am mapping there are 10 main languages spoken, that is why I am following this question.

(14 Nov '10, 21:43) Screentoosmall

The thing is that there aren't different refs for the street, but different writings for the same ref. It's always provincial street No. 153, but in german, it's written LS153, in italian SP153. The road signs (showing the distance every 100m) display it as follows:

|LS    |
|   153| (with 153 being in larger characters
|SP    |  spanning the entire height)

ref:de and ref:it would be the way to go, I think, but there's no renderer supporting it atm.

(19 Nov '10, 17:44) Alexander Ro...

My guess is that you could apply the same principles of the multilangual name for the tag ref.
Which means something like "ref:de=LS 123", "ref:it=SP 123" and keep "ref=???" for what is visible on the ground.
But before you start something like this, you should first talk with the autrian community of contributors, find a consensus and document it on the wiki (you can specify your own rules and not always rely on the german pages). Only the main tag "ref" will be used by most of the applications.
To see the localized references, you will have to adapt the tools (renderers, etc). But this is the same issue for multilangual names.

permanent link

answered 08 Nov '10, 22:50

Pieren's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

edited 09 Nov '10, 12:58

Your issues about multilingual names may be topic at Key:name, about multiple ref at Key:ref.

To show the map in different languages by using the special name:XX keys you can have a look at Map_Internationalization.

permanent link

answered 08 Nov '10, 05:52

stephan75's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%

Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 07 Nov '10, 12:42

question was seen: 6,914 times

last updated: 19 Nov '10, 17:45

NOTICE: is being shutdown on 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum