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How would I go about automated tagging?

I am wondering how I can add a massive amount of tags to OSM to help improve the map in my area? For example, I would like to tag the speed limits and all residential roads that are 100M or smaller with the speed limit of 25miles per hour unless there it is a private road. This is something that would help the rout-ability and start the basis of time based routing. It would be very annoying to tag roads manually and automation is something that could aid this endeavor. I could also use state laws to construct other automated tagging. Does OSM have a bot that could do this if not would I have to write my own and if so who would I have to talk to to get the proper authority to do so. Also does anyone think this is a bad idea, if so why?

asked 07 Nov '12, 15:34

redsteakraw's gravatar image

accept rate: 22%


The short answer is "You don't".

Automated edits like this don't add anything to the data, since any users of the data could infer the same information you're adding by using the same rules you are. Mass, automated tagging is also inaccurate, since there are always exceptions to rules, and your code won't spot these.

Even if you could justify the principle of mass tagging using a bot, you'd have to demonstrate your code worked properly and did no harm. By the time you've done all that, you might as well have done the tagging by hand, more accurately and without problems.

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answered 07 Nov '12, 15:42

Jonathan%20Bennett's gravatar image

Jonathan Ben...
accept rate: 18%

It is a bad idea. If the speed limit, or indeed anything else, can be automatically inferred then it should not be tagged explicitly. You will only burden the database (and all its users) with that "massive amount" of tags, plus your tags will occasionally be wrong (since you're only guessing the max speed and not observing it).

You may think that this improves the map but it doesn't. Just like writing good prose - every word you can leave out without changing the essence of what is said will improve the text ;) It improves the map if you go out and add actually surveyed information, not if you write a bot and add tons of tags that do not add information but noise.

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answered 07 Nov '12, 15:43

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%


If speed limits are set by State laws and every State has different laws(in the United States), is there anyway of adding these rules or speed hints to a State's administrative boundary, instead of mass tagging?

(07 Nov '12, 16:08) redsteakraw

There is no established tagging scheme for maxspeed on boundary relations, so there is room to invent one. I propose to add






where the last one contains the default value, or maybe other descriptive tags.

Then please write some lines about that in the wiki. No proposal or so is required for this.

(08 Nov '12, 07:27) Roland Olbricht

There is a proposal here for tagging defaults:

Also see this list of default speed limits for each country:

(08 Nov '12, 12:56) Vclaw

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question asked: 07 Nov '12, 15:34

question was seen: 4,529 times

last updated: 08 Nov '12, 12:56

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum