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Hi there,

wherever I look in OSM I find that the tag highway=residential is used for roads within industrial areas. This is according to the description (and my opinion) of what a residential road is wrong! How can one deal with that? "highways=industrial" or "highway=service" with the addition "service=industrial" could do!?

Any solution?

Many thanks Christian

asked 05 Jan '11, 09:48

chtrede's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 05 Jan '11, 09:52

The usual way to tag a road that has similar characteristics to a residential road but lies in an industrial area is highway=unclassified. highway=service could be used for something that is a pure access road but I would never expect trucks on a highway=service.

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answered 05 Jan '11, 10:08

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%


Ok, so consequently there is not special tag for roads in industrial areas!


(05 Jan '11, 10:09) chtrede

I would tag an access road to a specific firm within the industrial area as highway=service and service=driveway . So I would expect trucks on a service road! Another example from a different context: Consider highway=service and service=parking_aisle: Why not expecting a truck there? But you are right, that in general the roads within an industrial area should be tagged as highway=unclassified.

(05 Jan '11, 21:13) ALE

Is this one of those tagging issues that have no perfect solution with the available tags?

I've ended up using highway=residential in some cases also in industrial areas per the definition that unclassified roads are to be the lowest level of road network (w/ through traffic), which is not true for many "basic" roads in industrial areas.

So, my approach has been more from the highway hierarchy than type of usage in which the hierarchy goes: primary, secondary, tertiary, unclassified, residential, service, (track) -- where residential and below don't carry through traffic.


(27 Apr '11, 23:26) jaakkoh

By most interpretations, residential and unclassified are on about the same level in the hierarchy. I.e. they're the same but the 'residential' road has houses around it. Physically they're generally the same.

(28 Jul '11, 15:26) Matt Williams

All those highway=residential tags in the USA at least come from the Tiger import. It probably should have come in as highway=secondary or highway=tertiary. Just don't worry about it: the tag sounds wrong but works fine.

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answered 31 Aug '11, 06:19

Bryce%20C%20Nesbitt's gravatar image

Bryce C Nesbitt
accept rate: 0%

the tag for a road or path which is not yet classified in OSM (e.g. is derived from aerial imagery without local knowledge) besides guessing is highway=road. This is a kind of fixme to the following mappers that they should classify this road.

(20 Sep '11, 18:11) dieterdreist

I've been thinking there should be a highway=industrial for some time but have shied away from unilaterally using it. highway=service is no good (for the industrial estate on which I work) as the roads are quite definitely public highways, but of no use for anything other than getting to the industrial units.

They also have no housing on them. They have no obvious numbering. You would almost never use them for routing.


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answered 26 Jul '11, 11:54

mwbg's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

You can of course tag access entirely separately, regardless of what highway tag has been used.

(26 Jul '11, 12:23) SomeoneElse ♦

I have this question too, right now I'm using highway=residential. This also raises another question for rural roads, should they be highway=residential(road? unclassified?)

If one is a bit more important than it of course becomes tertiary or secondary so that isn't an issue.

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answered 26 Aug '11, 00:09

Sundance's gravatar image

accept rate: 3%


highway=road is a fixme for unclassified (=not yet classified) roads. It is not a road class.

(28 Aug '11, 11:40) dieterdreist

However aren't we classifying them as (invalid but yet more appropriate tags) highway=industrial, highway=rural? Seems like highway=unclassified isn't appropriate.

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answered 08 Sep '11, 22:54

Sundance's gravatar image

accept rate: 3%


highway=unclassified is not really a road without classification (that would be highway=road) but rather the same as highway=residential, but outside a residential area. This strange naming scheme comes from the UK hierarchy of roads and takes a bit to get used to.

(08 Sep '11, 23:05) petschge

Hmh. This is not exactly on the topic (of industrial areas tagging) but re: previous comment:

While highway=unclassified is (imho unfortunately) the corresponding tag for "basic roads" outside of residential areas it's imho important to remember that within residential areas there is a difference of hierarchy between these two: As the Key:highway wiki-page reads: "Unclassified roads typically form the lowest form of the interconnecting grid network" whereas the residential roads are "primarily for access to properties".

(20 Sep '11, 14:33) jaakkoh

I wouldn't worry too much about what the wiki says. Much more relevant are the use of tags worldwide (which reflects the voted-up answers to this question).

(20 Sep '11, 16:26) SomeoneElse ♦

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question asked: 05 Jan '11, 09:48

question was seen: 9,481 times

last updated: 20 Sep '11, 18:11

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