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There is a road that is in main country network - it has marking and description in lots of administrative documents. It looks like it is going to be tagged with highway=secondary, ref=660. However that is completely wrong for the context, because the road condition doesn't respond to its status. Someone could expect a secondary road to be a nice, broad asphalt road. There is about 30km part of this road that is very bad - holes, land slides, asphalt missing, mud and water holes.

It is not a temporary condition since the road is in that shape for many years. It deserves to be marked in some way. It is very misleading for random people to go on that road after they see highway=secondary.

I though to tag it as highway=track, but it has a designated number and it is listed in the adminisrative papers as a secondary.

Should I use the key tracktype=* to describe bad roads? Is this tag only valid in combination with highway=track?

Any other suggestions?

asked 22 Jan '11, 14:37

ivanatora's gravatar image

accept rate: 7%

Openstreetmap maps reality not administrative papers. If the road is not what one would expect from a secondary road, then don't tag it as one. If it is in such poor condition then highway=track tracktype=grade2 seems resonably. Suitable surface tags are helpful too. Nevertheless the street should be tagged with ref=660 as it is this road.

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answered 22 Jan '11, 14:51

petschge's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

edited 25 Jan '11, 12:30

In addition to what's already been mentioned, I'd also (at the risk of stating the obvious) suggest checking what other similar roads in your country are tagged as. Tag use sometimes varies greatly by country; it may be that the mapping community there has already a de-facto standard for dealing with roads/tracks such as this.

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answered 25 Jan '11, 14:27

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
accept rate: 16%

IMHO that road should not be tagged as track because track is (mainly) for agricultural use. I would tag it as highway=unclassified with conditions like paved, smoothness, usability, etc..

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answered 25 Jan '11, 08:13

ALE's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%

edited 25 Jan '11, 15:13


I wouldn't say that track was ONLY for agricultural use.

(25 Jan '11, 14:15) SomeoneElse ♦

highway=track is certainly not just for agricultural use. It's equally valid for forest tracks and for longer unmade routes.

(25 Jan '11, 14:16) Richard ♦

I said that it is mainly for agricultural use. In the wiki it says: "Roads for agricultural use, gravel roads in the forest etc".

(06 Jul '11, 16:45) ALE

Definitely highway=track; use the ref= tag as normal; consider using the designation= tag to record the road's official designation (e.g. designation=secondary_road).

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answered 22 Jan '11, 18:17

Richard's gravatar image

Richard ♦
accept rate: 18%


I've never heared of designation=* key. I see there is currently proposed feature: Is this it?

(23 Jan '11, 07:13) ivanatora

Yes. Despite it's proposal status it is already used more then 22000 times.

(23 Jan '11, 10:31) petschge

There are some additional keys for tagging road conditions such as smoothness and usability, but renderers and probably most routing engines don't support them. You should use them nevertheless, but as already mentioned consider tagging the road as highway=track with an appropriate tracktype.

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answered 22 Jan '11, 16:40

scai's gravatar image

scai ♦
accept rate: 23%

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question asked: 22 Jan '11, 14:37

question was seen: 9,808 times

last updated: 06 Jul '11, 16:45

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