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Is it a bad idea to be editing OpenStreetMap data to reflect temporary road works and traffic situations? In general the answer seems to be "Don't do it".

But what about roadworks closing a road for 6 months? what about 6 weeks?

And what about major traffic re-directing. For example this weekend they are temporarily changing the flow on Blackwall and Rotherhithe tunnels. This is a major re-routing of traffic, although quite temporary. If we were to fiddle with the one-way data, and put it back again later. Is that a bad kind of edit to be making? It could be very useful for users of any routing system which regularly brings in updates from our data (theoretical possibility)

asked 16 Jul '10, 12:17

Harry%20Wood's gravatar image

Harry Wood
accept rate: 14%

edited 27 Aug '13, 21:15

MagicFab's gravatar image


There are many different uses for OSM data, but the OSM data has to get from the main database to whoever is using it. Some people update their copy of the data from the main database every minute, some only every few months. So if you change the data to reflect some temporary change, chances are that your change will live a lot longer than you anticipated, because people don't update their copy for a while. This is especially true for mobile devices with intermittend Internet connection.

It depends on the nature of the data and the duration it is expected to be valid whether it might make sense to change it. A road closed for a day should certainly not be changed. In general I'd draw the line somewhere between 1 and 3 months. If you change anything, make sure to add notes to the data to inform others and remember to revert it yourself. There is no mechanism yet, to remind you or others that some data needs to be reverted.

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answered 16 Jul '10, 14:00

Jochen%20Topf's gravatar image

Jochen Topf
accept rate: 31%

edited 17 Jul '10, 13:46

ChrisH's gravatar image


There are attemps to integrate TMC data into the OSM data.

Can this be an appropriate way to give information where roads are temporary closed or under construction?

Maybe the guy who knows best about integration of TMC is Marcus Wolschon ...

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answered 24 Jul '10, 11:08

stephan75's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%

Take a look at time-based acess restrictions, this lets you set start and end dates for construction events.

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answered 17 Jul '10, 16:33

Baloo%20Uriza's gravatar image

Baloo Uriza
accept rate: 9%

As far as I known nobody is actually using those, though. So don't expect roads to magically appear on the map and disappear again according to those tags.

(17 Jul '10, 18:14) Jochen Topf

I googled up this old question and later I found the answer. See

For example I am using it when road is closed because of construction for more than one month.

E.g. vehicle:conditional=no @ (2017 Jul 03-2017 Aug 02)

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answered 08 Jul '17, 22:35

msuchy's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

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question asked: 16 Jul '10, 12:17

question was seen: 22,253 times

last updated: 08 Jul '17, 22:35

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