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I am interested in extracting a few US highway and railway routes from planet.osm. Do highways - and/or railways - include highway number designations? Interstate 95 - running down the east coast. Or, here in Boston the MBTA Red Line?

Thanks, Doug

asked 27 Feb '14, 12:56

dugla's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Data is in OSM that people put into OSM. Highways and railways may include something in the name tag, but they may not. For highway numbers, you want to look in the ref tag. You can find more detail about highway tagging on the OSM wiki.

In addition, many major highways will be collected in relations, such as this one for I-95 in Massachusetts. Some bus/train routes are also collected in relations, such as this one for Route 1 in Boston. You can find more info on route relations on the OSM wiki. Transit routes are also viewable on the Transportation layer on the main OSM website.

To one of your specific questions, I don't see the Red Line in OSM, which is a little surprising as Mass GIS has released a lot of data under an open license, and much of it has been imported in. If that's a specific need, you can get it from MassGIS.

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answered 27 Feb '14, 15:16

neuhausr's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%


Super helpful @neuhauser. Hang on, my mind is a bit blown here, how was the I-95/Mass map created? Is this a specific trace created by jremillard (the author)? Can I create one myself?

(27 Feb '14, 15:26) dugla

jremillard is just the most recent editor of this relation--you can see that this is version 40. Each way that is part of the relation has its own version history too. Many roads in the US started as imports from TIGER, but others have been traced from imagery, collected via GPS, or imported from other sources (like MassGIS). You can edit OSM if you sign up, just make sure to follow the editing guidelines and use proper sources. If you want to extract data, look through questions tagged export or download.

(27 Feb '14, 15:48) neuhausr

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question asked: 27 Feb '14, 12:56

question was seen: 2,143 times

last updated: 27 Feb '14, 15:48

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