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Should a route number that's consistently not signed be removed from the ref tag, or is the ref tag for any designation, signed or unsigned?

asked 19 Jul '10, 04:26

NE2's gravatar image

accept rate: 9%

If this is some official road designation in general use, it should probably appear in the ref tag even if there are no signs. (Although the question then becomes: How do you know about it?) This is only valid for road designations in public use. If this is just some number used internally in say the department responsible for road maintenance, it should not be in the ref tag (but could be in some other tag).

As with any tag it always comes down to: Would the user of this data expect the information to be there? Can it be useful to people?

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answered 19 Jul '10, 08:42

Jochen%20Topf's gravatar image

Jochen Topf
accept rate: 31%

re: the "how would you know about it"; In the UK "C" roads are not numbered on signs, except during roadworks (when you'll get signs like "Exit for C442 closed, Diversion ^") or occasionally they'll be mentioned in the press. They're always available to confirm by speaking with the highways authority for the respective area

(20 Jul '10, 09:28) Rowland

If its an official reference number for that road, then it should be in the ref tag.

Though I think it would be useful to use an additional tag to specify whether or not the ref is signposted anywhere. eg something like signed:ref=no This could also be used for the name tags, eg: signed:name=yes, signed:name:fr=no, signed:alt_name=no etc. It probably could be assumed that signed:name and signed:ref are true if there is a name tag / ref tag present, unless otherwise specified.

This would be useful for routing software, as its not very useful to say "turn left onto foo road", if there isn't any signpost with that name. I think a "signed" tag would be useful, and worth discussing on the tagging list, and proposing / documenting on the wiki etc. Maybe there's a better word than signed, I'm not sure.

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answered 19 Jul '10, 22:34

Vclaw's gravatar image

accept rate: 22%

signed:ref=no doesn't work when some of the refs are signed and some are unsigned.

As an example, in Florida, Interstate 4 (ref=I 4) is also State Road 400, because the Florida Department of Transportation likes having one system (state roads) for internal record-keeping purposes. SR 400 is not displayed anywhere on the road (except on the tiny stamped text labeling bridges, I believe). Commercial maps, both online and paper, often show SR 400 and other such numbers, probably causing confusion among non-locals.

[went over the character limit; continuing in another comment]

(19 Jul '10, 23:53) NE2

There's also a short signed segment of SR 400 east of I-95, where I-4 ends, complete with 'begin 400' (and 'end 400'?) signs where SR 400 becomes unsigned.

Other routes are more complicated; for instance a portion of Main Street in Jacksonville is signed as US 1, US 90, and SR 228, with unsigned designations of SR 5 and SR 10. To the southeast, SR 10 splits from US 90 and becomes signed, with unsigned SR 212 beginning along US 90. Sometimes different FDOT sources disagree on the 'hidden' number, with no way to reconcile them because no signs are present.

(19 Jul '10, 23:54) NE2

So there are two possibilities:

  1. The current tag: ref=I 4, possibly with something like fdot_ref=400 or unsigned_ref=400
  2. ref=I 4; 400

The latter seems less than ideal.

(20 Jul '10, 00:04) NE2

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question asked: 19 Jul '10, 04:26

question was seen: 19,296 times

last updated: 20 Jul '10, 09:28

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