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I'm still pretty new to OSM. I've just been adding houses and such around my area, but would like to move up to improving the roads in my area. I did some searching to learn the proper way to do roads, and oh my goodness, it seems there are a lot of different ways out there.

My main question is, what is the best source of info on how to name/tag roads in the USA. Is it this?:

And a slightly related question, all the roads around my area have several "tiger" tags, such as: tiger:cfcc, tiger:county, tiger:name_base, tiger:name_type, etc... I read that these are here because the original import of data was from the tiger maps. So my question is, if I update the roads with the proper naming/tagging, can I remove the tiger tags to clean it up some? Or do we just ignore it and leave it there.


asked 11 Dec '17, 20:58

Dulahey's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

That's a good resource in general; learning from the other ways (especially if there's multiple edits) are a good resource for exampels as well.

The tiger:*=* namespace is from the US TIGER map import, and can be useful sometimes to get some idea on whether it was original from a live editor or from the US Census back when TIGER was imported.

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answered 11 Dec '17, 21:57

Baloo%20Uriza's gravatar image

Baloo Uriza
accept rate: 9%

I think current best practice is to remove the tiger tags when local survey/mapping has inspected/improved the road.

If only aligning based on satellite imagery, I often leave the tiger tags in place. Once I've surveyed the roads on the ground, I'll remove the tiger tags. If you don't touch anything, at least delete the tiger:reviewed tag when you've decided that the road is well mapped.

In the areas I've been working the highway related tag is that is most useful to add is maxspeed. Routing based on OSM data is vastly better once that tag is added. It seems that many (all?) the OSM based navigation and routing apps are Eurocentric and their default assumptions for speed limits can be a bit off from what exists in the United States. Having the actual speed limit tagged helps them generate better routing and navigation guidance.

I generally add tagging for lanes and surface but those don't make as much difference for routing algorithms.

Once you are comfortable with basic road tagging, you might want to look into turn lane tagging and turn restriction relations. Tagging turn lanes manually is just barely possible, I find tagging turn restrictions manually to be impossible. But there are plug-ins for JOSM that make both very easy. Not sure about doing that with other editors.

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answered 11 Dec '17, 23:09

n76's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%


Along this line, make sure that when you add maxspeed=*, be aware that the default is km/h. If the speed limit you're mapping is in MPH, then specify like maxspeed=40 mph instead.

(11 Dec '17, 23:44) Baloo Uriza

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question asked: 11 Dec '17, 20:58

question was seen: 1,924 times

last updated: 11 Dec '17, 23:44

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