India:Tags/Highway

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National Highway Map of India
New NH numbering scheme (2010)

This page details out the tagging scheme of the road network in India. India has over 3 million kilometers of roads making it the worlds third largest road network. The tagging scheme detailed here provides consistent tagging guidelines for all existing levels of the road hierarchy on both a national scale and a local scale.

The scheme is aimed at preserving the traffic hierarchy of Indian roads and for describing the network for much more advanced routing capabilities.

Road classification and tagging scheme for India (proposal)

See Tagging samples for examples of usage.

Major Roads

The following major roads forms the primary national road network. All sections have a unique identifier which is published on road markers and signages on the route.

Official Class Id ref=* OSM tag Description Tagging guidelines Photo
National Expressways NE highway=motorway Completely access controlled tolled highways designed for high speed road travel. Note: use this highway classification for greenfield projects not for upgraded National Highways in India!
Mumbai Pune Expressway
National Express Highways NH highway=trunk

+motorroad=yes

Partially access controlled and tolled upgraded national highways designed for high speed road travel. Projects falling under the National Highway Development Project. trunk roads with motorroad=yes have multiple lanes of traffic in each direction, separated by a central barrier with grade-separated junctions and access restricted. e.g. Allahabad Bypass Road
Trunk link
National Express Highways NH highway=trunk

+motorroad=no

Partially access controlled and tolled upgraded national highways designed for high speed road travel. Projects falling under the National Highway Development Project. trunk roads with motorroad=no have multiple lanes of traffic in each direction, separated by a central barrier, but with normal crossings. e.G. NH2, NH4, NH6, NH8
Golden Quadrilateral between Chennai-Bangalore
National Highways NH highway=trunk Highways which have heavy traffic intensity and connect different State capitals, Major Ports, large industrial areas and tourist centres See WikiProject_India/National_Highway_Network and http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/National_Highways_%28new_numbering%29 for route relations. Use the ref-tag for the new numbering scheme (like ref=NH448). Put the old NH-numbers in a ref:old-tag (like „ref:old=NH65A“). Use the name-tag only for real local names.
State Express Highways SH highway=primary

+motorroad=yes

State highways that have been upgraded to dual carriageways with improved road geometry and road safety features. Tolled and partially access controlled state highways. State roads with motorroad=yes have multiple lanes of traffic in each direction, separated by a central barrier with grade-separated junctions
State Highways SH highway=primary Highways which link district headquarters, important towns and the National Highways in the State and neighbouring States. These roads are atleast 1.5 lanes wide (>5.5m)
Major District Roads MDR highway=secondary Highways that connect production and marketing centres and these centres in turn are connected with the National Highways and State Highways. These roads are typically 1.5 lanes wide (3.5-7m)
Other District Roads ODR highway=tertiary Roads serving rural areas of production and providing them with outlet to market centers, taluk headquarters, Block Development headquarters or other main roads. These roads are typically 1.5 lanes wide (3.5-5.5m) Useful with surface=unsurfaced for umetalled roads.
Village Roads VR highway=unclassified Roads that connects villages, but not a ODR. This is the most common type of road in rural India and is usually not more than 1 lane wide (<3.5m). Useful with surface=unsurfaced for umetalled roads.

Urban Roads

The following roads forms the road network in urban areas like cities and towns. Sections of these roads carrying very high density are usually oneway (oneway=yes) and intersections are restricted by having a parallel highway=service road to collect local traffic. Major intersections are usually grade seperated or are regulated using highway=traffic_signals. For all practical purpose the roads in an urban area can be considered as those roads that are enclosed within designated ring roads or bypass roads.

Class OSM tag Description Tagging guidelines Photo
Expressway highway=motorway High speed signal-free arterial roads which are either completely elevated or has grade separated intersections.
Arterial Roads highway=trunk Extensions of National Highways into the city centre. These corridors usually carry the bulk of freight traffic from one end to the other, like ring roads, or roads connecting the ports. The National Highway ref=NH tag should not be used within cities and should ideally terminate at the ring road/bypass or follow them around the city
Chennai Mount Road
Primary Collector or Sub-arterial Roads highway=primary Road corridors that carries a huge volume of traffic between arterial roads.
Bangalore MG Road
Secondary Collector Roads highway=secondary Collector roads that carry lower volume of traffic.
Main Roads highway=tertiary Main roads inside suburbs.
Neighbourhood feeder road highway=unclassified Roads in a neighbourhood that collects local traffic and feeds into the main road.

Local Roads

The following roads cater to local traffic movement over short distances and feed traffic into bigger roads. Speed is usually restricted due to narrow widths, high number of intersections or by traffic calming devices like traffic_calming=bump. Access restrictions can be indicated by using the access=* tag.

Class OSM tag Description Tagging guidelines Photo
Unknown or unverified road highway=road Roads traced from satellite imagery and who's classification has not been determined. This is a temporary tag indicating further ground survey work is required.
Residential road highway=residential General residential roads in a planned locality. Wide enough to carry two-way slow moving residential traffic. Usually has cars parked by the side and footpaths for pedestrians
Living street highway=living_street Narrow residential roads in older parts of the city or congested areas. Usually has houses constructed continuously without spacing and no footpaths on the sides. Not wide enough to carry two way car traffic smoothly.
Pedestrian highway=pedestrian Roads that are almost exclusively used by pedestrians and are out of bounds of motor vehicles in normal conditions like plazas and internal roads of universities.
Unpaved motorable tracks highway=track

+tracktype=*

Dirt or gravel tracks or 'kuchha' roads mostly found in rural areas. Usually used by jeeps, tractors or other forms of non motorized transport such as bullock carts and cycles.

Pedestrian Paths

These roads are meant for pedestrians and cannot be used by motorized transport. Use bicycle=yes and access=* to specify restrictions.

Class OSM tag Description Tagging guidelines Photo
Footpaths highway=footway Paved paths designated for pedestrian use like footpaths. Also can be used for narrow 'gullys' which cannot be accesed by vehicles.
Unofficial paths highway=path 'Kuccha' tracks or dirt paths that are frequently used by pedestrians or cyclists. Also used for mountain trails and trekking paths alongwith sac_scale=*