Korea Road Classification

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This is a discussion document. It is not yet ready for use!! Please discuss this topic on the talk-ko mailing list.

This page attempts to summarize the types of road that exist in South Korea, and how to tag them in OSM.

Firstly, it is important to note that the roads are already classified by the Korean Road Traffic Authority (도로교통안전공단). A list of road signs for each classification can be found here:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Road_signs_in_South_Korea

They look like this

These can be summarized by the following list:

Korean Highway (red/blue shield)
Korean National Route (blue oval)
Korean Metro Expressway (white hexagon or octagon with red flash)
Korean Metro Route (white hexagon or octagon)
Korean Local Route (yellow rectangle)

There are other classes of road which are very common:

Residential street
Rural road
Access roads (e.g. around rice fields)

From this list we can start assigning OSM tags to each road classification:

My first draft suggestion is as follows:

Symbol Classification Tags Explanation
Korean Highway 3.svg Korean Highway highway=motorway
ref=*
It's a motorway. These are toll roads. They are indicated with a blue and red shield with white numbers.
Korean National Route.svg Korean National Route highway=trunk
ref=*
It's an important road making a national network. They are marked with a blue oval and white numbers. Some sections of these roads have been upgraded to 'motorway' status, but they are not toll roads, and they still retain the blue oval symbol. In this case use highway=trunk motorroad=yes ref=*
Korean Metro Expwy Route alt.svg Korean Metro Expressway highway=primary
motorroad=yes
ref=*
These are common near major cities. They are marked with a white hexagon with a red stripe and black numbers. We use Motorroad to differentiate this (an Expressway) from the regular Metro route (see below).
Korean Metro Route alt.svg Korean Metro Route highway=primary
bicycle=no
ref=*
These are common in and through major cities. They are marked with a white hexagon and black numbers as above, but no red stripe. Bicycles are not permitted.
Korean Local Route 3.svg Korean Local Route highway=secondary
ref=*
Maintained by local governments. They are marked with a yellow rectangle and black numbers. Some sections of these roads have been upgraded to 'motorway' status, but they are not toll roads, and they still retain the yellow rectangle symbol. In this case use highway=secondary motorroad=yes ref=*
Other roads highway=tertiary Other 'significant' roads which have a painted centreline but do not fit into the above categories.
Residential street highway=residential Streets in towns and villages and residential city areas.
Rural road highway=unclassified
highway=track
If its main purpose appears to be agricultural in nature- to, through, or around farms or fields it is likely a track. Best explained here
Access roads highway=service Explained later in Unclassified.

Here is a simple flowchart to quickly determine the type of road:

Korean Highway 3.svg Is it signed with a blue/red shield?
No Down arrow.svg Yes Right.svg highway=motorway
Korean National Route.svg Is it signed with a blue oval?
No Down arrow.svg Yes Right.svg Has it been upgraded to motorway status?
No Down arrow.svg Yes Right.svg highway=trunk
motorroad=yes
highway=trunk
Korean Metro Route alt.svgKorean Metro Expwy Route alt.svg Is it signed with a white hexagon?
No Down arrow.svg Yes Right.svg Does the sign have a red flash?
No Down arrow.svg Yes Right.svg highway=primary
motorroad=yes
highway=primary
Korean Local Route 3.svg Is it signed with a yellow rectangle?
No Down arrow.svg Yes Right.svg Has it been upgraded to motorway status?
No Down arrow.svg Yes Right.svg highway=secondary
motorroad=yes
highway=secondary
Does it have a painted line down the centre?
No Down arrow.svg Yes Right.svg highway=tertiary

The next classifications are subjective, but we can still make some easy rules to guide mappers:

Is it a well-used road?
No Down arrow.svg Yes Right.svg Is it in a residential area?
No Down arrow.svg Yes Right.svg highway=residential
highway=unclassified
Is it a concrete track servicing a farm or a rice field?
No Down arrow.svg Yes Right.svg Is it well-used?
No Down arrow.svg Yes Right.svg highway=service
highway=track
tracktype=grade1
surface=concrete
Is it a driveway?
No Down arrow.svg Yes Right.svg highway=service
service=driveway
Is it an alley?
No Down arrow.svg Yes Right.svg highway=service
service=alley
Is it an unpaved track?
No Down arrow.svg Yes Right.svg highway=track
tracktype=* grade2, 3, 4
It's something else. Use the Wiki or ask on the mailing list.


The Asian Highway Network

Some roads in Korea are part of the Asian Highway Network. These should be tagged with int_ref=* e.g. int_ref=AH6

A Korean roadsign showing the Asian Highway Network ref. AH6.