Proposed features/Junction number

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Please note that this feature is now covered by Tag:highway=motorway junction and Tag:highway=motorway link.

Junction number
Status: Abandoned (inactive)
Proposed by: *
Tagging: junction_ref=[[Tag:junction_ref=<number/name>|<number/name>]]
Rendered as: Junction ref.png

Many roads have their junctions numbered. For example, all UK motorways; or the A14 which isn't a motorway. Some also have junctions named on the approach signs, e.g. "Four Wentways" where the A505, A604(?) and A11 meet south east of Cambridge, or "Charlie Brown's Roundabout" on the A11 near Epping.

The Black Cat roundabout on the A1 is another example, particulary since it seems to be regularly subject to accidents and is cited in traffic bulletins as the 'Black Cat' roundabout rather than the 'Roundabout at the junction of the A1 and A421'. I support the proposal -- Batchoy 12:59, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I think this is a good idea too. We're also building a list of named junctions on wikipedia - - based on user contributions and information from statutory instruments. I don't know how easy this data is to link to open streetmap, but it would seem advantageous not to have to collect the data more than once. -- C2r 08:37, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Just thinking about this a bit more - what if a junction is known by both a name and number e.g. Charlie Browns (junction of M11 motorway and North Circular Road in the UK. I guess we would want the junction number to be able to be rendered when zoomed out further, but the name visible close up... would the syntax allow for e.g. "4\Charlie Browns" C2r 21:34, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Should name not come under the name tag? There already exists junction=roundabout. Why not simply use the same tag? e.g. junction=4, name=Charlie Brown's. Higgy 22:01, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
The proposal of packing two separate things into one field is not good. Don't do it. The basic idea of providing a measure for noting named and numbered junctions are however good. They start to appear in Sweden too. I would vote yes to this proposal if there were some basic information about how to tag and so on. If the proposal contains packing as proposed by C2r I would vote no. Karlskoging1 22:04, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Just to point out that mine was a question, not a proposal! Being fairly new, I don't (yet) have enough knowledge as to how the best way forward with this would be - apart from the need for consistency with practice; but I think this needs to be thought about in more detail. Yes, simple crossroads or miniroundabouts that are named could easily use the existing node, with, eg. highway=mini_roundabout, name=Hunts Lane Junction --- but what about larger roundabouts or grade separated junctions that use lots of nodes? we could have a number=x tag but still, which node would we choose, or would a new node at the centrepoint of the junction be required? Thoughts anyone? C2r 07:56, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't get it. ref=Junction Number already works and is rendered. Whatfor do we need another ref?--Lulu-Ann 14:13, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

The purpose of this proposal is to put a visual indication of the junction number/name on the map near to the junction. name on junction=roundabout ways doesn't do it because it applies to all sorts of junctions. Consider a grade separated bridge with four access roads, or a clover leaf or whatever. There is no obvious node or way to attach to. Having 'super-ways' which group ways in related aspects would solve this, but we don't have that (yet). Furthermore, attaching the reference to a Way (or a node which is part of the junction) will make it hard for renderers to render it - they'll have to do it as a special case, so it is unlikely to happen. I agree with the sentiment, but I think on grounds of practicality it is problematic. Perhaps we can readdress this if we ever have superways.

Secondly, the possibility of a name and a number is indeed likely, but if we just render the text as given, we'll achieve that. junction_ref="9: Charlie Brown's Roundabout". Indeed the same applies when you have two motorways with separate numbering meet: "9/37" (this is what actually appears on the signs in the UK where this happens, e.g. M62 and M1 meet near Leeds).

If we had separate junction_name and junction_number properties, they would appear as separate rendered objects on the map. Maybe that is a good thing. If enough of you feel that way and say that in voting against, I will then put a revised proposal to that effect.

Let's keep it simple. It is more likely to show up on the map if the implementation effort is not hard.

Junction ref example.png

-David.earl 11:32, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

May I ask for clarification here. Seeing that you have realized there are potential problems with junctions that don't boil down to a single node. Are you now proposing to simply put a "stand-alone" node bearing a junction_ref attribute somewhere near the junction, or are you proposing to do so only in cases where the junction consists of several nodes, or are you proposing to always select an existing node that is part of the junction? --Frederik Ramm 12:34, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I haven't changed what I am proposing, which is as below, an indpendent node near the junction. We just don't have the means to associate it with a junction directly at present other than in special cases, and even those would be hard to render. David.
  • There is also an analogous case; if I have park that I create as an area, I put leisure=park,name=The Park both on the way describing the area and on a single node in the hope that the single node will be used to render the name. What makes things more difficult here is that the junction may be a single node or a way (roundabout) or a set of ways (link roads). I think a single node placed near the junction is the best at the current time. MikeCollinson 14:42, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I really want this information in the database and I would like it to be usable for navigation. So I think there is still some discussion needed on this topic. BTW: All german "Autobahnen" have their exits numbered (see for example, you need to click on the link in the lower-right corner of the image) --Jannis 17:51, 17 June 2007 (BST)
  • I think it needs separate junction_ref and junction_name - but may I point out that this can already be done with the (unhelpfully named) highway=motorway_junction and ref=SomeNumber and/or name=Random Interchange. Maybe that tag came after this proposal (I'm a bit of a OSM newbie) so apologies if that's the case... --CunningPlan 22:32, 18 March 2008 (UTC)


The proposal is for a node tag name junction_ref with an arbitrary string value with no specific syntax embodied in it.

  • I approve this proposal. User:David.earl Feb 19, 2007.
  • I approve this proposal using separate junction_ref/name tags. Higgy 22:01, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal in theory, but believe more discussion on implementation is needed. C2r 07:56, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I abstain. I believe that junction_ref should not contain the "name" of the junction, only it's reference number or code, but I'm not willing to vote against this (best vs good enough and all that jazz). Gravitystorm 13:16, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I vote against this proposal, because the missing connection between the "label node" and the junction it describes makes various kinds of automatic processing impossible. (See my posting on talk.) --Frederik Ramm 15:59, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal. Not perfect, but at least the information IS recorded and CAN be displayed at present level of rendering technology ... and I can't think of anything better. MikeCollinson 14:42, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I abstain usually junctions cover a group of nodes/segments/ways, thus having one node will cause a problem for route planners. We will need a way to for the render to detect that a group of nodes/segments/ways at the same junction only show the information once for the whole junction. Smsm1 14:38, 5 May 2007 (BST)
  • I abstain as I feel this is superfluous due to the unhelpfully named tag for motorway_junction. However, I may not be experienced enough for this view to be correct. --CunningPlan 22:32, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I abstain since relations should solve this problem far more elegant: Relations/Proposed/Junctions -- Fröstel 23:21, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. because ref works fine and I do not see a need for another ref tag.--Lulu-Ann 14:13, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. existing ref and name work fine --PhilippeP 15:40, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. - redundant to existing highway=motorway_junction (for which there is no rule preventing use on non-motorways) and general name=*. Chriscf 10:45, 18 September 2008 (UTC)