Proposed features/roman road

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Status: Draft (under way)
Proposed by: niubii
Tagging: historic=roman_road


A road that was built at the time of Roman Empire. They constitute a well-defined category and deserve a specific classification.

I propose to use this feature to mark all those roads that were built at the time of Roman Empire, regardless of their present condition.

This feature will be used in addition to those commonly used for roads, and will allow to make specific searches or thematic tiles render.


<k="historic" v="roman_road">


Characteristic preserved
If a roman road has been preserved with its original characteristics, I propose it will assume the following tag:


highway=track (or what is most appropriate)

surface=stone (or what is most appropriate)

Changed over centuries
Instead, if a Roman road has been changed over the centuries, loosing it's characteristic such as the highway "Aurelia", "Cassia" or "Appia" around Rome, it will take the following features:


highway=primary (or what is most appropriate)

surface=paved (or what is most appropriate)


name=Via Cassia


Is this tag only for roman roads that are still paved like in Roman times, or does it also apply for roads which don't look like Roman roads anymore, but are still at the same location (and often refer to that in their street names)? --Eimai 17:27, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

I have updated/completed the example section. I agree your suggestion to apply this features to all roads that, regardless of their present condition, were built at the time of the Roman Empire. ----niubii 17:47, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

This seems like a good idea. Certainly the OS indicates still-existing Roman roads, and has thin dashed lines to show those where no modern ROW sits on the same route [1]. This would add to the potential uses of OSM data. Chriscf 10:31, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

If there are no other suggestion, I'll move the feature to proposed next week. --niubii 14:35, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

As it is, it looks great! In future, we could also add a "route" or "relation" to collect all the historic segments of the same road. --fradeve11 12:11, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Good idea, and i agree with fradeve : why not used a relation (type=route+route=hiking + historic=roman_road for example) instead. We could then assemble different portion into one roman road ? I made a test here : relation 1153078
Padorange 22:24, 27 August 2010 (BST)

I'd prefer to use historic=road and add the building civilization with historic:civilization=*.--Dieterdreist 16:39, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree, because there are many historic roads, where the roman roads are part of. So tagging would be better historic=road, historic:civilization=roman and, as option, historic:period=
In Latin America we have many historic inca roads and old roads or bridleways of the colonial time ("caminos reales"), which I would like to start to tag with historic=roads, historic:civilization=inca etc. --Friedrich (Federico) (talk) 20:02, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
You can define a relation for a route. The members of this relation are roads. So when you tag the relation as historic:civilization=inkan , that's it, your Inca road is tagged. So I don't see the need for a new tag. Maybe it's just a new interpretation of an existing tag. I used "inkan" here as that is how Inca's are labelled in the historic:civilization=*. I made a case with the El Choro trail relation. --Joost schouppe (talk) 21:27, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. There are many other historic roads other than Roman. In the UK can be found historically important routes such as old droving roads, pre-roman roads and coaching routes. Perhaps it would actually better to have 'historic=route' + 'route=roman/celtic/coaching' or something along those lines rather than 'historic=road'? This would also allow routes that are not necessarily roads and instead footpaths to be included, eg Sweet Track. --Abc26324 20:31, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
There are also historic footpaths (or bridle paths), like "kalderimi" in Greece, cf. Maybe a sub-attribute like historic=yes|Roman|Inkan|Ottoman ... additional to highway=path or highway=primary would fit? --GerdHH (talk) 15:50, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Maybe what you want is a relation with type=route + route=historic or route=touristic, don't know which fits best, in Brazil we have examples of both, where Estrada Real and Estrada Emperial are examples of route=historic, while the same also can be tagged route=touristic, so can routes such as Rota da Lagarta, Passos de Anchieta and many other. I have many times thought about doing the Passos de Anchieta which is a good hiking trial of about 60km following beaches and easy hiking trails between Convente da Penha in Vila Velha to Santuario de Anchieta in Anchieta --Skippern (talk) 22:40, 24 February 2015 (UTC)