Talk:Tagging Roads in India

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Tagging Roads in India

Preamble

There is no strict/uniform classification of roads in India as the roads are maintained by various authorities - National Highways, State highways, Corporations, Municipalities, Cantonments and Panchayats. How to tag would be basically a judgement call, but tagging should be done bearing in mind a motorist planning a trip.

To tag all national highways as the same would be non-productive as there are 6 lane NHs, some with 4 lanes, some 2 lane and some even one lane in stretches. Many are under upgradation and have different number of lanes in different segments. If correctly tagged, the motorist, at a glance can tell from the colour what kind of road he is going to encounter.

Suggestions

  • highway=motorway. Divided roads, limited access via interchanges, no traffic lights. Usually toll ways. For example, Golden quadrilateral, Bombay-Pune Highway etc. For tagging a motorway, the number of lanes is less important than the access. A motorway is one where you can keep your foot on the accelerator the whole way.
  • highway=trunk. Highways with six or more lanes.
  • highway=primary. Highways with 4 lanes
  • Note: National highways are maintained by the central government. To mark the NH#, use key as 'ref' and national highway number (eg NH4) as 'value'. Note currently NHs are marked as 'primary' while importing AND data and referenced just by number (without NH prefix). Go ahead and rectify for your area. State highways are those linking major population centers to each other and to the National Highways and are maintained by State government. To mark the SH#, use key as 'ref' and state highway number (eg SH4) as 'value'.
  • highway=secondary. Higways with 2 lanes
  • highway=tertiary. One lane highways
  • highway=unclassified. Other named rural roads.
  • highway=residential. Internal roads like those in university campuses, apartment complexes, factories, plantations
  • highway=unsurfaced. Unpaved roads.
  • highway=living street. Restricted access roads (such as within apartment complexes)
  • Note: when mapping a highway with varying widths - 4 lane in one stretch, two lane in another, the 4 lane stretch should be marked as primary and the 2 lane as secondary. However the name would be the same.


Comments

One pitfall we would have is looking at the map; one highway would contain all three colors!. Also I would suggest that we use this differentiation only for national highways, and stick to primary and secondary road type for all roads that are with in the city. For example AnnaSalai in Chennai or MG Road in Bangalore even though are four lane, should be termed as probably secondary.

More comments

I fully agree with the comment on main page that information provided by tagging should be useful to the commuter - that obviously should be the end goal of tagging. But is commuter really only interested in number of lanes on the road? Suppose a commuter is passing through a city, he would be mostly interested in only the important roads that lead out of city to his destination. It should be possible to get this information at low zoom level itself, without he being presented with lot of information of internal city roads. But in another case, if a person is interested in locating a particular address, he would obviously need to zoom to highest level and we can safely assume he is already aware which locality to zoom to. With the original tagging recommendations on main page, road information is presented in increasing level of complexity- with least important information only presented at highest level of zooming.

So yes, tagging doesn't give information on number of lanes on a particular road. But it does give what is the "relative" importance of that road in that region. Since it being relative, it will not be uniform. What a tag stands for in a metro won't be same as what it stands for in a smaller city at absolute scale, but on relative scale - it would succintly convey the relevant information.

My suggestion would be to continue with original recommendations on main page.

Mixed recommendations on article page

The article page contains discussions, suggestions, and comments which should really be on this page. As a result it now contains conflicting advice. I propose to move most of that stuff here.

It would be useful to have standard wiki style signed and dated comments here as well. Indigomc 08:26, 6 March 2010 (UTC)


The following unsigned comments and suggestions were moved from the article page on 14 March 2010

Comment

I totally disagree with this approach. The whole purpose of mapping roads is to give information as to navigating the road. So the important thing is the condition of the road. It is meaningless to mark all national highways as highway=trunk. NH67 which passes through ooty is a national highway - two lanes. The road from Bangalore to Mysore is a state highway (4 lane) and the road from chennai to bangalore is six lanes - National highway. Even within cities there are 6 lane roads with dividers. How can these be marked as secondary when single lane roads in Ooty are also secondary? I feel that roads should be marked according to the number of lanes in the road.

* 6 or more lanes - trunk
* 4 lanes - primary
* 2 lanes - secondary
* single lane - tertiary

only for information nr. of lanes are a additional tag; key:lanes

motorway could be reserved for expressways and bigger roads. This will help deal with national highways which vary as they go, 4 lanes in some places, 6 lanes in others and maybe even going down to two lanes in some stretches. The name and ref will say that these are classified as national highways, but the colour of the road will show what type of road it is. Lawgon 05:15, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Refer below on alternate tagging suggestions.= Tagging Roads in India - alternative scheme =

Preamble

There is no strict/uniform classification of roads in India as the roads are maintained by various authorities - National Highways, State highways, Corporations, Municipalities, Cantonments and Panchayats. How to tag would be basically a judgement call, but tagging should be done bearing in mind a motorist planning a trip.

To tag all national highways as the same would be non-productive as there are 6 lane NHs, some with 4 lanes, some 2 lane and some even one lane in stretches. Many are under upgradation and have different number of lanes in different segments. If correctly tagged, the motorist, at a glance can tell from the colour what kind of road he is going to encounter.

Suggestions

  • highway=motorway. Divided roads, limited access via interchanges, no traffic lights. Usually toll ways. For example, Golden quadrilateral, Bombay-Pune Expressway etc. For tagging a motorway, the number of lanes is less important than the access. A motorway is one where you can keep your foot on the accelerator the whole way.
  • highway=trunk. Highways with six or more lanes.
  • highway=primary. Highways with 4 lanes
  • Note: National highways are maintained by the central government. To mark the NH#, use key as 'ref' and national highway number (eg NH4) as 'value'. Note currently NHs are marked as 'primary' while importing AND data and referenced just by number (without NH prefix). Go ahead and rectify for your area. State highways are those linking major population centers to each other and to the National Highways and are maintained by State government. To mark the SH#, use key as 'ref' and state highway number (eg SH4) as 'value'.
  • highway=secondary. Higways with 2 lanes
  • highway=tertiary. One lane highways
  • highway=unclassified. Other named rural roads.
  • highway=residential. Internal roads like those in university campuses, apartment complexes, factories, plantations
  • highway=unsurfaced. Unpaved roads.
  • highway=living street. Restricted access roads (such as within apartment complexes)
  • Note: when mapping a highway with varying widths - 4 lane in one stretch, two lane in another, the 4 lane stretch should be marked as primary and the 2 lane as secondary. However the name would be the same.

Moved from Talk:India

There seems to be a hung discussion at Talk:Tagging_Roads_in_India. Its about time we come to a consensus as this is the most important feature that has to be tagged. Lets start with the current suggestion and work from there.

  • highway=motorway. Divided roads, limited access via interchanges, no traffic lights. Usually toll ways. For example, Golden quadrilateral.
  • highway=trunk. Highways with six or more lanes.
  • highway=primary. Highways with 4 lanes
  • highway=secondary. Higways with 2 lanes
  • highway=tertiary. One lane highways
  • highway=unclassified. Other named rural roads.
  • highway=residential. Internal roads like those in university campuses, apartment complexes, factories, plantations
  • highway=unsurfaced. Unpaved roads.
  • highway=living street. Restricted access roads (such as within apartment complexes)

Im for this scheme as against the one suggested by User:lawgon which is to tag it according to road condition. The main reason why im against that is beacause the condition of roads in the country is very unpredictable and would be close to impossible to verify. Also i have followed a different tagging scheme for chennai which is more public transport oriented *trunk for arterial routes/national highways within the city. *primary for roads with a very high frequency of buses *secondary for roads with lower frequency of buses *tertiary for important roads with no public transport .* such a map for chennai increases its usability manifold -- PlaneMad|YakYak 09:53, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Classifying roads depending on what kind of cities they link

Instead of national highway - state highway, let us classify roads depending on what they link. For this we need to classify cities


Classification of cities

* metros: Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad
* primary: 
 * Tamilnadu:
  * Coimbatore, Madurai, Salem, Tiruchirappally, Madurai
 * Karnataka
  * Mysooru, Mangalooru, Hubli-Dharwar, Belagavi


On the principles of classification

While the road classifications will need adjusting for India, I think they should not be too different from the usage in the rest of OSM; otherwise there will be confusion, especially as new contributors will have the same understanding as contributors from the rest of the world.

They should not depend on government responsibility which may change. Hence I disagree with the idea that national highways only should be called trunk roads. Trunk roads are the principal connecting roads between major population centres, whoever manages them. Who manages the road will not be useful to the user, but the nature of the road will be. If it is necessary to distinguish between central and state government highways, then a new tag should be proposed for that.

Roads should not be classified by lane count either; the key:lanes is provided to carry that information. And a two lane highway in open country may be a better and faster road for vehicle traffic than a four lane highway in densely populated areas that is used by lots of cycles, pedestrians, et.c.

Indigomc 11:50, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

I've modified the page with some of these suggestions. Indigomc 21:53, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Without having ever been to India, but acknowledging the different expectations of road structure and conditions, I'd support this comment, except that in some countries, where it gives a reasonable structure, the government designation is justifiably used for a baseline of classifying the roads. It can be reasonable to use trunk (when not motorway) for all paved and at least two lane national highways - apparently not all are yet such - but not limit trunk to only those roads. It's perfectly usable to have both tagged as trunk: a good rural two lane road and a six lane divided city highway with traffic signals.
Except for motorway and living_street, which carry legal implications, short bad sections (few kilometers) of roads otherwise meeting the criteria for any single highway tag can be tagged, if so agreed upon nationally, with the class of the rest of the road. Therefore I'd suggest some thoughts on some classes:
  • motorway: as everyone else suggests: divided, restricted access via interchanges only, no traffic signals. If one of these is missing, it's a trunk.
  • trunk: other roads for "going far away", i.e. connecting major cities, that don't meet motorway criteria, but are the fastest roads around. If used in congested city areas, they are the most important roads in and out of the city and following them one gets (in the end) directly onto trunk or motorway roads outside the city. If a trunk road goes through a smaller town (say a 5 km section) and is the natural route through it (and there's no bypass road), it can be trunk all the way even if it's a busy two lane street in the city. Lane count in the rural areas doesn't really matter, but I'd expect trunk roads to have at least two full width lanes (oncoming trucks can disregard each other at allowed maximum speed).
  • primary: Any other roads connecting cities far away from each other; this is the first one where I'd think it's possible, but not likely, to find an occasional unpaved section in remote areas (mountain region). But also major roads connecting suburbs to city centre. I'd still expect room for oncoming trucks to pass each other anywhere on a primary road.
  • secondary: One wouldn't drive across the whole country on secondary roads (although it might be possible), but they're the only connection to many villages and on the transport network of India, possibly even small towns. In big cities, they can be the main streets connecting suburbs together, when not worthy of a higher class. Not likely, but can be in places one lane roads with frequent passing places.
  • unclassified: Anything that isn't mostly used for through traffic and isn't lined with houses (residential), but can be the only connection to some villages. Hardly ever has more than two lanes (except near intersections), can be unpaved, can be slow, can be narrow enough for only one car, but can also be paved and have room for two trucks; the same applies to residential.
  • tertiary: Anything between unclassified and secondary; also inside suburbs roads that are used to get from a higher level road to the last parts tagged as residential.
Only now reading the current guideline page, they seem roughly reasonable; just that not all unpaved roads are tracks.
The hardest decision for you is probably to come up with consistent guidelines for deciding between secondary, tertiary and unclassifed in remote regions; for example, just browsing the Wikipedia I'd expect the Leh-Manali_Highway to be a unclassified (or at most a tertiary) in the state described and possibly a secondary, once they construct it to a proper two lane road. Alv 09:16, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Motor roads

There are a number of roads drawn across the country with 'motorroad=yes' tags set. This implies that there are access restrictions to these roads. The usual meaning of access restriction is that certain types of traffic are forbidden from entering these roads; e.g. pedestrians, slow vehicles such as tractors, animal drawn vehicles. Most such roads will be covered by the 'highway=motorway' tag, and it will almost certainly not apply to urban roads with a 60kph or lower speed limit. I suggest that the motorroad tag not be used until the usage for it is agreed. Indigomc 22:02, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

2. Suggestion

Rural Areas

  • highway=motorway Divided roads, limited access via interchanges, no traffic lights. Usually toll ways.
  • highway=trunk National Highways
  • highway=primary State Highways
  • highway=secondary Major District Roads
  • highway=tertiary connection between villages
  • highway=unclassified rural roads
  • highway=residential Roads in citys and villages

Citys and Villages

  • highway=motorway Divided roads, limited access via interchanges, no traffic lights. Usually toll ways.
  • highway=trunk National Highways
  • highway=primary State Highways
  • highway=secondary Major District Roads and very important roads
  • highway=tertiary important roads
  • highway=residential all normal roads in citys and villages

Notes

--Oberaffe 18:42, 10 June 2010 (UTC) Ibrahim Patti/UP/India