Talk:WikiProject Belgium/Conventions

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Primary - Secondary - Tertiary

This will be the biggest issue: can we really just use the reference numbers? N1 is a local road in some places... (official classification in Belgium is Primary - Secondary - Local) Eimai 15:09, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

If we are going to use the N-numbers, then it should be known that there are 4 categories of N-roads:

  • 1st network: examples: N1, N2b, N9j (so number or number + letter)
  • 2nd network: examples: N10, N80, N90b (so usually number + zero (+ letter))
  • 3rd network: examples: N51, N89z (so usually number + not zero number (+ letter))
  • 4th network: examples: N227, N390, N405b (so number + number + number (+ letter))

This doesn't solve the issue with R-roads that don't belong to these networks, and we can't make all N### roads secondary since that would give one huge orange blob on the map I think... 1st and 2nd primary, 3rd, secondary and 4th tertiary would seem more appropriate to me. --- Eimai 15:25, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I would go for primary for networks 1,2 & 3 (max 2 digits after N, secondary for 4th network (3 digits) and let the tertiary for other important roads ... As R-roads, Rx are (seems like) motorways, Rxx depends a lot on the local configuration ... --PhilippeP 10:49, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Hmmm, I'm still not really convinced we should use the N numbers, Nxxx can be primary as well, Nx can be local, we should look for some other defintion first. The government has them all defined nicely, but I have no idea how to get to that information... You can sometimes see it in some official plans (I've seen them for Mortsel or Edegem once, can't remember. That's why I know N1 is local in Mortsel, and I wouldn't call it primary either if you have any idea what they've done to it after reconstruction some years ago, and how well traffic can pass through it now...) --- Eimai 13:57, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I think we should base our mapping on something 'reel' like Nxx notation because otherwise it would just be based on personal feelings ... I've checked N1 in Mortsel on other maps (Google and Michelin) in both cases it remains as a N road all the way ... --PhilippeP 19:49, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

What I often see on the Michelin maps (maybe others, haven't checked) is that in villages the red roads which are primary often become white, since these roads often become much smaller there. IMHO this information should at least be reflected somehow on the map... --- Eimai 13:26, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
A practical solution for this might be that when a primary road goes into a town with a ringway the ringway (even Rxxx) takes over the primary road function, and the (Nx) road within the ringway goes down a grade. This seems more 'realistic' too. Example N19/Geel, R14 takes over primary road function. Same for most Nxx roads within Antwerpen ring.--Speedy 09:25, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure when to use "unclassified" or "residential". I think a lot of roads in Belgium that are unclassified would fall into the residential type because most roads have houses. --Kurt Roeckx 21:55, 5 Mar 2008 (UTC)

There's some info about what I use on my wiki page (I still have to upload the pictures, though): User:Gyrbo/Road_types --Gyrbo 11:27, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
I usually split between residential and unclassified whether it's in the "bebouwde kom" or not (built-up area, don't know what it's in French). I don't think there are many more sensible ways to distinguish, other than "there are houses around it" (and it's possibly the easiest way as well since there are nice signs telling you where the built-up area starts/stops)...
Gyrbo: I'm really not convinced that using N-numbers is meaningfull for classification. An example: there's the N408 (which would be secondary for you) in Kruibeke here, which has a dead end at the Scheldt, there's only a pedestrian/bicycle/motorcycle ferry at the end, and also a tiny marina IIRC, usual car traffic there is less than 1 car every hour... And there are more examples everywhere. I think a more "subjective" approach is necessary considering number of lanes, dual carriageway or not, importance, speed limit and location... --Eimai 12:18, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
I think that "city limits" would be the proper English term you're looking for. But there are a lot of residential areas that fall outside the city limits. I think the closest thing we have that would make a distinction are the ruimtelijke uitvoeringsplannen (RUP) / Spatial implementation plans. They define whether you can built a house at a location and what kind of house. But I would look at how close the houses are next to each other. --Kurt Roeckx 19:53, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Common sense always precedes rules, especially in this case :). It was an attempt at making a non-subjective way to determine the classification. Number of cars/hour (or minute if you don't have much tinme to waste ;)) may be a good method, but it's quite variable. Unfortunately, there is hardly any official way to distinguish the different types. --Gyrbo 11:39, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that this official classification does exist, and it's strictly defined by the communities (or at least the Flemish one), but I have absolutely no idea how to get that information: the distinction is hoofdweg (for motorways), primair 1, primair 2, secundair 1, secundair 2, secundair 3, lokaal 1, lokaal 2 and lokaal 3. These categories have a preferred usage (how many cars can pass there, speed limits, parking being allowed or not etc), and shape (sharp curves or nog, number of lanes, type of junctions with other roads etc).
So either we should perhaps try to get the official road classification from somewhere (but I have absolutely no idea where to start), or get the preferredd usage/shape of each class and use that for our primary/secondary/tertiary classification (but again, no idea where to get that, I only have a few notes somewhere talking about primair 1 and lokaal 3, but those two are quite easily recognized normally :-) ) Anyway, you can read an introduction here (sorry, it's a powerpoint file, I can't find the pdf version anymore). --Eimai 12:42, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Hier heb ik ook nog wat verdere meer uitgebreide info gevonden... --Eimai 12:56, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm also not sure what to do with roads that only have 1 lane for both directions. Would adding lanes=1 do what I expect? --Kurt Roeckx 21:55, 5 Mar 2008 (UTC)

I think it does. Lanes indicated the number of total lanes, so only when combined with oneway=yes does it mean the number of lines in one direction. At least that's what I assume. --Gyrbo 11:27, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
That's how I see it as well: lanes = total amount of lanes in both directions. --Eimai 12:18, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
lanes = x where x = the total number of lanes for the drawn way. --PhilippeP 13:29, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Trunk routes

In the conventions page it is written the trunk routes should be restricted to cars only (no cycles etc.). I don't think this rule can be applied in my region. For instance the N4 between Courrière and Marche-en-Famenne is undoubtedly an 'expressway' to be tagged as trunk (speed limit 120 km/h, central separation in concrete, interchanges, really used as a backup motorway...) BUT you can have cycles - candidates to suicide essentially - and tractors (and yes it's not the safest road in Belgium...).

I think the main criterion to classify as trunk should be the ability to use the road as an expressway, that is to travel fast (2 separate ways, not too much crossings, essentially interchanges)...

Some roads are very strange : one section with interchanges and a central separation, then some traffic lights, then a section with interchanges but without separation (max speed 90 km/h), then a roundabout... (for instance the N98 between the E42 and near Fosses-la-Ville) --Mercator 06:43, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

The problem with using the term "expressway" is that there's no real definition for it. Some roads are just known as expressways and others that may look the same aren't.
So we're using something we can easily know: if it's signed with a [1] sign, we (usually) make it a trunk. That's like they do in the Netherlands and other European countries as well.
Anyway, I can't believe a motorway-like road would allow cyclists without a cycleway, that's just waiting for accidents to happen...
If you insist on tagging it with trunk, do add the necessary foot=yes, bicycle=yes, moped=yes as routers often discard usage of trunk for these roads (even if one would want to avoid them in this case...). --Eimai 12:07, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Okay, add the access tags is a good idea, but I think all the trunk routes should have the access tags (also when foot=no, bicycle=no...) as in other countries like in UK for instance only the motorways are forbidden to pedestrians (see the talk page for the tag highway=trunk)... Also, you can see in the description for this tag it does not necessarily need to be a divided highway! Mercator 08:10, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
There was a message on the talk@ mailing list that describes what I'm thinking about it for quite some time: adding all these access tags is a bad idea when another tag already implies that (and these rules are defined on country level). In this case "highway=trunk" translates to the sign F9 for "autoweg" (or whetever it is in French) and that sign translates to access rules disallowing pedestrians, cyclists etc. So we only should need to add the first one, the rest follows. So when making a road that's not a autoweg trunk will introduce possible problems when for example the exact access rules change and you'd need to update them somehow while you don't know anymore how the road was signed.
It's a bit like not tagging the default maximum speeds of roads. Flanders wants to lower default speed outside built-up areas from 90 to 70, so if you've tagged the roads without maximum speed signs with maxspeed=90 you have a bad tag when it is changed afterwards and you can't run a script on the roads changing it since you don't know if it was signed with "90" or not.
btw, to be honest, I'm also thinking more about a highway_type tag that could have country specific special kind of roads (like autoweg), and then it should be that tag that translates to the access rules, but that's another discussion. --Eimai 12:47, 15 October 2008 (UTC)


A lot of this have already been discussed here

Districts, quarters .... hummm these just don't exists in OSM ....

Naming for bilingual places have to be put on the name tag because langage specific (name:lg) tags are not rendered on the map ... as for the order, it could the one or the other, like you said , so far it's fr-nl , let's keep it that way for what's done, for the rest let's go on a first there , first saved basis ... and don't change already named street so no-one get's frustrated :) --PhilippeP 20:02, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, there has been some discussion before, but I couldn't really find any resulution yet on these issues.
Does anyone know of other true bilingual cities which are being mapped in OSM? If there's one it would be great to get some ideas on that issue. --- Eimai 12:56, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

The discussion about places is moved to: WikiProject_Belgium/Conventions/Places

Official bilingual names

As noted on the page there isn't any convention so far for bilingual names although there seem to be more occurrences of the "French name - Dutch name" order. But we might want to have a consensus to be able to normalize the order.

Street names - these are actually in "French name - Dutch name" order on the street signs mostly because "rue/boulevard/avenue/chaussée/drève" comes before the name and "straat/laan/steenweg/dreef" comes after the name. Some names are the same in French and Dutch altough in dutch the street type is attached. Should we use the full names in both languages separated with a dash or should we use shortcuts like on the signs (with Dutch street type separated with a space)? Both full : "Place Jourdan - Jourdanplein" ; shortcut : "Place Jourdan plein" --Moyogo 17:04, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

I use the full names , just because it always works and it is the most exact... --PhilippeP 18:54, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I would also prefer to see the full names. "Jourdan plein" is simply wrong in Dutch. It has to be written together as one word. As for the order. It would be more politically correct to have Dutch first here and there, but it seems more logical to have French first since it's usually like that on the street signs too. It's a big job, but I think it's useful to also have the names on the name:nl and name:fr fields. For us Belgians it's not hard to know which is which, but for foreigners this might be a big help someday. I've been doing this for the names of the gemeentes/communes. Corrected the Dutch version here and there as well. Polyglot 19:13, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Ok, so I guess we shouldn't use shortcuts at all then. --Moyogo 12:11, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Place names are in various orders on signs. Definitely alternate language order for Brussels’ public transport. I'm not sure about places of interests, etc. --Moyogo 17:04, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Has anyone once tried to put "Name in French;Name in Dutch" in the name key? Keys can have multiple values when you put a semicolon between the values. But I have no idea how if it renders well. But it would be preferable over using the dash, since the semicolon is built in OSM. --- Eimai 13:22, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
No, not tried yet ... Until now ... we need some patience to see the result (street going right at the end of the 'Rue de la Livarte' )[2] --PhilippeP 08:18, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
It has been rendered (osmarender,fullzoom) and the semi-colon is rendered so we should stick to the allready used dash (I'll correct it by the end of the week) --PhilippeP 07:11, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Instead of doing that, I'd recommend bringing the issue to the mailing list and request for properly displaying it. --- Eimai 11:59, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
That would be interesting to test. BTW, the signs for places of interests like stations, squares, museums, etc. are also "French \n Dutch" in Brussels City. --Moyogo 17:56, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Sint-Genesius-Rode/Rhode-Saint-Genèse has all its road signs (as far as I've seen along the N5) in both languages too, but in the "Dutch \n French" order. I don’t know if it’s the same in other municipalities with language facilities but I would assume it is, official language first, followed by language with facilities. Should we follow that order in for values of "name"? --Moyogo 11:17, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I guess we can put both names in the name, provided that first comes the official language, and next the other one (so in this case Dutch first, then French). I don't know if the same situation happens elsewhere as well, with German/French, French/German or French/Dutch situations, but if street signs show both languages, I don't see why not to show both names as well (other than political issues :-) ) --Eimai 11:55, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
If the consensus is official name - other name, then there's a lot of work to do in Mouscron e.g. All streets in facility communes should be checked. --Sanderd17 08:05, 24 August 2010 (BST)

Cycle routes

Moved this discussion to the cycle route conventions page. --- Eimai 15:49, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Admin_level for Belgium

What is the admin_level scale we should use for Belgian administrative subdivisions? --Moyogo

I'm wondering how to get administrative borders first ? Certainly not with a GPS because these just don't physically exist in the reel world .... --PhilippeP 07:18, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
How useful would something like be? This has been mentioned on talk-de a few days ago. Not always super accurate, but perhaps still usable? --Ldp 12:26, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Depends on what the data includes of course, I can't find what it is exactly and I don't want to download that full shapefile. Does it have more than the country borders for Belgium? And even then, I doubt it'll be accurate enough (to me 1km accuracy is already too much). --Eimai 15:05, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
They're still evaluating the data that was imported into German areas, over on talk-de. Seems to have an average error in the 100s of meters, so probably not overly useful. Also, when you dig deeper on that website, you get reports per country, and Belgium has 11 level1 and 43 level2 boundaries in that dataset. Which would indicate it's not complete at all. --Ldp 07:32, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Voting rules?

With the vote going on about train stations and halts, do we need to make some kind of formal voting mechanism? Like how many votes are needed to get something approved for example, whether it should be announced on the talk-be mailing list, how long the vote stays open etc...

Night buses

Do night buses relations need a special tag? Talk:WikiProject Belgium/Conventions/Bus and tram lines --Moyogo 09:37, 18 December 2008 (UTC)