Australian Tagging Guidelines
The following guidelines are an attempt to document the result of discussions that have taken place on the Australian mailing list, and that become common practice in OSM mapping in Australia. If you would like to comment, please join the mailing list and discuss there.
- 1 Australia’s First People
- 1.1 Cultural Sensitivity - a word of caution...
- 1.2 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sites, art-works and scared places
- 1.3 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data-set importing
- 1.4 Exporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data from OSM
- 1.5 Mapping of Indigenous country boundaries
- 1.6 Mapping Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Native Title
- 1.7 How to map Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander place names
- 2 Places
- 3 Road Tagging
- 3.1 Regional Roads
- 3.2 Urban Areas
- 3.3 Unsealed and 4wd Roads (Dirt, Gravel, Formed, etc)
- 3.4 Number of lanes
- 3.5 Speed limits
- 3.6 School Zones
- 3.7 Tunnels and bridges and layers
- 3.8 Mark a Track as "Dry Weather Only"
- 3.9 Access roads on public land
- 3.10 Roundabouts
- 3.11 Naming Streets
- 3.12 Private Roads
- 3.13 Local Traffic Only
- 4 Route Numbers
- 5 Urban Footpaths and Cycleways
- 5.1 Australian Footpath (no sign)
- 5.2 Australian Cycle Path (bicycle-only sign)
- 5.3 Australian Shared Path (bicycle and pedestrian sign)
- 5.4 Australian Separated Footpath (bicycle and pedestrian separated by a line)
- 5.5 Australian Bicycle Lane (bicycle lane sign)
- 5.6 Pedestrian cut-through at the end of a dead-end street.
- 5.7 Motorway tagging
- 5.8 Regional and Local Route tagging
- 5.9 Footpath Cycling
- 6 Public Transport
- 7 Bush Walking and Cycling Tracks
- 8 Rail Trails
- 9 Cultural Features
- 10 Seasonal or Safety Closures
- 11 Administrative Boundaries
- 12 Phone Numbers
- 13 Schools
- 14 What-do-I-call-it?
- 15 How do I map a road that ISN'T there
- 16 Using Imported Data
- 17 Track Submission Guidelines
- 18 External links
Australia’s First People
Cultural Sensitivity - a word of caution...
When editing Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander place names, editors need to be respectful of the community, their language and their wishes. Australia has a vast number of Indigenous communities, countries and nations and there is not one clear broad statement about what can an cannot be published. Some nations are more open to rendering names than others and editors should respect their decisions. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have the right to control their cultural heritage and intellectual property.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sites, art-works and scared places
Please practice extreme care when mapping sites (such as rock art, middens, fish traps, streams, birthing trees, sacred areas and other historical /ceremonial places) that are known to be of significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Only map these sites when they are sign-posted or have been publicly advertised. When they have not, please consult with the local elders before mapping any such site, and abide by their wishes if they say they don't want them mapped.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data-set importing
As for all data-sets, there is a procedure and guidelines to follow. Data-sets that contain First Nation details need extra vigilance and discussion with elders above the standard import process. Whilst data may have been recorded accurately in the most, some data may have been incorrectly recorded or identified and may be considered offensive.
Exporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data from OSM
Data can be exported in a number of ways. One of these is the query driven Overpass-turbo and an example export query has been provided at http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/LBO that should extract most First Nation data. Please remember to read the OSM Copyright before using this data elsewhere.
Mapping of Indigenous country boundaries
Currently (2018), OpenStreetMap does not have Indigenous country or nation boundaries added. To discuss adding boundaries, ask the mailing list for guidance after seeking clarification from the Elders of the area and surrounding areas.
Mapping Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Native Title
How to map Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander place names
Australia has well over 200 languages recorded and it can be difficult to know which language to use. The easiest way to quickly add the Indigenous name is to use the general tag name:aus=* (
aus is the general ISO639-2 code for Australian Aboriginal Languages) to indicate the indigenous names of places, unless a more exact suffix is known.
name:xxx= Language codes
|rbp||Barababaraba||Vic||Kerang and Echuca and south|
|rbp||Barababaraba||NSW||Hay and south into Victoria|
|xwj||Whadjuk||WA||South East WA||a Nyungar language|
|nys||Nyungar||WA||South East WA|
|pjt||Pitjantjatjara dialect||NT||South West NT, SA and WA|
|pjt||Pitjantjatjara dialect||WA||South West NT, SA and WA|
|pjt||Pitjantjatjara dialect||NT||South West NT, SA and WA|
|wyi||Woiwurrung||Vic||From Macedon Ranges to Gippsland|
|-||Bunwurrung||Vic||Melbourne coastline to Westernport||Use name:aus|
|-||Bidawal||Vic||Delegate to Bemm & Cann Rivers and Mallacoota||Use name:aus|
|unn||Gunai||Vic||Gippsland from north of Wilsons Prom to Orbost||aka Kurnai|
|-||Ngarigo||Vic||Canberra to Omeo||Use name:aus|
|xjt||Jaitmatang||Vic||NE Victoria around Dartmouth River to NSW border|
|-||Waveroo||Vic||Albury to Omeo||Use name:aus|
|-||Yorta Yorta||Vic||Shepparton to Echuca and Cobram||Use name:aus|
|dgw||Daungwurrung||Vic||Around the Delatite, Campaspe and Goulburn rivers|
|-||Ngurai-illamwurrung||Vic||West of Shepparton Campaspe and Goulburn rivers||Use name:aus|
|xbg||Buandig||Vic||Dartmoor, Casterton to Mt Gambier|
|-||Bindjali||Vic||Border of SA and Victoria around Bordertown||Use name:aus|
|gjm||Dhauwurd Wurrung||Vic||Portland to Warrnambool and north to Hamilton||aka Gunditjmara|
|wkr||Wirngilgnad dhalinanong||VIc||aka Girai Wurrung or Keerray Woorroong|
|-||Gadubanud||Vic||Cape Otway to Gellibrand River||Use name:aus|
|wth||Wathawurrung||Vic||Ballarat to Geelong|
|-||Djargurd Wurrung||VIc||Corangamite to Lake Elingamite||Use name:aus|
|tjw||Djabwurrung||Vic||Ararat , Hamilton and Gariwerd (Grampians)|
|-||Jardwadjali||Vic||Around Horsham||Use name:aus|
|dja||Dja Dja Wurrung||Vic||Macedon Ranges north west to Kyneton||aka Djadjawurrung|
|weg||Wergaia||Vic||Warracknabeal to Dimboola|
|-||Ngargad||Vic||Mallee, Wimmera and into S.A.||aka Ngarkat use name:aus|
|xww||Wemba wemba||Vic||Boort to Swan Hill|
|xwd||Wadiwadi||Vic||Swan Hill and north into NSW||aka Wadi Wadi|
|dda||Dadi Dadi||Vic||Robinvale and north|
|-||Jarijari||Vic||West of Mildura (Language not verified)||use name:aus|
|llj||Ladjiladji||VIc||Far north west corner of Victoria|
|dda||Dadi Dadi||NSW||Robinvale and north|
|xrg||Minang||WA||Albany and Mount Barker|
|rop||Kriol||NT||Northern WA, QLD and NT||aka Creole|
|rop||Kriol||QLD||Northern WA, QLD and NT||aka Creole|
|rop||Kriol||WA||Northern WA, QLD and NT||aka Creole|
|tcs||Torres Strait Creole||QLD||Torres Strait Islands and Queensland coastal|
|aer||Arrernte (Eastern)||NT||Alice Springs|
|are||Arrernte (Western)||NT||Alice Springs (Hermannsburg)|
|dwy||Dhuwaya||NT||NE Arnhem Land,|
|mwp||Kala Lagaw Ya||Qld||Coastal east coast of Queensland|
|mpj||Martu Wangka||WA||Great Sandy Desert / Lake Disappointment|
|ntj||Ngaanyatjarra||WA||Warburton ranges and SW NT|
|piu||Pintupi-Luritja||NT||Balgo hills and Yuendumu and parts of WA|
|wbp||Warlpiri||NT||Alice Springs to Katherine to Darwin and parts of WA|
|aly||Alyawarr||NT||Tennant creek and Sandover|
|dwu||Dhuwal||NT||Roper river / Arnhem Land|
|djj||Djeebbana||NT||West Arnhem Land.|
|gup||Gunwinggu||NT||Croker Island and Arnhem Land|
|guf||Gupapuyngu||NT||Arnhem Land and Elcho Islands|
|gjr||Gurindji Kriol||NT||Victoria River|
|mph||Maung||NT||Arnhem Land and Goulburn island|
|aoi||Anindilyakwa||NT||Groote Eylandt, Gulf of Carpenteria|
City, Town or Village?
There is no consistent approach yet for this. It was discussed on the mailing list in December 2008.
Australia has many places that are important centres for large areas, but have very few residents. These should be labelled towns because it is how they are considered, even though closer to major population centres they would be considered villages. Until (or unless) we reach agreement on firmer guidelines, you should choose place tags (place=*) based on popular perception rather than administrative designation or population.
Some OSM renderers make large areas of Australia look empty at higher zoom levels. Making towns visible at higher zoom levels involves marking them as, for example, place=city. The strategy here is not conclusive. Mapping a town as a city to make it visible could be seen as tagging for the renderer. Other alternatives are to develop rendering strategies to render smaller towns in largely deserted areas, or simply to accept that areas with low and sparse populations will appear empty at higher zoom.
- highway=motorway Motorways, freeways, and freeway-like roads. Divided roads with 2 or 3 lanes in each direction, limited access via interchanges, no traffic lights. Generally 100 or 110 km/h speed limit. For example: Hume Freeway. In states with the Alphanumeric system, these are 'M' roads if they are of freeway standard.
- highway=trunk National highways connecting major population centres. For example the Bruce Highway north of Cooroy. State strategic road network for example: Pacific Highway. In states with the Alphanumeric system, these are 'A' roads. 'M' roads which aren't of freeway standard are also classified as a trunk road. In other states, these are signposted with a white National Road shield, or a Green National Highway shield.
- highway=primary State maintained roads linking major population centers to each other and to the trunk network. In states with the Alphanumeric system, these are 'B' roads. In other states, these are generally State routes signposted with blue shields.
- highway=secondary District roads that are generally council maintained roads linking smaller population centres to each other and to the primary network. In states with the Alphanumeric system, these are 'C' roads.
- highway=tertiary Other roads linking towns, villages and Points of Interest to each other and the secondary network. In South Australia, roads that are classified as a 'D' route under the Alphanumeric system use this classification.
- highway=residential Local streets found in and around localities (cities / suburbs), districts, and towns, as well as in rural areas.
- highway=track Gravel fire trails, forest drives, 4WD trails and similar roads. Gravel roads connecting towns etc. should be tagged as appropriate (secondary, tertiary or unclassified), along with the 'surface=unpaved' tag.
- highway=service Unnamed access roads. e.g. Entrance ways and roads in parks, government properties, beach access etc. Use a service road to tag an entrance to a private/government area.
Use the ref=* tag to indicate a route number that is signposted according to the standard below, or use a route relation. Omit non-signposted, anachronistic or historical route numbers.
- highway=safe_t_cam Use this tag to mark the position of the NSW and SA Safe - T - Cam system
- highway=motorway The metropolitan motorway network. 'M' classified roads in cities where they exist. In Western Australia (WA), these are roads classified as "Primary Distributor" (PD) by "Main Roads Western Australia" (MRWA) that satisfy motorway requirements; that is, freeways, and some highways and highway sections.
- highway=trunk "Metroads" or 'A' classified roads in the cities where they exist, or other similar cross-city trunk routes in cities where they do not. In WA, these are roads classified as "Primary Distributor" (PD) or "Regional Distributor" (RD) by MRWA that satisfy trunk but not motorway requirements; that is, some highways and main roads, or sections of these.
- highway=primary Other main cross city and arterial routes. 'B' classified roads in cities where they exist. Major connecting roads in larger rural cities. In WA, these are roads classified as "Primary Distributor" (PD), "Regional Distributor" (RD) or "Distributor A" (DA) by MRWA that satisfy primary but not trunk nor motorway requirements; that is, some highways and main roads, or sections of these.
- highway=secondary Major through routes within a local area, often connecting neighbouring suburbs. In WA, these are roads classified as "Regional Distributor" (RD), "Distributor A" (DA) or "Distributor B" (DB) by MRWA that satisfy secondary but not primary nor trunk requirements.
- highway=tertiary Minor through routes within a local area, often feeders to residential streets. In WA, these are roads classified as "Distributor B" (DB) or "Local Distributor" (LD) by MRWA that satisfy tertiary but not secondary nor primary requirements.
- highway=residential Residential streets. In WA, these are roads classified as "Access Road" (A) by MRWA.
- highway=unclassified Other streets. Not generally through routes. In WA, these include roads classified as "Industrial" by MRWA.
Use the ref tag to indicate a route number that is signposted according to the standard below. Omit non-signposted, anachronistic or historical routes.
Unsealed and 4wd Roads (Dirt, Gravel, Formed, etc)
The following guide lines are based on a discussion on the OSM talk_au mailing list. Road conditions can vary over time and are subject to weather changes. Further, driver's skills and willingness to risk damage to his or her vehicle varies substantially. Here are some suggested tags for road conditions with examples, values in square brackets are alternatives.
The current mapnik rendering on the main page OSM does not render these tags, and is unsuitable for navigation in remote areas where the condition of the road is important. Mappers should still ensure that they enter accurate and appropriate tags so, to allow renderings and navigation to be developed based on the road condition. As always, users should not risk their safety based on a user contributed map, and should take steps to confirm road conditions before travelling.
Major connecting but unsealed roads - For example, the Plenty Highway, NT. This road is a secondary link road and needs to be tagged accordingly. But its also unsealed over much of its length, sandy, rutted and quite remote.
Made but unsealed roads - These roads typically have a well defined dome shape, gutters of some sort. Surface has been compacted, possibly with crushed from from elsewhere. Regular maintenance prevents potholes and washaways being a problem for very long. Corrugations may be an issues sometimes. Generally such roads are suitable for travel at 70k/h to 100k/h and most drivers are comfortable in using them.
- highway=[unclassified; residential; secondary; primary]
- lanes=[1; 2]
Made but neglected unsealed roads - Key difference form the above is that these roads are may not be regularly maintained and drivers can expect to come across things in the road they don't like. A slower speed is appropriate to cope with the unexpected. Examples would include forestry and national park tracks, access tracks to interesting places and many people live on roads like this.
Rough tracks - while these tracks may have once been 'made' little evidence remains. They are typically flat, no gutters and vehicles wheels have left noticeable ruts. Water can lie in those ruts leading to bog holes that are easily dug deeper by continued use. Sand, rocks etc will require some care. Drivers need to use care and be prepared to change their mind in the event of unsuitable weather for example. A 4x4 vehicle might be a good idea but is not necessarily required.
4x4 recommended - these tracks may well be quite usable by conventional vehicles but inexperienced drivers are advised not to try it. A vehicle with a bit of space under it such as an SUV and common sense is probably a little safer. Lots of popular tourist drives are included here as are some substantial "end to end" routes in more remote areas. Note definitions here are currently unsatisfactory, 'highway' (other than =track) refers to purpose of the road but renders and possibly even routers disregard tracktype warnings. Note we are using unapproved tracktype=grade6 and 4wd_only=recommended tags. Ideally, these roads would be rendered by appending "(4x4 recommended)' to the road name.
- highway=[track; secondary; primary]
- lanes=[1; 2]
4x4 required - Similar to the above but these tracks do need a real 4x4 vehicle, one with low ratio and drivers should consider carrying recovery gear and, perhaps not traveling alone. These tracks have the same rendering and routing concerns as do the above. Note we are using an unapproved tracktype=grade7 tag. We like to see it rendered it by adding "(4x4 Only)" to the road name.
4x4 extreme - Now you are possibly talking about using a modified 4x4 vehicle on a well planned trip and not alone. These tracks have the same rendering and routing concerns as do the above. Note we are using an unapproved tags tracktype=grade8 and 4wd_only=extreme. We'd like to see it rendered it by adding "(4x4 Extreme)" to the road name.
- For most types of highway=* tags you don't need to specify the surface=paved key/value pair as this is assumed, however make sure you tag the road surface when it isn't a paved road.
- The main OSM mapnik rendering ignores tracktype unless highway=track.
- A ticket has been lodged https://trac.openstreetmap.org/ticket/1447 (and now reopened on https://github.com/gravitystorm/openstreetmap-carto/issues/110 ) requesting the OSM website map show unsealed roads differently from sealed ones. Rather than surface= tag, the tracktype might be a better way to trigger different rendering. Whenever tracktype is declared, road should be dotted, dashed or have dashed casement.
Number of lanes
If a way has 2 lanes you don't need to tag this, as it's assumed, you only need to use lanes=* tag if there is fewer than 2 lanes or more than 2 lanes.
The only exception is when there is a oneway=yes, then the number of lanes is assumed to be 1, use lanes=2 for any one way street that have more than 1 lane.
It is best practice to use the maxspeed tag on every road. Indicate the source of the information using the source:maxspeed tag.
- source:maxspeed=sign - for a signposted limit
- source:maxspeed=local_knowledge - if you know the local streets have the default "built-up" speed limit
The Australian traffic rules mandate speed limits for "built-up" areas, where there are no signposts. Unfortunately, there is no one-to-one correspondence between roads tagged highway=residential and these speed zones. See the proposal for implicit speed zones for one proposed solution to this problem, however this proposal is not in widespread use in Australia currently.
Use maxspeed:conditional=40 @ (Mo-Fr 08:00-09:30, 14:30-16:00;PH off;SH off) for NSW school zone on ways (be aware that whilst most school zones have the same hours, others do not, and are distinguished by an orange background rather than a yellow background on real world signs). See https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Conditional_restrictions . The restriction=school_zone has been abandoned and has been replaced by maxspeed:conditional=*.
Tunnels and bridges and layers
The guidelines here are the same as elsewhere. tunnel=yes and bridge=yes. A tunnel isn't assumed to be layer=-1 and a bridge isn't assumed to be layer=1 you must tag bridges and tunnels with layer tags too! Tagging bridges with a level less than 1 is incorrect. The default layer, is layer=0 indicating ground level, and you don't need to add to add this tag unless it adds clarity to future mappers. Rivers and streams are almost always at ground level. Bridges go over rivers and need to be tagged layer=1 or greater. Where streams go underground they can be tagged with a layer less than 1.
Mark a Track as "Dry Weather Only"
Access roads on public land
These may have a sign with something like "Management Vehicles Only" and could then be tagged motor_vehicle=private and bicycle=private (as bicycles are considered to be vehicles under Australian law). Use caution with the tag access=private as that applies to all including walkers.
The general rule in Australia is that all roundabouts, big or small, have been drawn out in full. After numerous discussions as to what may constitute a single node "mini-roundabout", the common practice has evolved not to use single node mini-roundabouts at all. The way goes clockwise, indicating the direction of the traffic movement. Each entry and exit way should join the roundabout at a separate node.
Don't confuse turning circles and traffic calming with roundabouts.
This is tagged highway=turning_circle: 
This should be tagged traffic_calming=island 
- Use full street names, Street not St, Highway not Hwy
- Where a street has two different names, make a note tag on the street so future mappers understand the issue, then:
- mark what you see (using the alt_name tag if necessary).
- ask the people who live there
- ask the local council for clarification
- in Victoria  allows you to search for a street name in a particular suburb
- In Qld you can search on the the "infomation Qld" site for a suburb, and then zoom into the street name, or select property search as the area of interest and you can then give street name, etc. The Brisbane council online mapping seems to be tied up in restrictions.
Missing signs/no names
Use the following tag combinations:
The use of a date is to indicate when things were last checked. Alternatively you can contact the council responsible.
Some rural streets are unnamed. Often these have locally known names, so try and ascertain these if you can. Otherwise you can use:
Private roads can be mapped, this provides information for;
- the person going past, that the road is private and their location on the map
- emergency services who may find the road of benefit
- the private individual who can use the road
Such private roads should have the tag 'access=private', if you are not certain then it is best to err on the cautious side and add the 'access=private'.
See the discussion on https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk-au/2019-October/013022.html
Local Traffic Only
Per the discussion at https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk-au/2019-November/013175.html since these signs aren't legally enforcable restrictions and access=destination is for legal access constraints, and since this restriction is only applicable to motor_vehicles and not pedestrians or cyclists, motor_vehicle:advisory=destination is suggested.
States either use the old 'shield' system, or the newer alphanumeric system.
Tagging highway ref=* and name=*
In most cases it's best to create a relation for each ref=* and then add all the applicable ways to the relation.
For example the majority of the A1 in QLD is the Bruce Highway, however the A1 continues after the Bruce Highway ends in Cairns and becomes the Captain Cook Highway, in this case there will be 3 relations, a relation for the A1, a relation for the Bruce Highway and a relation for the Captain Cook Highway.
The A1 relation should be tagged as follows:
The Bruce Highway relation should be tagged as follows:
- name=Bruce Highway
The Captain Cook Highway relation should be tagged as follows:
- name=Captain Cook Highway
Minor highways generally keep the same ref=* and name=* for the entire length of the highway so there is no point making 2 relations in this case.
Depending on the road it's generally best to keep tagging ways rather than making relations, although there is nothing wrong with making a relation if you think the road is big enough.
Use the following tags. The style of the signage will give you clues as to which is the correct tag
Non-Alphanumeric Highway Shields
- network=NR,ref=* National Route - (black on white shield)
- network=alt_NR,ref=* National Route - (black on white shield, 'ALT' at the top of the shield)
- network=NH,ref=* National Highway - (yellow on green shield)
- network=MR,ref=* Metroad - (blue on white hexagon)
- network=DR,ref=* Detour roads marked as D roads in NSW and DR in QLD
- network=S,ref=* State Route - (white on blue shield)
Tourist Route (Scenic Route)
- network=T,ref=* Tourist Route - (white on brown Pentagon)
Alphanumeric Highway Shields
- ref=M* Motorways(yellow on green rectangle)
- ref=A* A Roads (yellow on green rectangle)
- network=alt,ref=A* Alt A Roads (yellow on green rectangle, with the word ALT at the top of the shield)
- ref=B* B Roads (yellow on green rectangle)
- ref=C* C Roads (yellow on green rectangle)
- ref=D* D Roads (if they exist, yellow on green rectangle)
In the case of the M, A, B & C roads, the M7 would be ref=M7
NSW Alphanumeric references
Alphanumeric numbering is in the process of being implemented in NSW in 2013, and where signs have been seen the route can be updated to the new alphanumeric reference.
Pay close attention to the name of the road and the routing reference.
|Old Road Name||Description||New Road Name||Ref|
|F3 - Sydney to Newcastle Expressway||From Pacific Highway at Wahroonga to John Renshaw Drive at Beresfield||Pacific Motorway||M1|
|Pacific Highway||The part of the Pacific Highway from Brunswick Heads via Brunswick to Yelgun Freeway, Yelgun to Chinderah Freeway, Chinderah Bypass, Banora Point, Tweed Heads Bypass and Tugun Bypass to the Queensland Border||Pacific Motorway||M1|
|F4 Western Freeway||From Concord Road (Great Western Highway) at Strathfield to Great Western Highway at Lapstone||Western Motorway||M4|
|F6 Southern Freeway||From Princes Highway at Waterfall to Mt Ousley Road to the Illawarra Highway at Yallah||Princes Motorway||M1|
|Hume Highway||The part of the highway from The Cross Roads at Casula, via South Western Freeway, including
Mittagong Bypass and Berrima Bypass, to Mereworth Road Interchange at Medway Rivulet
If practical, the old reference can be retained in old_ref=*
Rural Road Numbering
Geographic Information – Rural Addressing is published as Australian/New Zealand Standard, AS/NZS 4724:2000.
A full description of this standard can be located in this pdf document, published by Land Victoria.
Where possible, a relation should be created for rural roads indicating the start node, any ways applicable and an end node so that this information can be used for routing without needing to individually survey each possible street address. This information won't be useful for rendering.
The relation should be tagged as:
The role of ways should be listed as member, and the nodes as start/end respectively.
Urban Footpaths and Cycleways
Note: The guidelines in this section relate to footpaths and cycleways (usually paved) in urban areas. For bush and other non-urban ways see Bush Walking and Cycling Tracks.
Australian Footpath (no sign)
Australian Road Rules "Footpath, except in rule 13 (1), means an area open to the public that is designated for, or has as one of its main uses, use by pedestrians." In general a footpath is parallel to the road (Tweed Shire Council Definition )
- footway=sidewalk: Only use if the path runs parallel to a road
- bicycle=yes: Only use if local law allows bikes to use footpaths. See Footpath Cycling.
Australian Cycle Path (bicycle-only sign)
Australian Road Rules "Bicycle path means a length of path beginning at a bicycle path sign or bicycle path road marking, and ending at the nearest of the following (a) an end bicycle path sign or end bicycle path road marking; (b) a separated footpath sign or separated footpath road marking; (c) a road (except a road-related area); (d) the end of the path.
Australian Road Rules "A shared path is an area open to the public (except a separated footpath) that is designated for, or has as one of its main uses, use by both the riders of bicycles and pedestrians, and includes a length of path for use by both bicycles and pedestrians beginning at a shared path sign or shared path road marking and ending at the nearest of the following: (a) an end shared path sign or end shared path road marking; (b) a no bicycles sign or no bicycles road marking; (c) a bicycle path sign or bicycle path road marking; (d) a road (except a road-related area); (e) the end of the path."
Australian Separated Footpath (bicycle and pedestrian separated by a line)
Australian Road Rules "Separated footpath means a length of footpath beginning at a separated footpath sign or separated footpath road marking, and ending at the nearest of the following: (a) an end separated footpath sign or end separated footpath road marking; (b) a bicycle path sign or bicycle path road marking; (c) a no bicycles sign or no bicycles road marking; (d) a road (except a road-related area); (e) the end of the footpath. Separated footpath road marking means a road marking on a footpath consisting of a pedestrian symbol and a bicycle symbol side by side, with or without the word ‘only’."
Australian Bicycle Lane (bicycle lane sign)
Australian Road Rules "A bicycle lane is a marked lane, or the part of a marked lane: a) beginning at a bicycle lane sign applying to the lane; and (b) ending at the nearest of the following: (i) an end bicycle lane sign applying to the lane; (ii) an intersection (unless the lane is at the unbroken side of the continuing road at a T–intersection or continued across the intersection by broken lines); (iii) if the road ends at a dead end — the end of the road."
Look at the cycleway tagging page for information
Pedestrian cut-through at the end of a dead-end street.
Cut-thru where it is clearly provided as a cycle facility
Unfortunately, it is possible in Australia for a legally designated cycle facility to be completely unusable. A bicycle lane that is really a parking lane, or a shared path sign on a obstructed or even non-existent path. Mappers should use common sense and discretion, and map the effective facility that exists on the ground if it differs to what is defined by the Australian road rules.
The general default is that highway=motorway implies bicycle=no. Some motorways or freeways in Australia permit cycling in the shoulder, these need to be specifically marked as bicycle=yes as highway=motorway implies bicycle=no .
Regional and Local Route tagging
Just with highways and motorways these routes need to have their own relation connecting the ways in the route.
OSM provides three "networks": local (lcn), regional (rcn), national (ncn), based on the U.K. model.
Australia does not have a specific convention for the use of these network=* tags, and you should consult and refer to the existing mapping convention of the local area you are trying to map.
An example of mapping usage of these tags is as follows:
- network=lcn may be used for short cycling paths / routes of about 10km or less, and may be on cycling infrastructure which is fragmented.
- network=rcn may be used for longer arterial cycling paths / routes, which are likely be interconnected into other network=lcn paths and cycling infrastructure.
- network=ncn is not typically used, however please consult your local mapping convention. network=ncn may be used on those paths / routes of the upmost importance, which should be linked into other network=* paths and should be a considerable distance in length. Cycling infrastructure using this tag does not necessarily need to cross national or state / territory boundaries.
Advice for individual cases can be discussed on the talk-au list.
- For point-to-point (or even three-pronged etc) routes (bike paths, rail trails, etc), create a route relation, and put the RCN/LCN tags on there.
- For networks without start/finishes (eg, lots of local streets with bike signage), put the LCN tags directly on the highway=* way.
NCN is currently used in NSW for very long (200km type route structures) high speed highway shoulders designated as fit for cycling by RMS, and for the Coast line cycle way project which is interstate in scope.
These paths / routes may be signed with on-road with signs to destinations rather than the name of a trail, and might be a network rather than a single trail. For example, see the unnamed trails in this map: 
This may include other, longer, more prominent, better known trails. Generally their length should be at least 5km, This includes rail trails, trails named after creeks, trails named after freeways etc. These are almost all shared-use trails.
Note that cycling is legal on all footpaths within Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, and Tasmania (unless marked otherwise); and at the time of this being written, is not permitted in New South Wales, South Australia, or Victoria with some exceptions — cycling in these states is allowed only on normal roads and dedicated cyclepaths, with a concession permitting children under 12 and adults riding with those children to ride on footpaths. In 2018, New South Wales increased the age limit to allow children under 16 to also ride on the footpath.
- Trams in the middle of normal, undivided roads
- Trams on their own routes
- Trams with their own track in a median strip
- Route number labelling
- Tram routes are currently managed using relations. Most major tram routes have had relations created for them.
- Stop labelling and numbering
- Existing tags cover this:
- name=# (In) or name=# (Out) or name=# (North) or name=# (South) or name=# (East) or name=# (West). Use the North, South, East, West prefix when marking tram stops around the CBD and In and Out (of the CBD) elsewhere. Also draw in super stops (tram stops with platforms) with railway=platform.
- Existing tags cover this:
Bus Routes and Stops
Bus routes also need their own relations per route, and stops along the way need to be added to the relation as well
A guide on how to make a Public Transport Bus Route V2 https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Warin61/diary/45106
And example circular route is relation 7258397.
Bus Stop names and references
Following discussion on the au-talk list the following guide may be usefull.
Bus stop names where they have 'Stand xx' information should have the 'Stand xx' at the front, followed by a comma and then the rest of the information. This help users using the transportation information that usually directs them to a stand so that is the information they want first.
Bus ref tags should contain the bus stop number only, again the transportation people use this and it is a usefull short cut to typing the address into their enquiry forms.
If you want to include what routes stop at a particular bus stop probably best to place it in the comment tag.
Bus Lanes and Bus Only Lanes
For NSW definition of Bus Lanes and Bus Only Lanes see http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/using-roads/buses/bus-lanes.html
3 lane one way road segment, bus lane left
? road_marking=Bus Lane
And now with time conditionals
(Mo-Fr 08:00-09:00, 15:00-19:00; Sa 08:00-09:00, 15:00-18:00; Su 08:00-09:00, 15:00-16:00)
lanes:psv:conditional=1 @ (Mo-Fr 08:00-09:00, 15:00-19:00; Sa 08:00-09:00, 15:00-18:00; Su 08:00-09:00, 15:00-16:00)
access:conditional=destination @ (Mo-Fr 08:00-09:00, 15:00-19:00; Sa 08:00-09:00, 15:00-18:00; Su 08:00-09:00, 15:00-16:00) ||
emergency:conditional=designated @ (Mo-Fr 08:00-09:00, 15:00-19:00; Sa 08:00-09:00, 15:00-18:00; Su 08:00-09:00, 15:00-16:00)||
psv:conditional=designated @ (Mo-Fr 08:00-09:00, 15:00-19:00; Sa 08:00-09:00, 15:00-18:00; Su 08:00-09:00, 15:00-16:00)||
motorcycle:conditional=designated @ (Mo-Fr 08:00-09:00, 15:00-19:00; Sa 08:00-09:00, 15:00-18:00; Su 08:00-09:00, 15:00-16:00)||
bicycle:conditional=designated @ (Mo-Fr 08:00-09:00, 15:00-19:00; Sa 08:00-09:00, 15:00-18:00; Su 08:00-09:00, 15:00-16:00)||
cycleway:conditional=share_busway @ (Mo-Fr 08:00-09:00, 15:00-19:00; Sa 08:00-09:00, 15:00-18:00; Su 08:00-09:00, 15:00-16:00)
? road_marking=Bus Lane
And add our friends forward and backwards, this time a bidirectional six lane road, AM being forward
lanes:psv:forward:conditional=1 @ (Mo-Fr 08:00-09:00; Sa 08:00-09:00; Su 08:00-09:00)
access:lanes:forward:conditional=destination @ (Mo-Fr 08:00-09:00; Sa 08:00-09:00; Su 08:00-09:00) ||
emergency:lanes:forward:conditional=designated @ (Mo-Fr 08:00-09:00; Sa 08:00-09:00; Su 08:00-09:00) ||
psv:lanes:forward:conditional=designated @ (Mo-Fr 08:00-09:00; Sa 08:00-09:00; Su 08:00-09:00) ||
motorcycle:lanes:forward:conditional=designated @ (Mo-Fr 08:00-09:00; Sa 08:00-09:00; Su 08:00-09:00) ||
bicycle:lanes:forward:conditional=designated @ (Mo-Fr 08:00-09:00; Sa 08:00-09:00; Su 08:00-09:00) ||
cycleway:forward:conditional=share_busway @ (Mo-Fr 08:00-09:00; Sa 08:00-09:00; Su 08:00-09:00) ||
lanes:psv:backward:conditional=1 @ (Mo-Fr 15:00-19:00; Sa 15:00-18:00; Su 15:00-16:00)
access:lanes:backward:conditional=destination @ (Mo-Fr 15:00-19:00; Sa 15:00-18:00; Su 15:00-16:00) ||
emergency:lanes:backward:conditional=designated @ (Mo-Fr 15:00-19:00; Sa 15:00-18:00; Su 15:00-16:00) ||
psv:lanes:backward:conditional=designated @ (Mo-Fr 15:00-19:00; Sa 15:00-18:00; Su 15:00-16:00) ||
motorcycle:lanes:backward:conditional=designated @ (Mo-Fr 15:00-19:00; Sa 15:00-18:00; Su 15:00-16:00) ||
bicycle:lanes:backward:conditional=designated @ (Mo-Fr 15:00-19:00; Sa 15:00-18:00; Su 15:00-16:00) ||
cycleway:backward:conditional=share_busway @ (Mo-Fr 15:00-19:00; Sa 15:00-18:00; Su 15:00-16:00) ||
? road_marking=Bus Lane
Bus Only Lanes
3 lane one way road segment, bus only lane left
Bush Walking and Cycling Tracks
- The guidelines in this section relate to footpaths and cycleways (usually unpaved) in bush and other non-urban areas. For footpaths and cycleways in urban areas see Urban Footpaths and Cycleways.
- Do not use highway=footway.
- Because of the highly variable state of bush tracks and abilities of users, tag on the basis of their physical condition (width, surface etc) and legal (usually signposted) restrictions, rather than assigning a subjective assessment of whether not they are, for example, suitable for bicycles.
- Tracks too narrow for 4-wheeled vehicles:
- Tracks wide enough for 4-wheeled vehicles (e.g. fire trails):
- Optional (but helpful) in conjunction with the above:
- Other tags used in OSM but of limited relevance to Australia:
- Using route relations (see ) for named tracks is encouraged as they render better in specialised maps (eg, )
- Proposed use of networks (discussion required):
- IWN: Not used.
- NWN: Very significant trails of decent length, maybe 50km+(eg, Overland Track, Hume&Hovell Trail)
- RWN: Trails with names, maintained by Parks bodies, of some significance and length (to be discussed)
- LWN: Short trails, should probably be named.
- Proposed use of networks (discussion required):
- Check for an existing route relation that can be added to before creating a new one.
- Known long-distance routes:
- Australian Alps Walking Track (Vic, NSW & ACT) 
- Bibbulmun Track (WA) 
- Bicentennial National Trail (Qld, NSW, ACT & Vic) 
- Cape to Cape Track (WA) 
- Great North Walk (NSW) 
- Heysen Trail (SA) 
- Hume & Hovell Walking Track (NSW) 
- Munda Biddi Trail (WA) 
- Overland Track (Tas) 
- Using route relations (see ) for named tracks is encouraged as they render better in specialised maps (eg, )
- name=Boolarra Mirboo North Rail Trail
Note, the trail may diverge from the old railway route at places. Use discretion here. :)
Also use an RCN relation as described above.
Australia has some unique ways of doing things so we need some different tags.
A licensed club is a community based club which has meeting rooms and a liquor licence. Most have additional services eg bistro / restaurant, poker machines.
If you don't know the name of the local Bowls Club mark the grounds as leisure=park, leisure=recreation_ground or leisure=sports_centre and sport=bowls. The tag leisure=pitch should be used on the playing areas only, not the club grounds.
Even though the term "Cellar Door" is widely used, promoted and understood to be a wine tourist attraction, it seems it was too confusing to most Americans to think a cellar door was used for anything but tornado sheltering, at this stage you are best to tag these locations as:
Assuming that you aren't trying to tag a winery that offers tours of their facility, then it would be best to tag:
Country Women's Association
Seasonal or Safety Closures
Tagging closures can be done using opening_hours=* in the free text mode. For example some trails in NSW National Parks are closed during total fire ban days and can be tagged by adding to the way the tag:
One may also tag fire places in a similar fashion.
Hiding administrative boundaries in JOSM
Boundaries contain some very useful information, it can be a big headache if you are trying to map in roads and railway lines so this is how you can make them vanish.
Firstly bring up the filtering panel, either by clicking on the filter icon on the left hand side of the screen, or by hitting Alt+Shift+F. You should now see the filter panel appearing on the right hand side of the screen, most likely on the bottom.
Simply click the add button and type in 'boundary=administrative' and click 'Submit Filter'.
This will disable any administrative boundary objects so you can no longer select or modify them, if you want to hide them completely simply tick the check box under the 'H' column (H for hide).
Unfortunately for various reasons administrative boundaries have been used in the past as the basis for roads, railways, rivers etc, especially where it was difficult or impossible to get to and where the aerial imagery was lacking. So it might not be as simple as hiding all administrative boundaries, but only hiding the ones that aren't used for any other purpose, to achieve this the filter string is a little bit more complex, and instead you would use this 'boundary=administrative -(highway=* | waterway=* | natural=* | railway=*) type:way'.
(National, State etc.) Parks
These include National Parks, State Parks, Reserves etc. that are administered by government authorities. Refer to the definitions below.
There are multiple standards used for mapping such areas including landuse=forest (refers to managed forest ie planted by humans) or natural=wood (natural forest). These both refer to land use, rather than defining the boundary of a park.
Park boundaries are really administrative boundaries, much like Local Government Areas etc. The current standards allow for boundary=national_park however this is too prescriptive ie only implies National Parks. There is a requirement to accommodate a hierarchy of parks from National Parks through to reserves managed by councils. In addition, the boundary=* key should always be used with the admin_level=* key to specify at what (zoom) level the boundaries should be displayed.
Guidelines for land use mapping in Australia: principles, procedures and definitions, Edition 3, Commonwealth of Australia, 2006 have defined land use as "the purpose to which the land cover is committed. Some land uses, such as agriculture, have a characteristic land cover pattern. These usually appear in land cover classifications. Other land uses, such as nature conservation, are not readily discriminated by a characteristic land cover pattern. For example, where the land cover is woodland, land use may be timber production or nature conservation."
To put things in context, their other definitions are;
- Land tenure - Tenure is the form of an interest in land. Some forms of tenure (such as pastoral leases or nature conservation reserves) relate directly to land use and land management practice.
- Land cover - Land cover refers to the physical surface of the earth, including various combinations of vegetation types, soils, exposed rocks and water bodies as well as anthropogenic elements, such as agriculture and built environments. Land cover classes can usually be discriminated by characteristic patterns using remote sensing.
- Land management practice - Land management practice means the approach taken to achieve a land use outcome - the 'how' of land use (i.e. cultivation practices, such as minimum tillage and direct drilling). Some land management practices, such as stubble disposal practices and tillage rotation systems, may be discriminated by characteristic land cover patterns and linked to particular issues.
Phone numbers for OSM should in in a format for ISD (International Subscriber Dialling) calling - that is from overseas. If you place a local number into OSM it will probably 'work' but only in that local area - see the local area codes below to see how big that area is. The I.S.D. code should work locally as the local phone system should interpret it correctly (and hopefully not charge extra for it).
I.S.D. country code
The I.S.D. country code is +61 for Australia. The + sign stands for the local access code to obtain I.S.D. this varies from country of calling to another country of calling.
Then the 'local code'.
Please refer to the following website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_numbers_in_Australia
As a guide, but there are some variations close to the edges at various locations;
02: A.C.T. / N.S.W.
03: Tas. / Vic.
04: Mobile Telephones
08: N.T. / S.A. / W.A.
Complication for use with I.S.D. the leading 0 is dropped
The above are then followed by the local number.
For example a NSW local number of 1234 5678 would be +61 2 1234 5678 in ISD form.
1300, 1800 and 1900 numbers
1300 and 1800 and 1900 numbers cannot be called from overseas so should simple be entered as they are. Some 1800 numbers give another number for calls from overseas. It may be best to put in the local number, no codes.
For cell phones the leading 0 is dropped and the country code is added as a prefix.
For example a cell number of 0412 345 678 would be +61 4 1234 5678 in ISD form.
Do not use any separators apart from the space " " (U+0020 SPACE (also ASCII 32), they may break programs which use OpenStreetMap data.
The use of the space as a separator for numbers when entering into OpenStreetMap is optional to aid human understand and retention.
Emergency Phone Number
Do not enter the emergency phone number (000 / 112) into OpenStreetMap under any circumstances. This is not a valid number which relates to any specific location in Australia or its territories.
Reference may be made to http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/facts-and-figures/telephone-country-and-area-codes
To distinguish the level of schooling it is recommended to use grades=*. A school offering years 7-10 would be grades=7-10, kindergarten to year 6 would be grades=0-6. isced:level=* should be used as well see Key:isced:level#Conversion_of_local_terms.
operator=* should be used to set the state level agency or department which operates the school. For example in NSW public schools would be `NSW Department of Education` or a catholic school usually would be `Catholic Education Commission NSW`. You can also consider adding the operator:wikidata=* and operator:type=* tags.
Do put things on the map which are relevant and have no suitable tags. Identify the nodes with some_new_tag and they can be edited later as needed.
Check taginfo to see what tags others are using in Australia.
How do I map a road that ISN'T there
It is often the case in rural Australia that un-trafficable roads end up on maps produced by other mapping companies, and sometimes even in OSM.
These can be gazetted roads that have never been built or at least never built to a trafficable standard, or since closed. Roads that exist to provide access to properties are often sold to property owners by councils when adjacent properties are merged and the road is no longer required. Some roads are mapped from aerial imagery but can correspond to farm tracks, fence lines, etc.
- These roads should still be mapped.
- Before mapping these roads, please ensure you yourself are familiar with the road either by visiting in person (recently) or looking on recent high-quality aerial imagery (you have permission to use) to confirm what is actually there. Do not alter the map without being aware of what actually is there presently.
- Use the access=* key to restrict access to the road accordingly.
- Change highway=* tag accordingly, perhaps to highway=track, highway=service, or highway=path.
- Where the road is trafficable (such as you can walk, ride, drive on it), map as normal, and use your local mapping convention to class the road using the highway=* key.
The following is a list of advice:
- If there is a mapped road goes into private property through a gate, mark the gate node as barrier=gate, you should add a access=private to the gate and any continuation of the road.
- If there is a mapped road that turns into scrub, try to mark out the approx area of the natural=scrub.
- If there is a mapped road that ends in a turning circle, mark the end node as highway=turning_circle
- If there is a mapped road that would cross a fence, you could mark in the fence, but this may not be entirely obvious on the map what it is, you can also mark a node in the approx vicinity as restriction=only_straight_on, this shows up as a big blue arrow in JOSM and we are planning to make a layer on the AU maps able to display this as well.
- Review that the existing road, or road you are trying to map is not a fence, dry creek, or other feature often mistaken for being a road in aerial imagery.
If you have surveyed and area try to make a note on the appropriate feature to let future mappers know what is going on, or if a way is impassable.
Obviously you should never copy from a source we don't have permission to copy from. Even though you made an observation that it doesn't exist you can only map what you saw or what your surveyed.
What about roads which are proposed / planned or road which use meta-information from the DCDB Queensland data?
Roads which are proposed / planned but have not yet been built should be tagged with:
Using Imported Data
Imported data may not be accurate, it's entirely dependent on what the data was originally intended for.
Use common sense when utilising imported sources to map roads from, surveyed data from GPS handsets may be more accurate if possible check imagery and GPS data to confirm.
ABS boundary data can be useful for finding rivers and roads to map them in less populated areas, however where Bing or AGRI data is available it is usually at least as accurate.
Track Submission Guidelines
- Reduce GPS tracks to a moderate number of nodes before uploading them to OSM. Please either trace a new way over the top of your track, or use the 'Delete unnecessary nodes from a way' button in JOSM, which is part of the UtilsPlugin. This does an excellent job of removing multiple nodes that lie along a straight line path.
- Break long ways into ways with a maximum of a few hundred nodes. JOSM will cut ways into smaller portions. Select the way, hold down shift while selecting a node part way along the way, then press P to split (part) the ways.
- Identify the source of your data. Mark it source=xxx, where source might be survey, bing, AGRI, landsat etc. Mappers who have have been leaving the source not stated are making differing assumptions on the source, either surveyed or made from aerial photography, so we need to be specific.
- If you gather the names of places, ways etc differently than how data on the way or place was collected use (source:name=*). For example source=survey but source:name=knowledge.
- Howto Edit GPX files
- Convert a Tracklog to Data Automatically