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California, United States, North America

latitude: 37.05, longitude: -119.63
Browse map of California 37°03′00.00″ N, 119°37′48.00″ W
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California is a state in United States, North America at latitude 37°03′00.00″ North, longitude 119°37′48.00″ West.

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Mailing lists

Please subscribe to our mailing lists to discuss issues of interest to our state and find nearby mappers:


There are 58 counties in California. This list is not exhaustive. Please use template at Creating city pages to create new pages.


State Highways

California/State Highway Relations is a wiki for tracking the progress of placing highways into relations within California.


California/Railroads is a wiki for state rail routes, linking to sub-wikis for both rail infrastructure routes (route=railway relations) and passenger rail routes (route=train relations).


California/Cycling Relations is a wiki for cycling routes in the state, focused at national network=ncn and regional/state network=rcn levels.

California doesn't have any United States Bicycle Routes (yet), though six USBRs have planned route corridors in the state. Discovered in 2020, network=ncn USBR 50 is "on ballot" for AASHTO's Spring 2020 Conference (scheduled May, might have been June or July, 2020 via videoconference, we await details). USBR 50 in California is added as a proposed route, rendering with red dashed lines for now. There is also (the public, not private ACA) Pacific Coast Bike Route from Oregon to Mexico, which used to be administered by Caltrans but that authority has devolved to counties and cities along the route, while signage isn't always extant or even accurate. Other regional routes like San Francisco Bay Trail (network=rcn, ref=SFB) are in earlier to middle stages of being developed and organized (at a state/regional level, often in conjunction with non-profit bicycle advocacy organizations), cataloged (e.g, nascently in California/Cycling Relations) and entered into OSM as route=bicycle relations, tagged network=rcn. Statewide efforts to improve regional bicycle route organization (preventing namespace numbering collisions, for example) are in early stages, as dialog has only recently begun to unsnarl some of the issues. Please contact SteveA who has been historically active in the space.

Several counties have significantly organized bicycle infrastructure as numbered network=lcn route networks, though occasionally a "spine" or "thru" route in these is tagged network=rcn. Many of these county-numbered network=lcn routes have signage of MUTCD-approved "numbered local bicycle route sign" M1-8a. However, none or very few of the routes tagged network=rcn are similarly signed, as it isn't clear whether M1-8 ("numbered state bicycle route sign"), M1-8a or a custom-designed sign (e.g. SFB) is the correct sign to use, and no authority seems to exist in the state to organize regional-level bicycle routes (numbered or otherwise). This authority may reside with Caltrans' Regions, though no such organization activity is known to OSM. California/Cycling Relations links to wikis for these several county-wide numbered cycling networks tagged network=lcn, properly denoted with cycle_network=US:CA:YZ, where YZ is a Caltrans-designated two-alphabetic-character code for each county.


California/Hiking Relations is a wiki for state hiking routes


California/Import collects information about imports specific to California.

Tagging ideas for California

Speed Limits

  • 65 MPH is the max speed limit on multilane divided highways unless otherwise posted (though the limit on such roads is generally well-signed) CVC 22349
  • Business areas/residential areas: 25 MPH unless otherwise posted CVC 22352(b)(1)
  • Otherwise, the max speed limit is 55 MPH unless otherwise posted CVC 22349(b)

Highway types

Since there are multiple governments involved in building/maintaining roads, and there doesn't seem to be usable correlation of what they call a road to the values for highway=* used in OpenStreetMap, road types are assigned values by judgment. The following guidelines are for urban areas, and are loosened for rural and tightened in dense urban to avoid making everything secondary or larger in an area.

highway=motorway - Access via on/off ramps with merge lanes, divided road of at least 2 lanes each direction. Called "Freeway." Speed limits generally 55 MPH or higher.

highway=trunk - May have cross traffic, but traffic flow on the trunk always has the right of way (except at red traffic lights). Speed limits usually 45 MPH or higher.

highway=primary - Three lanes or more each traffic direction. 35 MPH or faster. Handles large volumes of traffic. (Any or all of these).

highway=secondary - Two lanes of traffic each direction. 35 MPH or faster. Medium-high traffic volumes.

highway=tertiary - Lower traffic volumes on wide streets, or higher traffic volumes on narrow ones.

highway=minor - Single traffic lane each direction. 35 MPH or slower. (Note: This is considered by OpenStreetMap to be a deprecated feature. See the talk page for discussion.)

highway=residential - Single traffic lane each direction, abutters residential, may also be oneway=yes. Usually 25 MPH or slower. May have traffic bumps and other "traffic calming" measures.

If something has a county, state or federal highway route number, it can and often does get classified higher if there is a question.

EV charging stations

There are many electric-vehicle charging stations in the state. The accepted way to tag these is with the combination of amenity=fuel and fuel=electricity, even where there is no real fuel available at a station.

A new tag amenity=charging_station has been proposed and is actively being developed. It is intended to cover details unique to EV charging stations, but not all of its details have been worked out yet. If you wish to have input on how it develops, see Proposed features/Charging station. It is intended to replace the two-tag combination above (though of course amenity=fuel would still be used at locations that have both fuel and chargers).


California Historical Landmark:


Historic El Camino Real bell:

manufacturer=California Bell Company
name=Historic El Camino Real
network=Historic El Camino Real

You can also map the "Historic El Camino Real" sign itself as a node tagged traffic_sign=US:CA:SG2. Place it coincident with the bell's node without combining the two nodes.