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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.

OpenStreetMap images (and underlying map data) are freely available under OpenStreetMap License.

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State Highways

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


California/Cycling Relations is a page for cycling routes in the state. While California doesn't have any United States Bicycle Routes (yet), six USBRs have planned route corridors in the state. There is also the Pacific Coast Bike Route from Oregon to Mexico, which used to be administered by Caltrans but that has devolved to counties and cities along the route (signage isn't always extant or accurate). Other, more-regional routes like San Francisco Bay Trail are in earlier to middle stages of being organized (at state and local levels, often in conjunction with non-profit organizations like bicycle advocacy groups), cataloged (e.g in that wiki page) and entered into OSM (as route=bicycle relations usually tagged network=rcn). Several counties have significant bicycle infrastructure organized into (usually network=lcn, occasionally network=rcn) routes, some using numbered protocols that are signed.


California/Hiking Relations is a page for state hiking routes


California/Railroads is a page for state rail routes, both infrastructure and passenger rail (two different kinds of relations)


California/Import collects information about imports specific to California.

Tagging ideas for California

Speed Limits

  • 65 MPH is the max speed limit on highways unless otherwise posted
  • Business areas/residential areas: 25 MPH unless otherwise posted
  • Otherwise, the max speed limit is 55 MPH unless otherwise posted


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).