British Columbia

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This page contains information relating to mapping activity that is specific to the British Columbia, Canada.

Tagging Guidelines

Please see Canadian tagging guidelines.

Highways and provincial roads

The BC Government does not have meaningful distinctions between different types of highways, therefor it is necessary to consider functional characteristics of a road to classify it. What distinctions there are (e.g. NHS) are funding categories, not visible on the ground, and typically only present in copyrighted lists which are not a usable source.

Tagging In built up areas In remote areas
highway=motorway A freeway with access to/from the road primarily from interchanges. Typically, but not necessarily a numbered highway. A freeway with access to/from the road primarily from interchanges. Typically, but not necessarily a numbered highway.
highway=trunk A divided highway with limited access. Intersections are infrequent with traffic priority going to the trunk road. Intersections normally have "prepare to stop" signs in advance of them. Right and left turn lanes are frequently present at intersections. Increased speed limits are common. A divided highway with limited access.
highway=primary A a numbered highway with does not meet the standards for highway=motorway or highway=trunk. An un-divided highway.
highway=secondary A major road used for thru-traffic. Frequently 4 lanes. ?
highway=tertiary A road less important than a secondary. In residential areas these are normally classified by the city as "local collectors". Normally has priority at intersections over highway=residential roads. ?
highway=residential A minor residential road. Many minor non-residential roads have been tagged as residential from the CanVec import.
highway=unclassified A minor non-residential road. Some CanVec residential roads are incorrectly tagged as highway=unclassified.
highway=road An unknown road. An unknown road.
highway=living_street Not in common use. Not in common use.
highway=service A service road A service road

Highways should be tagged with lanes=* maxspeed=* surface=* as appropriate.

Cities/Towns (by population (1))

(CMA = urban centre-census metropolitan area, CA = census agglomeration (CA) Other towns

Cities/Towns (by Regional Districts)

Metro Vancouver

Vancouver Island

See Vancouver Island

Squamish-Lillooet Regional District

Thompson-Nicola Regional District

Regional District of Fraser-Fort George

Northern Rockies Regional Municipality

Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine

Peace River Regional District

Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District

Cariboo Regional District

Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako

Regional District of Central Kootenay

Regional District of East Kootenay

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary

Regional District of Central Okanagan

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

Regional District of North Okanagan

Columbia-Shuswap Regional District

Notes (1)

WikiProject Canada

Potential Datasource

BC Gov't geographic information portal

ILMB BC Digital Road Atlas (2007, Partially Attributed) -


BCarea-mkgmap-routable OSM_22June2010_ MapSource_View.jpg

The Garmin MapSource (Windows) Installer file is available here

The Garmin IMG tiles (routable) are available in this zip file,

This was created from the OSM download of the outline of the province from using splitter and mkgmap