Colombia/Guide for mapping
This guide was created to standardize the names, labels, classifications of roads and streets to create a map of Colombia that is usable, detailed, clear and consistent.
- The first step is to become familiar with the OSM concepts. The Beginners' guide is a good starting point.
- Please do not add data that violates people's privacy or data from military or police zones.
- The OpenStreetMap cartography should not be use in an official way for Colombia.
- Do not copy data from maps or other website such as GoogleMaps, unless you are authorized to do so.
Before mapping and editing in OpenStreetMap it is good to read:
- The OSM beginners guide.
- The good practice guide.
- Understand editing standards and conventions.
- Limitations of armchair mapping.
- Possible Map features that can be added in the map.
Tags of roads in Colombia
- Main article: ES:Colombia/Nomenclatura para calles
- For street names (with numeric part) use name=*. Do not use the tag ref=* for the name.
- Always use the street full. Do not use abbreviations.
- Some ways can have an official name, and the official_name=* tag is used to this purpose.
- The common names will go in the alt_name=* tag. If there are common names, they will go in the alt_name=* tag separated by semicolon.
- Always use the most recent street name. If you know the old name, it can put it with old_name=* label
name=Calle 77 name=Carrera 19A name=Diagonal 45 name=Transversal 30 name=Avenida Carrera 68
name=Avenida Calle 72 official_name=Avenida Chile
name=Avenida Carrera 30 official_name=Avenida Gilberto Alzate Avendaño alt_name=Avenida de las Palmas
name=Carrera 45 old_name=Carrera 38A
The highway classification in Colombia is done by the Transport ministry and Invías who based on functionality, traffic volume, population, and travel length criteria, among others, categorize the highways in first, second and third order.
There is not an absolute agreement about the tag usage. Some points are described in the mail list.
This classification is also described at Highway:International equivalence.
|highway=motorway||Do NOT use this category. These roads simply do NOT exist in Colombia. Even roads with local names having the word "autopista" (motorway), because they do not meet the. Roads tagged with this tag are therefore in error and should be corrected.|
|highway=trunk||National trunk roads are defined by the Colombian Transport Ministry, as roads ("troncales" and "transversales") as primary roads which start at international border crossings and connect major state capitals and/or ports.||Highways that have at least two lanes in each direction and traverse the entire city. Examples in Bogotá: NQS, Calle 80, Autopista Norte, Avenida Eldorado, Avenue of the Americas, Avenida Boyacá; in Medellin: Via Las Palmas.|
|highway=primary||They connect major cities, department capitals, border crossings, ports. Called "National roads" (Carreteras nacionales).||Main roads interconnecting neighborhoods crossing the city. Examples in Bogotá: Calle 68, Circunvalar, Avenida Cali.|
|highway=secondary||Main roads connecting large towns, with more than 15.000 inhabitants. Called "Inter municipality roads (Carreteras inter municipales)".||Streets that traverse neighborhoods.
Examples in Bogota Carrera 15, Carrera 11, Calle 85, Calle 92, Calle 94, Calle 57.
|highway=tertiary||These are roads connecting municipalities, with less than 15.000 inhabitants. Called "Inter veredal roads (Carreteras inter veredales).||The minor streets through neighborhoods. Examples in Bogotá: Calle 86A, Calle 90.|
|highway=*_link||Use (e.g. highway=trunk_link) for roads (sliproads/ramps) leading from a road to a higher level road.|
|highway=residential||Residential streets. Used only by local traffic to access housing.|
|highway=living_street||This kind of road does NOT exist in Colombia, therefor it should NOT be used in residential areas, nor in any kind of road. No legislation exists in Colombia for comparable roads in other countries -(en).|
|highway=unclassified||Other minor roads. Use this kind of highway only for new roads mapped from armchair.
Never assign this kind of highway to an already mapped highway with other type.
Please view the Spanish discussion.
|Other minor roads that are not residential.|
|highway=service||Access roads, normally in private areas, such as the internal ways of a condominium, a club, or an enterprise area (like Corabastos).|
|highway=track||Roads used mostly for agricultural or forestry reasons, that a 4-wheel drive vehicle or farm tractor could travel on. This classification is indifferent to the surface of the road; for this purpose, you can use the highway=* tag and use the surface=* with an appropriate value that represent the surface of the road. Remember to not map for the renderer
NOTE: according to comments on Telegram Colombia, tracks are used for all "minor bad roads", not just those described here.
- highway=pedestrian. Pedestrian streets. Normally, there are common streets with a large enough width for vehicles, but they are strictly used by pedestrian. For example, T-zone (Zona T) in Bogota.
- highway=footway. Mainly/exclusively for pedestrians, with a reduced width and vehicles access is not allowed.
- highway=path. This is for small paths that a 4-wheeled vehicle could not travel on and are usually used by people on foot or 2-wheeled vehicles. They may or may not connect settlements or lead to farm fields.
- Main article: ES:Colombia/Carreteras nacionales
National highways and other highways with an identifier assigned by a government agency use ref=*. For example, the segments of National Highway 50 are tagged like this:
Considerations for the ref=* tag usage:
- Do not use this value for the name of the highway, at least when the purpose is to give visibility on the map (check Good practice-Don't map for the renderer). To add extra names to a way, use the tags described in the wiki about Names.
- Remember to map what is on the ground, and not an imagined version of the map; the map should have a coherence with what exist and what the user will see. Examples:
- The segments of the national highways normally are tagged with the number (it means
50for the segments of the National Route 50); however, the segment
08Aof the National Route 50 will have a name like
5008Aalong the way. Therefore, this name will be used event if this does not follow the naming standard for the rest of highways.
- The "Variantes", "Pasos" and "Ramales" have an assigned reference by Invías (for example,
25 CC Bfor the Popayán "Variante"). In this case the trunks that are drawn as "Variantes", as it is the case of "Troncal de Occidente en Popayán", could be tagged such as
highway=trunkto give continuity to the segments of the main road. If the "Variante" do not have a reference number, do not apply the
ref=25to "Variante" ways, because they have another reference.
- For highways that have an assigned reference but they do not have signs of the reference, you can use unsigned_ref=*.
- The segments of the national highways normally are tagged with the number (it means
- Main article: ES:Colombia/Señalización
Traffic signs are mapped with a node at the location of the sign, using the tag traffic_sign=* according to this traffic sign list (es). More important than mapping the sign itself is to apply the corresponding tags to the objects the sign affects. For example, it is good to map the speed limit signs, but it is even more important to apply the maxspeed=* to the affected highways.
For more information about how to map a traffic sign (if a node should be used , a way , or a relation , for example) you can see the Related tags in the traffic signs (es)page. If you have doubts, please follow the link of the related tag for more information about it. You can also find useful information at traffic_sign=*.
In cities, addresses in Colombia follow the format:
[street name] # [number1]-[number2]
Calle 72 # 7-12
Alternatively, the number sign (#) is abbreviated as No., but we do not use that here. In theory,
number1 refers to the previous intersecting street, and
number2 is the distance to that intersection. In the previous example, the address is on Calle 72, 12 meters away from Carrera 7. Of course, the real world does not fit the model so nicely, but that is the general idea.
Example tagging for address: Kr 14 no. 67 - 23 in Bogotá.
- addr:street=Carrera 14 Note: Do not abbreviate.
Outside of cities where streets aren't numbered, addresses can be expressed by stating the nearest milepost and the name of the road, e.g.
Km. 25 Autopista Medellín. Alternatively, a higher approximation can be given using meters, as in
Km 25+500, meaning 500 meters past mile marker 25. Since the addr=* schema doesn't quite work for these cases, addr:full=* can be used instead.
More tags that can be useful/necessary:
addr:housename=*For buildings, farms, schools that have an official or widely used name.
addr:state=CundinamarcaUse state for .
addr:province=Sabana CentroSome departments have .
When possible, you should add these tags to the area you draw for the building, using for example the building=residential. Sometimes more than one building has the same address; this happens with condominiums were a group of apartment buildings share the same front gate (and one address). In this case it is probably best to draw a polygon around the condo and tag as landuse=residential and then add a main entrance node on the line of the polygon with tags entrance=yes and the address details. Additionally you can then draw the buildings and tag them building=apartments but do not also add the address tags to them.
You can also check this page: Geocoding_naming_formats_and_challenges#Colombia.
Post codes were introduced recently in Colombia. Although not widespread used yet, it is worthwhile to add them to OSM. Post codes have six digits, the first two being the department, the next the two postal zone, and the last two the postal district. All post codes and their district boundaries can be found here. They can be added to the address using: addr:postcode=*.
|Norte de Santander||54xxxx|
|San Andrés y Providencia||88xxxx|
|Valle del Cauca||76xxxx|
There are postal codes with more digits that correspond to the blocks (manzanas) in a postal district, but they should not be used in OSM.
Mass transit bus
- Main article: Colombia/Transport
- For dedicated road: systems (such as the Transmilenio in Bogotá) that have dedicated roads closed to all other traffic, tag the
public_transport=stop_position name=Calle 76
- The station (where users wait for and board the bus) is mapped with a node, way or area depending on the level of detail of the available imagery and tagged:
public_transport=platform highway=bus_stop name=Calle 76
- "Portales" (hubs where feeder routes connect to trunk lines) are tagged like this:
public_transport=station amenity=bus_station name=Portal 80
- Do not use amenity=bus_station for the bus stops, even if they are called locally like that.
- The name should be exactly the same as it is appear on the signs, as the users see it on the ground and as it is presented in documents or official maps.
The article Colombia/Transport explains in greater detail how to map the different elements of bus public systems (like the SITP in Bogota), or Bus Rapid Transit (like Transmilenio), among others.
Generally, the bicycle guide can be used for mapping bike lanes:
- Add cycleway=lane to highway=*. A cycle lane that lies within the roadway and is generally not separated by more than a marking on the road.
For cycleways that lie separated (by grass, kirb, etc.) from the road, now there are two conventions in use in Colombia (and the rest of the world).
- Create a separate track next to the road and use highway=cycleway. This is useful because it often allows for more details but, it can longer to map than the first option.
- Add cycleway=track to exciting road.
Often cycle ways have different directions than the part of the road used by cars. The general wiki provides a good guide for all different possibilities.
In many major cities in Colombia, certain roads are closed to motorized traffic on Sunday mornings for the citizens to bike, walk and exercise (see).
Use conditional restrictions to tag these restrictions. For example:
access:motor_vehicle:conditional=no @ Su 0700-1400 access:bicycle:conditional=yes @ Su 0700-1400 access:foot:conditional=yes @ Su 0700-1400
In Bogotá, for example, the roads that are closed on Sunday morning can be found on the website of the IDRD .
One can also think about creating a relation between all the ways that make up that section of the route. For example, all ways that make up the route of Ciclovía on Calle 147 in Bogotá are in a relation. More information about relations and how to make routes using them.
When the riverbed is the same as an administrative boundary, keep the both objects separated, because the riverbed will change in the time, while the administrative boundary will remain intact. This means that the rivers and administrative boundaries should be mapped separately, at least the legal boundary is the river. Mapping both objects separately prevent accidental movement of the administrative limits when dealing with the riverbed.
This is the list of main rivers in Colombia (es).
In order to map trees in Colombia, take into account that the vast mayority of them is broad leaved leaf_type=broadleaved. This makes easier to map natural forests. Some examples of this kind of trees are:
To draw the parks or get extra information, these sites can be used:
- Runap - https://runap.parquesnacionales.gov.co/.
- Parques Nacionales - https://www.parquesnacionales.gov.co/portal/es/servicios-de-informacion/productos-cartograficos-y-tematicos/servicios-web-wmswfs/.
- Main article: es:Colombia/División Política
The tags for the boundaries of the department is:
Inside the boundaries, a point should be mapped and tag it like this:
For other administrative boundaries, you can see the admin_level tag documentation to identify:
- Cities, "corregimientos".
- Localities, communes, "veredas".
Use of the building tag
The building=* tag only represent buildings or constructions. For this reason, using it in residential areas to depict blocks, condominiums, or other elements that are not themself a building, is considered as an error.
Also, it is considered as error to define the perimeter of an area where this area has multiple buildings; for example, the perimeter of a shopping mall that could have parking logs and access ways that give access to the building. Using this tag with the only purpose to make it appear on the map is considered tagging for the renderer. In these cases, consider to use an appropriate landuse=* tag: for residential areas you can use landuse=residential, and for the second case, you can use landuse=retail (see landuse=* for a complete list of common values for this tag).
Buildings where there are not high resolution imagery
In the case that there are not available high-resolution imagery, it is not recommended to create buildings, at least you have another data source at high definition. Remember to only map what's on the ground. To create an idealize version of the map cannot be verified, and it provides a misimpression that the map has a high detail level, when the reality is that the map does not correspond to what is seen from the ground. It is not necessary that the Points of Interest are well drawn as areas; using nodes with the appropriated tags for the Points of Interest on the map is perfectly appropriate, and in fact, it is equivalent to use an area, which concludes that added idealized building is just tagging for the renderer.
Do not map shops as areas or buildings if they have multiple uses (For example, in areas of ). When several shops are in the first level of a building or area, do not tag the whole building or area like a shop. There is a similar case when there are different offices or businesses in the same building. In these cases, map the building like an area with building=* and add a node with an appropriated tag for the business or office. Applying tags like building=* or landuse=* with the solely purpose to make a business more prominent is considered as tagging for the renderer.
In Colombia, as well as in great part of Latin-America, the meaning of this kind of places differs from the common use in OSM and the English-speaking world. Then, tagging the "sites of couples dating" with tourism=motel is a mistake. For these places you should use the tag amenity=love_hotel.
The tag office=educational_institution does not correspond to the one for education institution (usually "primaria" and "secundaria") that is a term used in Colombia. For this kind of institution use the tag amenity=school.
"Glorietas" and the tag junction=roundabout
Even if the term "glorieta" or "rotonda" is used colloquially for any circular interchanger. the official definition as well as the formal definition of the junction=roundabout tag in OSM are not strict: These require that the traffic in the "glorieta" has priority over the entering traffic, making this last to yield ("la prelación está definida para los vehículos que circulan en la glorieta" —Manual de Señalización Vial 2004). This means the circular intersections that have traffic lights does not comply with this condition and should not be tagged with junction=roundabout. In the terrain, the "glorietas" that does comply this condition should have the traffic signals SP-20 and SR-02 in the entry ways.
Resources to map
You can use Bing images to map, because these images have a license that allow us to trace. However, these images could be misaligned to what is drawn on the map. To adjust the images you can use:
- GPX traces that are already loaded into OpenStreetMap, or even your own GPX traces.
- The Strava Heatmap map, which allows you to see the intensity of the heat that corresponds to the highways.
- The already known offsets that are available at : http://offsets.textual.ru/map#zoom=6&lat=4.28&lon=-73.59. In JOSM you can use the imagery_offset_db plugin.
If you want to map buildings in details, yo can consult these guides:
Si se quiere hacer mapeo detallado de edificios, se pueden consultar estas guías:
- For further discussion subscribe to the mailing list (in Spanish).
- Map Features.
- Editing Standards and Conventions.
- Mapping techniques.
- Traffic signs.
- Tricks and tips.
- Highway:International equivalence.
- Good practice.
- ES:Street naming in Colombia (es).
- ES:Colombia/Secondary Network (es).
- ES:Colombia/Political division (es).