- 1 Administrative subdivisions
- 2 Costa Rica roads tagging
- 2.1 Costa Rica road names and numbering
- 2.2 "Autopistas" (Trunks)
- 2.3 "Red Vial Nacional Primaria","Ruta Nacional" (National Primary Roads)
- 2.4 "Red Vial Nacional Secundaria","Ruta Regional" (National Secondary Roads)
- 2.5 "Red Vial Nacional Terciaria","Ruta Regional" (National Tertiary Roads)
- 2.6 "Travesias"
- 2.7 Other streets, roads and tracks
- 2.8 Status
- 3 Natural environment
- 4 Agricultural areas
- 5 Points of interest
- 6 International names
- 7 Garmin maps
- 8 See also
In Costa Rica an official hierarchical administrative division is in use, but the locals hardly apply it or even know where they live or work. The division works on the following way:
- Provincias (Provinces) (boundary=administrative, admin_level=4)
Down to Distritos, there is a well defined geospatial cartography division, but the barrios are not well defined in most of the districts and are part of the local culture.
Provinces, Cantons and Districts
Click on a name of a province, canton or district to see a map with the corresponding border line highlighted. If a name does not have a link then the border is still not mapped.
Isla del Coco (marine reserve)
Costa Rica borders tagging
While the borders for the seven Provinces of Costa Rica are already done, a lot of Cantons and almost all Districts are still missing. Once you got the coordinates for the points that define the borderlines, do the following:
- Draw the borderlines in OSM or import the data.
- Create a relation of type boundary from all ways that make up the border of an area (Canton, District or Barrio).
- Set the admin_level=* tag value to 6 for a Cantón, 8 for a District and 10 for a Barrio.
- Set the name=* tag in the relation with the official name in Spanish of the administrative subdivision.
- Set the name:en=* tag in the relation if the subdivision name in English is different.
- Set outer role for all member border ways.
- If there are some enclaved areas that are excluded from the area if the subdivision, add their border ways with an inner role.
- Add a member node with admin_centre role for the place of the capital.
- Optionally add a member node with label role for locating the position of the label at low zoom level (this node may be named but will not be rendered on maps): this is needed only for subdivisions that have enclaves to exclude or has a large concavity, to avoid placing the label completely outside the effective area. At higher zoom levels, the names will not be rendered as nodes but along the borders if they can fit there, using names defined in the relation (node members with label role won't be used at all).
- Optionally add other informative tags for the subdivision, such as national reference numbers, postal codes, wikidata=* element identifier (or a Wikipedia article name), and population from census data (with a date).
Costa Rica roads tagging
- Please use the official classification by the MOPT (Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes / Ministry of Public Works and Transportation), remember that OSM stands by a verifiability principle and should use the official road classification, Costa Rica's OSM should provide the same information as an official map.
- Just because you use a shortcut inside residential areas, it doesn't mean that shortcut has a higher priority in its classification, specifically, don't tag shortcuts as highway=tertiary (or worse, highway=trunk, highway=primary, or even highway=secondary) so that it would look prettier in your GPS unit for daily commutes.
- Also, a highway=secondary road that is widely used doesn't convert it into a highway=primary.
- Use tags properly:
The first thing to keep in mind when tagging roads in Costa Rica is the fact, that these roads in most cases do not meet European standards. Even main highways like the Carretera Interamericana (Panamerican Highway) may have links with cobblestone surface that just lead to a couple of private houses.
That's why it is a good idea to depend of the importance of a road for tagging instead of the state the road actually is in.
The importance of the main roads has been defined as primary, secondary or tertiary by the MOPT.
It is recommended to follow these definitions even if some roads, like the tertiary road 301 south of San Ignacio should be used with a 4WD only. These state information can be given by surface and description tags.
The MOPT defines the following categories:
- Red Vial Nacional Primaria (One or two digits)
- Red Vial Nacional Secundaria (Three digits)
- Red Vial Nacional Terciaria (Three digits)
Check here for the Official road maps.
Costa Rica road names and numbering
There are five different kind of road names in Costa Rica, they are defined according to their orientation, the numbering starts from a main road (Calle 0, Calle Central, Avenida Central, ...) and depending on the geographic orientation they get the number:
- Calle: North-South ( | )
- Odd (1, 3, 5, 7...) numbers on the West side of Calle 0 or Central.
- Even (2, 4, 6, 8...) numbers on the East side of Calle 0 or Central.
- Avenida: West-East ( -- )
- Odd (1, 3, 5, 7...) numbers on the North side of Avenida 0 or Central.
- Even (2, 4, 6, 8...) numbers on the South side of Avenida 0 or Central.
- Diagonal: Southwest-Northeast (/)
- Transversal: Southeast-Northwest (\)
- Via: Used for those national roads in highway=trunk, highway=primary, highway=secondary, highway=tertiary. They are delimited by "Kilómetro" stones each kilometer.
Please use the whole name for each kind of road (ie, Calle, Avenida, ...) when naming the streets and NOT an abbreviation (C. C/, Av., etc).
There are a handful of trunk lines, locally known as "autopistas" which would translate as "motorway", but they are not by international definition, just separated way two-lane highways, therefore they MUST be tagged as highway=trunk, these are the "autopistas".
- Autopista General Canas (Part of Route 1): Between San Jose (East) and Alajuela (West)
- Autopista Florencio del Castillo (Part of Route 2): Between Zapote (West) and Cartago (East)
- Autopista a Caldera (Part of Route 27): Between San Jose (East) and Caldera (West)
- Braulio Carrillo (Part of Route 32): Between San Jose (West) and Limon (East)
- Circunvalación (Route 39): This a ring circling San José, as of 2014 it is still unfinished (Missing a segment in the North).
No other highway in the country can be tagged as highway=trunk, even part of the aforementioned list need to be tagged as highway=primary as required (When the physical design of the road stops having a separation between the lanes).
"Red Vial Nacional Primaria","Ruta Nacional" (National Primary Roads)
Administratively they are primary roads, part of these can be a trunk as stated previously. So, the administrative tagging must be highway=primary, but when the highway is physically a highway=trunk, it should be tagged as one.
- ref=nn (Where nn is the number of the route)
- name="name" Where available such as "Ruta Interamericana".
Examples of these routes include the 1, 2, 32. By definition any two or one digit route numbers.
"Red Vial Nacional Secundaria","Ruta Regional" (National Secondary Roads)
"Red Vial Nacional Terciaria","Ruta Regional" (National Tertiary Roads)
The tertiary roads should be tagged as tertiary.
This is like a fourth administrative category, but they are usually well known routes that were recently assigned a number. They can be tagged as highway=tertiary. Add the appropriate five digit route number.
NOTE: Curiously, many of the route number of the "travesias" are also the corresponding nearest.
Other streets, roads and tracks
Most of the other routes in Costa Rica are residential or unclassified, with a lot of tracks all over the country.
And if applicable, add:
- surface=unpaved or surface=cobblestone
- description=4WD only or description=not in good conditions in wet season or similar
From time to time somebody comes along who did not read the mapping guidelines above or just does not care about them. In order to make it easer for those who do care, all parts of every important road in Costa Rica are gathered in a relation. That makes it easier to check if the road is still intact and it also helps fixing problems that an edit might have caused.
|Route||From||Via||To||Check and Fix||Status|
|107||Route 118||San Rafael de Poas||Grecia||01.Oct.2014: Ok|
|114||Route 128 at Jesús||Monte Gitano||Route 126 at Barva||19.Nov.2015: Ok|
|118||Route 3 at Barrio San José||Grecia||Naranjo||01.Oct.2014: Ok|
|119||Route 3 at Río Segundo||Route 126 at Barva||19.Nov.2015: Ok|
|120||Route 126 at Vara Blanca||Volcáno Poás||01.Oct.2014: Ok|
|123||San Joaquín de Flores||Santa Bárbara||Alajuela||09.Oct.2014: Ok|
|125||Alajuela||Route 126 at Carrizal||19.Nov.2015: Ok|
|126||Heredia||Carizal, San Miguel||Route 4||19.Nov.2015: Ok|
|127||Santa Bárbara||Route 126||09.Oct.2014: Ok|
|128||Santa Bárbara||Barva||09.Oct.2014: Ok|
|129||San Joaquín de Flores||Route 111, Belén||09.Oct.2014: Ok|
|130||Alajuela||San Isidro||San Pedro de Poás||19.Nov.2015: Ok|
|140||Ciudad Quesada||San Miguel||19.Nov.2015: Ok|
|146||San Pedro de Poás||Route 120||01.Oct.2014: Ok|
|708||Sarchi Sur||Bajos del Toro||Route 140 at Río Cuarto||19.Nov.2015: Ok|
|718||Route 107 at Tambor||Route 130 at Itiquis||19.Nov.2015: Ok|
|712||Route 130 at San Isidro||Route 146 at Fraijanes||19.Nov.2015: Ok|
|719||Route 118||Tuetal Norte||Route 718 at Itiquis||19.Nov.2015: Ok|
|727||Route 107 at Tambor||Tuetal Norte||Route 130 at Alajuela||19.Nov.2015: Ok|
|10103||San Pedro||only one way to||Sabana||02.Oct.2014: Ok|
TODO: remove old table if roads have relations and were moved to the new one.
|10101||Sabana to Antigua Aduana||tertiary||Done|
|10102||Sabana to San Pedro||tertiary||Done|
|10104||Sabana to San Pedro, Avenida 10||tertiary||Partial, Requires checking the east end, as it continues but there isn't a direct link|
|10105||Downtown San Jose South to North, Calle Central||tertiary||Done|
|10106||Downtown San Jose North to South, Calle 1 mostly and a block of Calle 1||tertiary||Done|
|10107||Downtown San Jose North to South, across new China Town, maybe obsolete||tertiary||Partial, need to check one way roads|
|10108||Downtown San Jose North to South||residential||Done|
|10109||Downtown San Jose North to South||residential||Partial, need to check one way roads|
|10110||Downtown San Jose North to South||residential||Done|
|10111||Sabana to San Pedro||residential||Done|
|10117||San Pedro to Zapote||residential||Done|
|10120||San Pedro to Zapote||residential||Done|
|10804||San José, Guadalupe||residential||Done|
|11401||San José, Moravia||residential||Done|
|11402||San José, Moravia||residential||Done|
|11501||San José, Montes de Oca, Sabanilla||residential||Done|
|11502||San José, Montes de Oca, Sabanilla, UCR||residential||Done|
|11504||San José, Montes de Oca, Sabanilla||residential||Done|
|11505||San José, Montes de Oca, Sabanilla||residential||Done|
|11506||San José, Montes de Oca, Sabanilla||residential||Done|
|11507||San José, Montes de Oca, Sabanilla||residential||Done|
|11508||San José, Montes de Oca, Sabanilla||residential||Done|
|11509||San José, Montes de Oca, Sabanilla||residential||Done|
|11510||San José, Montes de Oca, Sabanilla||residential||Done|
|11511||San José, Montes de Oca, Sabanilla||residential||Done|
|11513||San José, Montes de Oca, Sabanilla||residential||Done|
|11801||San José, Curridabat to Zapote||residential||Done|
|11804||San José, Curridabat||residential||Done|
Currently, there are very few National Park areas mapped in Costa Rica, if possible we should ask around to government sources to find the official cartographic polygons and import that data to OSM.
We should abide by the following list: List of national parks of Costa Rica
One of the most popular places in Costa Rica are its beaches, mapping those is very easy.
Inside the border of the coastline, map an area covering the sand of the beach and tag it:
- name=*, this is very important! Don't forget the name.
- And one of surface=sand, surface=pebblestone or surface=gravel, accordingly.
There are places where instead of pleasant sand, a bunch of rocks is what you will see, they can be tagged also with:
Due to the high production of natural products in Costa Rica, particularly coffee, the recommended tags for "cafetales" (Coffee Plantations) would be:
Points of interest
Suggestions for tagging the dozens of Catholic churches in this country, they are of particular importance as a custom of using them as points of reference, so, even when a contributor isn't catholic or even religious, all the churches should be added as soon as possible.
By any means please add another denomination's churches, synagogues or mosques (I don't think there are much more than two of the two last) too.
Draw an area around the building of the church and add all the following tags:
- name=NAME OF THE CHURCH
With all those tags added, the render will display an area with a Christian cross and the name of the church.
Almost all names should be in Spanish, except a few locations where the local native name in Bribri, Cabecar and such, is still in use.
cai according to ISO 639-2 is used for Central American native languages.
A few places can have names in English, German or Chinese, use the appropriate tags there. See [Multilingual names] for more information.
Routable maps of Costa Rica and Central America for Garmin devices are available here. They are updated every week.
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