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Tagging Features

Most features can be tagged in accordance with international OSM conventions. Many of these have their origins in UK map features and will be quite applicable to Ireland.


Roads should be tagged in accordance with their official classification (usually) or their importance for traffic if unclassified. The tagging scheme presented here was chosen to match the usage of these same tags on UK roads and in the interests of useful presentation on rendered maps.

Key Value Element Comment Example
highway motorway  way This tag should be applied to the mainline carriageways of all designated motorways.

Do not tag motorway-standard N-roads as "motorway"; no blue signs means no motorway.

Please always apply oneway=yes where appropriate (explicit tagging) in Ireland.

highway motorway_link way The link roads (sliproads / ramps) leading to and from a motorway (or between two motorways). Only use this on slip roads to which motorway regulations apply (the "last escape" slip road before a road becomes motorway is not a motorway_link and should be tagged as a trunk_link or primary_link as appropriate to the non-motorway road it diverges from)

Please always apply oneway=yes where appropriate (explicit tagging) in Ireland.

Rendering-highway motorway link.png
highway trunk  way National Primary Routes (N1-N40), regardless of build quality. Trunk.png
highway trunk_link way The link roads (sliproads / ramps) leading to and from a National Primary Route. Trunk link.png
highway primary  way National Secondary Routes (N51 upwards). Primary.png
highway primary_link way The link roads (sliproads / ramps) leading to and from a National Secondary Route.  
highway secondary  way Regional Roads (R101 upwards) Rendering-highway secondary.png
highway tertiary  way Local roads whose importance for through traffic is quite high. This can be the case both in urban and rural areas. Some councils use lower numbers for more significant local roads, and, in general, local roads themselves can be categorised as Primary, Secondary and Tertiary. Of these, Primary and possibly Secondary local roads (the more important ones) can be tagged as OSM tertiary Rendering-highway tertiary.png
highway unclassified  way Local roads that are not significant for routing. Note: This is not a marker for roads where we still need to choose a highway tag (use "highway=road" for that). Rendering-highway unclassified.png
highway residential way roads accessing or around residential areas but which are not, on the basis of the rules above, deemed tertiary or higher. Residential.jpg
highway service way A roadway providing connections to off-road destinations (such as car parks) or servicing private sites (such as industrial estates). Tagging a road as "service" indicates that the roadway should not be considered a through route nor expected to be of high quality. Rendering-highway service.png
highway construction way Any road under construction, which will be further qualified by the type of construction, e.g. construction = motorway
highway road way A temporary tag to mark a way as a road, but you're not yet sure what type. It should be corrected to one of the values above as soon as possible.

Route Lengths

An experimental statistics page tracking the lengths of numbered road routes is now available. A Breakage Report also helps locate incorrectly classified roads. There is also a set of general Quality Assurance reports which are also available for Ireland.