|A system of routes (or bicycle rental stations) typically maintained or designated by a single agency or organization, or for bicycle and walking routes, an indication of the scope of the route.|
|Used on these elements|
|Documented values: 292|
|Status: de facto|
|Tools for this tag|
The network key is used in several tagging schemes for a variety of purposes:
On highway route relations, this key indicates the highway system. Highway systems often have coherent numbering schemes. Some common values are listed at Relation:route#Road routes and Category:Tag descriptions for key "network". The exact format of
network values varies by country.
In many countries, the most common
network values are
XY:regional, where XY is a two-letter ISO 3166-1 country code (preferably in capitals, to avoid confusions with language codes used in various tags). If there are multiple regional networks, they may follow the format
- network=PL:national for Polish national routes
- network=UA:regional for regional routes anywhere in Ukraine
- network=JP:prefectural:nagano for prefecture roads in Nagano, Japan
In some countries,
network values for highway routes follow a hierarchical scheme. Colons separate components that may include, in order of importance, the country, region, district, network name, and auxiliary network name (see also modifier=*). Where available, use standard codes (such as those in ISO 3166-1 and ISO 3166-2) instead of spelled-out names. This scheme is well-suited to countries with multiple networks at the national, regional, or local level, such that there are multiple unrelated routes called "Regional Route 1" or the like.
As of November 2016, the hierarchical format is known to be used in Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, Slovenia, and the United States.
- network=CA:QC for provincial routes in Québec, Canada
- network=FR:01:D-road for departmental roads in Ain, France
- network=US:TX:FM for Texas' statewide Farm to Market network
- network=US:TX:FM:Business for Texas Farm to Market business routes
- network=US:NY:Dutchess for county routes in Dutchess County, New York
- network=US:OH:MED:Harrisville for township routes in Harrisville Township, Medina County, Ohio
OpenStreetMap Americana uses the network=* key on route relations to display accurate route markers in over 50 countries and countless country subdivisions. It is hoped that the Standard tile layer will someday adopt network=*-based route shields as well.
On route relations for bus, railway, and tram service routes, this key indicates the bus system, if applicable. There is currently no consensus whether the values should be abbreviated or not. It is an optional key for stops.
In the United States, it is common practice to use a commonly used abbreviation or other short name. Because names such as "RTA" and "Metro" are exceedingly common, the initialism of the transportation agency is often used instead to reduce ambiguity. For example, Cincinnati-area routes are tagged network=SORTA instead of network=Metro.
Some ambiguity is accepted: for example, there are features tagged network=VTA in the operating areas of both the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and the Martha's Vineyard Transit Authority, because neither organization is known by a more specific acronym.
More examples (common names in parentheses):
- network=CMTA – CMTA (Capitol Metro)
- network=CTA – CTA (CTA, L)
- network=MBTA – MBTA (T)
- network=VTA – Santa Clara VTA and Martha's Vineyard Transit Authority
- network=SORTA – SORTA (Metro)
- network=Muni – San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni)
A number of transit systems in the United States are tagged using full network and operator names to minimize ambiguity. Not every network or operator has an acronym, and in denser areas with many overlapping networks using acronyms would impede legibility. This also harmonizes the operator tag with non-transit features, as it is common for a public works agency to operate both a pipeline network and a bus network for example. Consider using network:short=* and operator:short=* for abbreviations, adding wikidata tags for both the network and operator, and using full names for network=* and operator=* to make this information easier to parse and less likely to cause confusion. Under this method, operator names can still be kept precise by using the most specific agency name applicable. For example, "MDOT Maryland Transit Administration" would not be inaccurate as MDOT (Maryland Department of Transportation) is the parent agency of the Maryland Transit Administration, but there is no need to include the parent MDOT abbreviation as this information can be elaborated on in the wiki data item. Below is one example of a network that is tagged using full names:
- network=Charm City Circulator + network:short=CCC + operator=Baltimore City Department of Transportation + operator:short=BCDOT
- network=FR:STAR for metro/bus routes, stops, platforms and service areas in the STAR public transport network in Rennes Métropole, France (see Rennes/Transports en commun)
- network:wikidata=Q34803313 for De Lijn Limburg
Bicycle, hiking and other recreational routes
On route relations tagged with type=route and route=bicycle, route=hiking, route=foot, route=horse, route=canoe, route=inline_skates or route=mtb, this key indicates the scope of the route. For example, a national cycling network is network=ncn while a national hiking trail network is network=nwn. See Cycle routes and Walking routes for lists of possible values.
Due to the use of generic "lcn", "rcn", "ncn", and "icn" network values in cycle route relations, a cycle_network=* tag is also in use in places that require more granular network distinctions, such as in the United States.
The additional tag network:type=node_network is in use in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany to indicate that the route relation is part of a node network, i.e. a network of numbered junctions connected by node2node routes.
In conjunction with amenity=bicycle_rental or amenity=atm or amenity=charging_station, this key identifies an organization or brand that operates a similar amenity in various other locations. For example, a bicycle rental station in London may belong to the "tfl_cycle_hire" network. An ATM may belong to a network shared among many banks. Or a car sharing station may be part of a network where different operators allow customers to use any station in the network.
This key is also used in the following proposals: