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Public-images-osm logo.svg ref_name
A ref_name specifies an official and unique human-readable name used in timetables, IT systems etc. Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
Group: Names
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasmay be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: undefined

ref_name=* specifies the unique human-readable name used in an external data management system (e.g., timetables/schedules) where it differs from more commonly used names for an object - most importantly, the one in name=* etc. It is similar to ref=* as it refers to an external unique ID but it is always meant for human consumption (too). Another tag that is often used in a similar manner is official_name=*. The main difference is that the latter was originally meant for the long official names of countries that are used in very formal circumstances only but without any possible ambiguousness. The (additional) use of ref_name=* allows for specifying the primary/common name (name=*), an official name (as used on maps, signs etc., official_name=*), a numerical ID ref=*, and the sometimes cryptic reference names without the need for semi-colon lists in values.

ref_name=* is useful if:

  • The name=* is very common and appears often in different places (e.g., 'Main Street') and would produce ambiguous results when used in a search.
  • The name=* of an amenity (like a station) differs between common use and use in timetable systems. A common use can be the common name, that is used locally, on signs and local maps. Sometimes the name in timetable systems (e.g., of a national railway company) varies and contains cryptic parts.
  • There is no existing UIC name for a public transport stop.

How to map

  • ref_name=* - The exact string of characters as used in the respective system, usually in the national language.

For example, in HAFAS, which originally prompted the introduction of this key, the common syntax of station names is <neighbourhood> <ordinary station name>, <town>.

It should be obvious from context to which kind of external system the ref_name=* refers to. Place a note=* if that's not the case and reconsider using it at all.

This tag is often used in combination with public transport stations, e.g.:

If the stop/station is mapped as public_transport=stop_area then the ref_name=* should be attached to the relation instead of the associated nodes/ways.

Country-specific Information


Referring to IBNR reference as of

  • uic_name
    • name of the station
    • international usage
    • in the aforementioned document, the IBNR-code is 7 digits
    • warning: the IBNR-code starts with the same country-code as UIC codes, but is not the same! Do not use it to set uic_ref=*! For example, Mannheim Hbf has UIC code 8014008 (7-digit UIC) or code 80140087 (7-digit + 1 error check digit) but has IBNR code 8000244.
  • ref_name
    • name of the stop
    • national usage
    • in the aforementioned document, the IBNR-code is 6 digits (ref:ibnr=*)

See also

Similar tags:

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