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Michigan, United States

latitude: 44.34, longitude: -85.58
Browse map of Michigan 44°20′24.00″ N, 85°34′48.00″ W
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Michigan is a state in the United States at latitude 44°20′24.00″ North, longitude 85°34′48.00″ West.


Local user group
OpenStreetMap Michigan Flag of the United States.svg
When: Second Wednesday each month from 7pm – 8pm ET
Where: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Michigan#Events (map)
Mailing list
mailing list – archive
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OpenStreetMap Michigan Meetup

Discussion topics can be suggested on the Michigan Wiki Discussion page.

May 8th, 2024, 7 PM to 8 PM

Hosted online using OSM by Jonathan Brier (wolfgang8741).

Join link: https://osmvideo.cloud68.co/user/jon-zjn-vpe-msf access with: 206104

(optional) Let others know you are coming by marking attending on the OSMCal event: https://osmcal.org/event/2565/


Future Meetings

Generally, we meet on the Second Wednesday of each month from 7pm – 8pm Eastern US. Watch here, or subscribe to page-change notifications, for meeting information.

Our meetings are hosted by volunteers. It is the host’s choice for the digital meeting service or arranging to meet at a physical location. To volunteer as a host add the meeting information above. Please also create an event at OpenStreetMap Calendar and, if you don't mind, Michigan OpenStreetMap Facebook group, pointed here for details.





To Do



Common Tagging Schemes

This is intended to function as a cheat sheet for mapping common features found in Michigan. Follow the links for detailed instructions. Please update any that no longer match their state of the art.


  • Follow the guidelines on the Good practice page, which calls out some common mistakes.
  • Do not combine unrelated things. For instance, riverbank areas with park boundaries, or administrative boundaries with roads or rivers. These are unrelated objects and should have separate nodes.



Public Lands

Current status tracked at Michigan/Parks.

Use tags found at United States/Public lands. In general, the boundary of a State Park will be tagged as:

Park amenities should be tagged using the US National Park Service Tagging Guidelines.

For Michigan State Park amenities that require a fee or Recreation Passport, add at the point of access (usually only vehicle access; point on way near toll booth, gate point, parking lot area, slipway point):

  • membership=yes + fee=yes - when it is possible to pay for entry, and potentially free or discounted with a Passport.
  • only membership=yes - to indicate where a Passport is required with no direct way to purchase a day pass.
  • only fee=yes - when everyone must pay for entry.
  • only membership=required - when available only to Passport holders.

Pedestrian ways

Sidewalks / Footways

Unless explicitly prohibited bicycles are allowed on footways in Michigan and should be tagged as follows:

For routing and accuracy, where physically connected, be sure to connect the way to roads, driveways, and parking aisles. Add a crossing=* node where appropriate.

Where bicycles are prohibited remove the "bicycle" tag (bicycle=no is implied).

When signed for bicycles change to bicycle=designated, add foot=designated and segregated=no.

If it is signed only for bicycles, it would be a highway=cycleway.

If a sidewalk/footway/path is separate from the road it is preferred that it is mapped as such, but can quickly be mapped to enable routing using sidewalk=separate.

Paths / Trails

Most trails and pathis in Michigan are multi-us. Often with rules giving foot traffic the right-of-way. These are NOT cycleways. When in doubt start with highway=path.

See Michigan/Trails for a list of major trails and their status.

Multi-use path signed for foot and bicycles (like the Lansing Rivertrail):

Path either multi-use or unspecified usage, open to all non-motorized vehicles and not intended for motorized vehicles unless tagged so separately:

Path signed for foot only:

Path signed ONLY for bicycles (rare in Michigan):

Long path/trails should be mapped as a route relation using the following tags, adding the way and related objects to the relation:

Useful modifier tags:



  • Standing bodies of water - Create an area tagged as natural=water.
  • Flowing bodies of water - All forms of flowing water are represented with a way tagged using one of the many options of waterway=*.
  • Boat launch - A leisure=slipway is a ramp for backing a boat into water and may be used for paddle craft. Use canoe=put_in for locations only usable by paddle craft. Create the highway=service way leading to the water, tag the point where the way meets the water with leisure=slipway. Adding surface=* and description=* are also helpful.
  • Dams - Most dams in Michigan are low-head dams and should be mapped as a weir. Follow the mapping instructions on the respective pages.
    • waterway=weir - often called a low-head dam. A barrier built across a river, stream or canal to regulate water levels, sometimes to divert water for industrial purposes. When water passes a weir it flows over the top.
    • waterway=dam - A barrier built across a river or stream to impound the water. A dam normally does not have water flowing over the top of it. The water behind a dam is usually water=reservoir.
  • Fish ladder - waterway=fish_pass.
  • Boat/ Canoe/ Kayak rental - amenity=boat_rental + canoe_rental=* + kayak_rental=*.
  • Docks - man_made=pier
  • Boat store - shop=boat
  • Canoe, kayak, SUP and other human powered paddle craft all use canoe=*
    • Launches - canoe=put_in, most often "put_in;egress", on a point at the water's edge. If handicap accessible add wheelchair=yes. As access to water can be very limited (high banks, vegetation, private property, etc) adding even undeveloped launches in use on public land can be helpful to paddlers. Be sure to include surface=* and description=* to help distinguish these from more developed launches. Mapping the roads and paths leading (connected) to a launch helps with routing and planning.
    • Portages - See canoe=portage. Create a way from the river's center line to its shore tagged with canoe=portage. The shore point is tagged with canoe=put_in. Add canoe=portage to all highway=* segments along the portage between the shore points.
  • Water trails - Official water trails should be mapped with a route relation; type=route + route=canoe + name=*. Add to this relation, from upriver to downriver order, the waterways, portage ways and untagged ways across lakes and ponds that make up the route. See also:



See Michigan/Railroads for current state of mapping Michigan railroads.



The current status of Michigan's highway mapping is tracked on the project page Michigan/Highways.

Extra care must be used to accurately map roadways. Snapshots of OpenStreetMap data are being used by fully autonomous vehicles.

Highway General
  • Mapbox: Mapping for navigation
  • Lanes
  • To accurately map the center of the roadway, capture and use GPS traces or street level imagery as aerial imagery may be offset or skewed.
  • When mapping highways and traffic controls, is highly recommended to collect and work from recent Mapillary street-level imagery. This can be viewed in editors like iD and include a special layer showing AI recognized street signs. The string of photo locations can be used to infer center line location, similar to GPS traces.
Highway Names

Use the same relation tagging scheme for Michigan State Highways as for Interstate Highways Relations, except use network=US:MI, US:MI:BUSINESS, US:MI:DOWNTOWN, US:MI:FUTURE. Don't give the relation a name=* unless the entire state highway has exactly that name all the way.

Highway Classification

See United States Highway Classification for the most up to date information on this topic.

OpenStreetMap highway classification names do not match those often used in Michigan. As a community, we must determine how best to tag Michigan's roadways. See the project page Michigan/highway classification.

Most of Michigan's roadways were imported. Often with incorrect classifications. Since then, these have needed validation or correction. See TIGER fixup.

The OpenStreetMap highway classifications form a branching network hierarchy, with specialty classifications at the leaves. They speak more to routing than to describing the roadway. Though some assumptions can be made based on location and classification, for instance a motorway in Michigan will be assumed to be paved, it is best to add the tags that explicitly describe the roadway. Based on its purpose in the network, different segments of a way could have different classifications.

Think of the hierarchy as driving from a freeway to a destination.

Roads for which the classification is not known should be temporarily tagged with highway=road

Speed limits

Only signed speed limits should be mapped. This is done by adding maxspeed=## mph + maxspeed:type=sign on the way between signs. Note that, in many situations the signed speed limit ends without a sign, falling back to the default, when the jurisdiction changes at the boundary of a county, city, village, or State controlled trunk line (which extends for some number of feet off the trunk line).

Michigan law MCL 257.627 (2022-03-29) defines our speed limits state-wide and the default whenever a sign is not posted. The Default speed limits Wiki page is used by OpenStreetMap consumers to determine legislated default speed limits, based on a way's tags and the type of vehicle. In this way, default speed limits only have to be changed in one place. Use the chart below to ensure the correct default speed limit are determined.

type speed tags fuzzy matched notes
trailer park 15 mph abutters=trailer_park The State of Michigan defines a trailer park or mobile home park as, "a parcel or tract of land under the control of a person upon which 3 or more mobile homes are located on a continual, nonrecreational basis and which is offered to the public for that purpose regardless of whether a charge is made for the parcel or tract of land, together with any building, structure, enclosure, street, equipment, or facility used or intended for use incident to the occupancy of a mobile home."
business district 25 mph abutters=retail or abutters=commercial The State of Michigan defines as, "a highway segment within a business district".
public park 25 mph abutters=park The State of Michigan defines this as, "a highway segment within the boundaries of a public park".
residential district 25 mph abutters=residential highway=living_street or highway=residential The State of Michigan defines this as, "a highway segment within the boundaries of a residential subdivision, including a condominium subdivision, consisting of a system of interconnected highways with no through highways and a limited number of dedicated highways that serve as entrances to and exits from the subdivision".
default 55 mph This is the default when no other rules match, for unmapped or unsigned highways. The State of Michigan refers to this as the "general speed limit".
select state/federal highways 65 mph highway=trunk or highway=primary or highway=secondary In 2017, the state of Michigan increased speed limits on portions of rural highways to 65mph. Note: there may still be lowered speed limits near towns.

List of highways with 65mph speed limits

motorway 55 to 75 mph, max 65 mph for busses and semis highway=motorway or hightway=motorway_link The State of Michigan defines as, "a limited access freeway".

Michigan speed limits based on the number of intersections per 1/2 mile will usually be signed and because of the difficulty representing them on the default speed limit page they were not added.

Freeways/motorways will usually be signed, despite this they were easily added to the default speed limit page.

The speed limits most often unsigned in Michigan are those the law bases on the surroundings of the way. Mapping these will require adding abutters=*, and possibly changing highway=residential to something more appropriate (see TIGER fixup). For Michigan's rural roads, this will most often be highway=unclassified.

Default Speed Limit Cleanup

StreetComplete once offered a simple means to tag speed limits in our area. Whenever there was not a sign, one of the following tags were added. Unfortunately, our defaults speed limits are more complicated than what can be represented in this way. So, these tags will need to be converted to use those above. Here is an Overpass-Turbo query to find them.

  • maxspeed:type=US:urban
  • maxspeed:type=US:rural

Ways Under Construction

To flag a way as under construction use Conditional restrictions. Given an end date the restriction should be inert if forgotten, but it would be best to set a reminder to remove this tag when no longer needed.

  • All access:conditional=no @ (2021 Aug 1-2021 Nov 30)
  • Cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc. access:motorcar:conditional=no @ (2021 Aug 1-2021 Nov 30)
  • Bicycles access:bicycle:conditional=no @ (2021 Aug 1-2021 Nov 30)
  • Pedestrians access:foot:conditional=no @ (2021 Aug 1-2021 Nov 30)

Known Data Sources

Do not copy from sources which do not have a compatible copyright license. When in doubt, it is better to gather your own data.

NGO and other sources

Federal Data

Work by federal employees and the published data should be public domain, but always double check. https://www.usgs.gov/core-science-systems/ngp/board-on-geographic-names/domestic-names

State of Michigan

State data is not like US Federal data and may be subject to copyright restrictions, review the licenses and if in doubt verify. There are processes for approval for verifying permission being granted for use in OSM where data may be restricted. Take a look at import Getting Permission.

Other Michigan Maps

Reminder: Do not copy from sources which do not have a compatible copyright license. When in doubt, it is better to gather your own data.

See Also

Michigan Cities

Category: Cities in Michigan lists Michigan cities with pages on the OSM Wiki.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_municipalities_in_Michigan at Wikipedia.

Michigan Counties

Surrounding States

United States