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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.

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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

Second Wednesdays of each month from 7pm – 8pm ET.

Suggested Discussion Topics
  • Mapping State Parks.

Past Topics

  • Mapping Rivers
    • Should river banks be mapped using the technique shown here waterway=riverbank. If so, should the riverbank be a part of the river's relation?
    • Should the rivers Name only exist on the Relation? Or, on the riverbank and every segment of river way?
    • See the Grand River relation 10716343 and the Huron River relation 12366431 as examples of the different riverbank mapping schemes.

The consensus was yes, river banks be mapped using the technique shown here waterway=riverbank and they should be part of the river's relation.

The consensus was to merge the mysterious and inaccurate survey marker with the historical marker and average the locations from GPS traces and Mapillary imagery.





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.



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.

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

See Michigan/Trails for current state of mapping Michigan trails.

Multi-use paths (like the Lansing Rivertrail):

Paths/Sidewalks only for bicycles (rare in Michigan):

Woodland trail:

Woodland trail, bicycles allowed:

Long trails should be mapped as a route relation using the following tags. Then add the trail and other related object this relation.


Water; Lakes, Rivers, Streams, Creeks, Drains

See Michigan/Trails state of water trail mapping.

Use the natural=water scheme for mapping bodies of water.

Rivers should be tagged following the instructions at waterway=*. Wide rivers should also have their riverbanks mapped as shown at water=river. Long rivers should have a route. Though it should be possible to move most of the tags to the Route, it is best to also have the name on the larger sections of the waterway.

Water trails should be tagged as a route relation using the following. Where appropriate, add the waterway, access points and objects directly related to the relation.

Other water related tags schemes:

The Android app OsmAnd has a Boat profile for viewing, planning routes on and navigating waterways. To show whitewater/paddlecraft objects, open Plugins > enable Nautical map view. Switch to the Boat profile then, Configure map > Routes > check the box for Whitewater sports.

Though it is best to never tag only for the renderer, this XML file describes how OsmAnd currently renders nautical features.



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



The current status of our highway mapping is found on the page Michigan/Highways.

As OpenStreetMap is used more and more for routing, by even fully autonomous vehicles, it is important to accurately map roadways. Here are helpful links for mapping key areas:

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.

Until all renderers fully support highway relations, it is probably also a good idea to tag ref=M xx on the ways making up the relation.

Highway Classification

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

The primary language and terms of OSM is UK English, which can be confusing. Use the table below to properly categorize streets in the area. Some effort has been made to cross-reference the National Functional Classification (NFC) numbers found using the State of Michigan NFC Map to the equivalent OpenStreetMap highway type. Please edit any errors, or start a discussion accordingly.

Highway Types
State's NFC name (#) OSM Type Description
Interstate (1), Other freeways (2) highway=motorway Limited access freeway with interchanges. Access via on/off ramps with merge lanes, divided road of at least 2 lanes each direction. Called "Freeway." Speed limits generally 55 MPH or higher. Examples; 127, I96, I69, 496
Other Principal Arterials (3) highway=trunk

Rural: Nearly a freeway. Example, 127 North of St Johns.

Urban: May have cross traffic, but traffic flow on the trunk always has the right of way (except at red traffic lights). Speed limits usually 45 MPH or higher. Example, Saginaw Highway east of East Lansing.

Note, this is unrelated to our similarly named "State Trunkline" which the State of Michigan defines as, "all roads under MDOT jurisdiction, including all Interstate routes, US routes, M routes, Interstate business loops and spurs, US business routes, M business routes, connector routes, and unsigned state trunkline in Michigan."

Minor Arterials (4) highway=primary

Rural: When tempted to tag a rural road as "trunk", it is probably an OpenStreetMap "primary" highway. Examples; M 52, M 99, M 100, M 115.

Urban: Three lanes or more each traffic direction. 35 MPH or faster. Handles large volumes of traffic. (Any or all of these). Examples Saginaw and Oakland through Lansing.

Major Collectors (5) highway=secondary

Rural: The next class of roadway off a primary.

Urban: Two lanes of traffic each direction. 35 MPH or faster. Medium-high traffic volumes. Examples; Cedar Street and MLK in Lansing.

Minor Collectors (6) highway=tertiary

Rural: If not sure, consider "unclassified", "residential", or "service".

Urban: Lower traffic volumes on wide streets, or higher traffic volumes on narrow ones. Examples; Mt. Hope, Jolly, Okemos, Willow, Creyts, Meridian

Local (7) highway=unclassified The least most important through roads in a country's system – i.e. minor roads of a lower classification than tertiary, but which serve a purpose other than access to properties. For instance, minor country roads, often linking villages and hamlets. (The word 'unclassified' is a historical artifact of the UK road system and does not mean that the classification is unknown; you can use highway=road for that). Examples; Washington, College, Farm Lane, Freiermuth, Dobie.
Local (7) highway=residential Roads which serve as an access to housing, without function of connecting settlements. Often lined with housing. Single traffic lane each direction, may also be oneway=yes. Usually 25 MPH or slower. May have traffic bumps and other "traffic calming" measures. Examplesl apartment complexes, neighborhood roads
Local (7) highway=service

to define a service way in more detail add service=*

  • service=driveway
  • service=parking_aisle
  • service=alley
  • service=emergency_access
  • service=drive-through
For access roads to, or within an industrial park, camp site, business park, car park etc. Can be used in conjunction with service=* to indicate the type of usage and with access=* to indicate who can use it and in what circumstances.
Highway link Short connecting ways, like highway or round-a-bout entrances and exits and "Michigan turns".

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.

Surrounding States

United States