Proposal:Use description instead of name for route relations

From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Use description instead of name for route relations
Proposal status: Draft (under way)
Proposed by: Wynndale
Draft started: 2023-10-07


Restrict name=* and associated tags to have the same meaning on route relations as on other OSM elements.

This proposal relates to route relations. It deprecates the advice originating at PTv2 currently at Buses, Public transport, route=bus, route=tram and route=train, also on local project pages:


While the tag name=* and associated tags have a well-defined meaning for most elements in OSM, they are often used for constructed descriptions based on road or route numbers or terminal points on route relations. As a result, Nominatim ignores all names of route relations and, for example, a search for “South Circular Road” doesn’t return the one on London because it is mapped as a relation.

The proposed replacement is description=* and language variants such as description:en=*.



Public transport

  • [1] name=Маскоўская лінія name:en=Moscow Line — ✓ name is the name only
  • [2] name=54B Lawrence East to Orton Park (after 3pm) ref=54B — ✗ The name here is a description, nothing in this “name” deserves to be part of a name=* tag.
  • [3] name=東京メトロ東西線 各駅停車 : 中野→西船橋 name:en=Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line Local: Nakano => Nishi-Funabashi network=東京メトロ network:en=Tokyo Metro — ✗ The name here is also a description, the name tag should just be used for the name
  • [4] name=港鐵荃灣綫 MTR Tsuen Wan Line (南行 Southbound) network=港鐵 MTR — ✗ similar
  • [5] name=Tram 64 (nocny): Bronowice Małe => Os. Piastów (this tram line has no name, "Tram" is additionally wrong as not matching local language and "nocny" part), useful label could be made from ref=* from=* to=* tags and there is no need at all for this fake name. Note that info that it is a night tram is not provided in any structured form, only as part of the fake name. This fake name should be removed and info that it is a night tram put into some tag or into description=*

Non-public transport


This isn’t a rendering issue as such but some tools that display information about relations would be affected and searches can eventually take advantage of the cleaned up database.

Features/Pages affected

External discussions

See also



Please comment on the discussion page.