Proposed features/ref:color

From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Status: Abandoned (inactive)
Proposed by: sergionaranja
Tagging: ref:color=*
Applies to: way
Definition: ref:color describes the color of the highway reference
as it is found on road signs.
Rendered as: Uk A-259 gyw.png
Drafted on:
Proposed on: 2009-04-09
RFC start: 2009-04-19

Voting only includes the proposal, not the ref-color table. It has not been voted yet.


This sign has 3 ref:color boxes:  E-90 ,  A-5  and  N-523 .

Add to the highway tagging (highway=*) the ref color (the color of road signs) in order to have
- more info
- better orientation
- local flavour
- administrative classification (when colors match)

Sign color is a geographical "fact"


Highway classification is intended to describe them physicaly. This way the user can decide the route to choose by means of the vehicle he is using and can calculate in advance travel times no matter were in the world we are.

By the other hand local color schemes are designed as route orientation so is good not to loose that info. It has been discussed several times that administrative classification is more functional in some countries. So tagging in those are not by pure physical means.

With this ref:color scheme, highway tags can describe both features at the same time. We can see physical and administrative highway classification at the same time. and they can be tagged independently.


Applies only to ways.

ref:color=* way reference color
ref:color_tx=* way reference text color
ref:color_bg=* sign background color

for international references same but with




HEX > #rrggbb


there are 2 aproaches:

1 Render should take in account (highway=*) tags to paint the ways (as it is now),
but should take in account ref:color=* to paint the shields.
This way we can see physical and administrative highway classification at the same time. and they can be tagged independently

2 Main renders don't follow. Then it will still be useful as local servers or navigation devices can take ref:color info and make a custom render, or toggle between render type.

Render example

There are two cases where having highway classification independent of ref:color is useful:

  • when there are different ref:color for same highway classification, as Es SO-P-6001 pww.png and Es M-516 ykw.png that are both Tertiary.
  • when a road changes highway classification but keeps same ref:color, as in next table:
way clasif. stretch 1 stretch 2 stretch 3
EX-208 Real EX-208-tramo1.jpg EX-208-tramo2.jpg EX-208-tramo3.jpg
Physical Primary mk.pngEs EX-208 gww.pngPrimary mk.png Tertiary mk.pngEs EX-208 gww.pngTertiary mk.png Secondary mk.pngEs EX-208 gww.pngSecondary mk.png
highway=primary highway=tertiary highway=secondary
Admin. Secondary mk.pngEs EX-208 gww.pngSecondary mk.png Secondary mk.pngEs EX-208 gww.pngSecondary mk.png Secondary mk.pngEs EX-208 gww.pngSecondary mk.png
highway=secondary highway=secondary highway=secondary

Tagging Examples

ref:color schema
render highway=* ref=* ref:color=* ref:color_tx=* ref:color_bg=*
International route (Europe)
 E-5  highway=motorway int_ref=E-5 int_ref:color=green int_ref:color_tx=white
United Kingdom
Uk A-261 wbw.png highway=primary ref=A-261 ref:color=white ref:color_tx=black
Uk A-259 gyw.png highway=trunk ref=A-259 ref:color=green ref:color_tx=yellow
Uk M-20 bww.png highway=motorway ref=M-20 ref:color=blue ref:color_tx=white
Es SO-P-6001 pww.png highway=tertiary ref=SO-P-6001 ref:color=purple ref:color_tx=white
Es M-516 ykw.png highway=tertiary ref=M-516 ref:color=yellow ref:color_tx=black
Es M-513 gww.png highway=secondary ref=M-513 ref:color=green ref:color_tx=white
Es M-503 okb.png (NW stretch from M-40 [1],
blue signs. no roundabouts nor crossings)
highway=primary , motorroad=yes ref=M-503 ref:color=orange ref:color_tx=black ref:color_bg=blue
Es M-503 okw.png
(SW stretch from M-40 [2],
white signs. roundabouts and crossings)
highway=primary ref=M-503 ref:color=orange ref:color_tx=black
Es N-VI rww.png highway=trunk ref=N-VI ref:color=red ref:color_tx=white
Es N-VI rwb.png highway=trunk , motorroad=yes ref=N-VI ref:color=red ref:color_tx=white ref:color_bg=blue
Es A2 bwb.png highway=motorway ref=A2 ref:color=blue ref:color_tx=white ref:color_bg=blue
DE B 14.png Bundesstraße B 14 highway=primary ref=B 14 ref:color=#ffcc33 ref:color_tx=black
DE A 81.png Bundesautobahn A 81 highway=motorway ref=A 81 ref:color=#003399 ref:color_tx=white
 D-319  highway=secondary ? ref=D-319 ref:color=yellow ref:color_tx=black
 N-322  Route nationale highway=primary ? ref=N-322 ref:color=red ref:color_tx=white
 A-4  Autoroute 4 highway=motorway ref=A-4 ref:color=red ref:color_tx=white
render highway=* ref=* ref:color=* ref:color_tx=* ref:color_bg=*


use Talk:Proposed_features/ref:color