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RLIS stands for Regional Land Information System. It is comprised of the regional data created and maintained by Metro Data Resource Center, which serves Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties in Oregon. Datasets from RLIS are available at CivicApps (http://civicapps.org/) and http://rlisdiscovery.oregonmetro.gov/. As stated at CivicApps, the data is public domain. Street, bike route, trail, park, waterway, and administrative boundary data have been used to update OpenStreetMap. High-resolution aerials are also being used to derive data (permission obtained), though this is not usually available to the general public directly.

OSM users who have been involved with this project include Grant Humphries, Mele Sax-Barnett, PJ Houser, and betsy.

See CCGIS for additional info about the Clark County, WA portion of this project.

Note: Sections of this page may be out of date.


The data is public according to http://civicapps.org/datasets, but until CivicApps, the data was difficult to access. In some shapefiles, the metadata claims limited access, but according to Metro, this is incorrect. For further inquiries, contact Metro or City of Portland (cgis@ci.portland.or.us).


There is a wide range of data available, including transit routes, street centerlines, bike routes, census data, natural features, socioeconomic data, and business information.

Some of the datasets from CivicApps are filtered. For example, Street Centerlines excludes planned streets. It also excludes some attributes, like directionality and one way/two way. To get full data, try contacting Metro directly.

The data is maintained by different jurisdictions and agencies, such as Metro and the City of Portland.


The following short presentations were given at TriMet's Meet & Greet for the OSM Community. The Meet & Greet took place on May 13, 2011. These presentations indicate our thoughts at the time, and may not contain the most up-to-date tagging conventions, etc.

The interns involved in this project also presented at GIS in Action (Portland, OR) in March, 2012. This presentation has more up-to-date information, and can be found here: OpenStreetMap Improvement Project

Attribute Conversions

These are the RLIS to OSM conversions we used. Some changes have been made due to testing and continued discussion with the community.

We added RLIS:reviewed=no to each feature we added or changed tags on to indicate the source and maintain a connection to the original data. RLIS:reviewed=no indicates that the data is based on the RLIS dataset, but no OSM user has groundtruthed that particular feature. This convention is based on the tag tiger:reviewed=*, which was used in the TIGER import. We later learned that this convention is rarely used by OSM users, and often stays as tiger:reviewed=no, even if the feature has been edited by multiple users.


OSM street types are based on United Kingdom classifications rather than American standards. Converting RLIS street types to OSM street types proved somewhat difficult. Additionally, RLIS street types seem to be based on physical characteristics while OSM street types tend to be based on functionality and physical characteristics. To make our conversion table, we used jurisdictional metadata, the OSM wiki, examples in OSM, and the OSM community. Once we started editing, we continued to change OSM types on a case by case basis. For example:

  • Residential streets with a stripe on the road were upgraded to tertiary in OSM.
  • The OSM street type “trunk” is difficult to define for American roads because trunk is a European designation. We had to make up our own standards for trunk. We defined trunk as a highway with occasional grade level intersections and limited access, but not quite as limited as a motorway (freeway). In some states, non-motorized vehicles are not allowed, but in many states, including Oregon, many trunks and motorways allow non-motorized vehicles; therefore, we could not use this as a defining characteristic.

RLIS street centerline attributes

RLIS Field OSM Key Comments
localid RLIS:localid=* In ArcMap, name "rlis_locid". Rename in JOSM.
leftadd1 delete
leftadd2 delete
rgtadd1 delete
rgtadd2 delete
fdpre name_direction_prefix=* expand abbrev. TIGER imports include name elements
fname name_base=* Make proper case
ftype name_type=* expand abbrev.
fdsuf name_direction_suffix=*
name=* fdpre + fname + ftype + fdsuf
lzip zip_left=*
rzip zip_right=*
lcity delete
rcity delete
lcounty delete
rcounty delete
cfcc delete
class delete
drct oneway=*, flip_direction=* RLIS values are 0, 1, 2, and 3.

If 3, oneway=yes and flip_direction=yes. In JOSM, reverse way direction and delete flip_direction=*. If 2, oneway=yes. If 1, way is not oneway. 0 is a null value.

leadzero delete
quirk delete
side delete
source delete
struc delete
subarea delete
type highway=* see RLIS Street Types below
createdate delete
updatedate delete
lowner delete
rowner delete
Shape_Leng delete
RLIS:reviewed=no This tag acts like tiger:reviewed=no; it indicates RLIS was used as data source. Allows users to change value to yes once reviewed after our edits.

RLIS street types

RLIS street type Metadata description OSM Tags Comments
1110 Freeway. highway=motorway
1120 Ramps, interchanges and feeders. highway=*_link The value of * will vary based on the type of road that are being connected. The general convention is to use the higher order road to describe the link when two different types of roads are connected.
1121 On ramp (only). highway=*_link * see above
1122 Off ramp (only). highway=*_link * see above
1123 On/off ramp. highway=*_link * see above
5101 Freeway with rapid transit (i.e. MAX or streetcar). highway=motorway, railway=light_rail No records of this type
1760 Private Road with NO Valid Address Range or Street Name. (Portland only, subarea = \'P\'). highway=unclassified, access=private No records of this type
1200 Highway. highway=trunk
1221 Local street to freeway/highway on ramp (only) (Portland only, subarea = \'P\'). highway=motorway_link
1222 Freeway/Highway to local street off ramp (only) (Portland only, subarea = \'P\'). highway=motorway_link
1223 Freeway/Highway to local street on/off ramp (combination) (Portland only, subarea = \'P\'). highway=motorway_link
1300 Primary arterial. highway=primary
1400 Secondary arterial. highway=secondary
1450 Major residential (cartographic). highway=tertiary
1500 Minor residential (unclassified). highway=residential From OSM wiki: \"Residential roads, primarily for access to properties, should be tagged highway=residential\"
1521 Local street to local street connector (Portland only, subarea = \'P\'). highway=tertiary_link
1550 Minor residential street (unclassified), named but without addresses (Clackamas Co. only, subarea = \'C\') highway=residential
1560 Minor residential street (unclassified), unamed and without addresses (Clackamas Co. only, subarea = \'C\') highway=residential, unnamed=yes
1600 Alley. highway=service, service=alley
1700 Private named road; private right-of-way exists. highway=residential, access=permissive private right-of-way allows locals to get to their land
1740 Private street with valid address range and street name (Portland only, subarea = \'P\'). highway=residential, access=private
1750 Private named driveway; no private right-of-way exists. highway=service, service=driveway, access=private
1800 Unnamed private road; private right-of-way exists. highway=unclassified, access=permissive, unnamed=yes
1850 Unnamed private driveway; no private right-of-way exists. highway=service, service=driveway, access=permissive Fourth tag is unnamed=yes
1990 Vacated street. In area maintained by the City of Portland (subarea = \'P\'). highway=road, disused=yes A number of these \'roads\' actually go through buildings, football fields, etc.
1995 Vacated right-of-way with address range (Portland only, subarea = \'P\'). highway=track, disused=yes A number of these \'roads\' actually go through buildings, football fields, etc.
2000 Unimproved road, passable by emergency vehicles (e-911) only. In the area maintained by the City of Portland (subarea = \'P\'). highway=track, access=emergency
5201 Highway with rapid transit (i.e. MAX or streetcar). highway=motorway, railway=light_rail No records of this type
5301 Primary arterial with rapid transit (i.e. MAX or streetcar). highway=primary, railway=light_rail OR railway=tram Thusfar, this tag is only used to refer to Interstate MAX, but may eventually pertain to new leg of streetcar
5401 Secondary arterial with rapid transit (i.e. MAX or streetcar). highway=secondary, railway=light_rail OR railway=tram Note that type=5401 sometimes changes to type=1500 along street car route. Added railway=tram to those type=1500 segments.
5500 Minor arterial with railroad. highway=tertiary, railway=rail
5501 Minor arterial with rapid transit (i.e. MAX or streetcar). highway=tertiary, railway=light_rail OR railway=tram
8224 Unknown type (only in Yamhill County, subarea = \'Y\'). highway=road highway=road indicates that ground truthing is needed by the community. Only 14 instances of this.
9000 Forest Service road highway=track, tracktype=* Class=40 (Forest Service paved road) becomes tracktype=grade1; Class=41 (Forest Service aggregate road) becomes tracktype=grade2; Class=42 (General dirt, unknown roads or trails) becomes tracktype=grade3

Exported into Extra Trails dataset

RLIS street type Metadata description OSM Tags Comments
3100 Trail. highway=footway OR highway=path OR highway=track \"track\" for agricultural use or logging, \"path\" for multi-use trail, \"footway\" for hiking
3200 Path. highway=path \"Path\" implies a multi-use trail.
3210 Pedestrian walkway. highway=pedestrian
3230 Stairway. highway=steps
3250 Off street bikeway. highway=path They went to the trails centerline file, coded as highway = path, because they are like multi-use paths (many of them already listed this way in OSM; not restricted to or particularly designated for bicycles).

Removed from RLIS Streets

RLIS street type Metadata description
4000 Census Boundary.
7700 Short segments indicating mile post locations along certain highways to assist emergency dispatch in Clackamas and Washington Counties. These are short pseudo-segments that do not exist on the ground (Clackamas and Washington Counties only).
1780 Private street, planned (Portland only, subarea = \'P\').
1900 Unimproved public right-of-way; \'paper street\'.
1950 Planned street with addresses (will be active soon). In area maintained by the City of Portland (subarea = \'P\').
1970 Virtual street with addresses added to account for anomaly addresses; not real (Portland (subarea = \'P\'), and Clackamas County (subarea = \'C\')).
1980 Paper street with an address. In Multnomah County, i.e. the areas maintained by the City of Portland and Metro (subarea = \'P\' or subarea = \'M\').
2100 Railroad.
2200 Rapid Transit (MAX).


Initially, we converted all trails to highway=path. However, we quickly learned this was inaccurate.

  • Our trail and street datasets overlapped, so in some places, ways are considered part of a trail, but also a service road for vehicles. We had to go back and review each of these overlaps to determine which designation was most accurate - could motorized vehicles fit on the way? Should it be tagged as a highway=track (service road) or highway=path?
  • OSM users sometimes switch trails back and forth between footway and path. These two are similar but footway indicates a heavier use by pedestrians, and not necessarily exclusive of other users, while path indicates an equal balance between pedestrians, cyclists, and other users. Eventually, we settled on adding access tags (see below) to ensure that the ongoing OSM user battles would not affect routing capabilities.


  • Surface data was included in the trail dataset. We had some trouble converting RLIS trail surface attributes to OSM attributes because the available OSM tags were limited. We ended up with some paths alternating between pebblestone, ground, and paved surfaces. Perhaps it would have been better to keep the conversion simple: paved vs ground.


  • Access refers to what users are allowed on the way. For example, sometimes only motorized vehicles are allowed on the way, sometimes only emergency vehicles, and sometimes only pedestrians.
  • Access tags are particularly relevant for trails, paths, and bike routes. We learned that certain highway types are contentious, such as cycleway vs. path vs. footway, so we later decided to include foot=* and bicycle=* on all paths and trails.
  • Additionally, state law allows cyclists on most motorways except a few. Because this is different than some states, we are trying to add bicycle=yes where bicycles are allowed on the motorways and bicycle=no where they are not. Finally, we are adding bicycle=designated for streets and paths that include bicycle infrastructure.
  • foot=yes/no/designated follows the same line of reasoning as bicycle access tags.

RLIS Trail dataset

RLIS Field Example of values OSM Tag Comment
OBJECTID highway=path
TRAILID ##### RLIS:trailid=*
TRAILNAME e.g. Springwater Corridor name=* Expand abbrev. Make proper case. Remove -descriptors. Removed labels \" - connector\" and \" - access\" that appeared after the system name.
SYSTEMNAME e.g. Fanno Creek Greenway RLIS:systemname=* Expand abbrev. Make proper case. Add as route relation after Phase III editing.
SYSTEMTYPE e.g. National, Inter-state Trails, Regional RLIS:systemtype=*
COUNTY delete
STATE delete
STATUS e.g. Open, Decommissioned access=* see RLIS Trail values
LENGTH delete
TRLSURFACE e.g. Chunk Wood surface=* see RLIS Trail values
WIDTH e.g. 2.3 est_width=* see RLIS Trail values
ACCESSIBLE e.g. Accessible wheelchair=* see RLIS Trail values
MOTORIZED e.g. Motorized Use is allowed motor_vehicle=* see RLIS Trail values
HIKE Yes, No, N/A foot=* see RLIS Trail values
ROADBIKE Yes, No, N/A bicycle=* see RLIS Trail values
MTNBIKE Yes, No, N/A mtb=* see RLIS Trail values
EQUESTRIAN Yes, No, N/A horse=* see RLIS Trail values
PORTAGE delete
Shape_Length delete
RLIS:reviewed=no indicates RLIS used as data source. Allows users to change to yes once reviewed after our edits.

RLIS Trail Values

Attribute Value Description OSM Tags Comments
STATUS Current physical state of the trail
Open Trail is open to the public, free of charge access=yes
Open_Fee Trail is open to the public, access fee is charged access=license Proposed tag in OSM
Open_Restricted Trail is open to the public, but access is restricted - example: by permit or reservation only access=license Proposed tag in OSM
Unknown Status of the trail unknown access=unknown This is the default value for most features.
Decommissioned Trail has been removed from service disused=yes Alternative tag is access=no
Closed Trail exists but is not open to the public removed from dataset
Proposed removed from dataset
Conceptual removed from dataset
TRLSURFACE The predominant surface type the user would expect to encounter on the trail
Native (Material) Existing earth surface=ground
Chunk Wood Shredded/chipped wood or bark surface=compacted No tag specifically refers to wood chips but surface=compacted implies more stability than surface=gravel.
Hard Surface Asphalt, concrete or similar surface=paved
Decking Boardwalks, recycled material etc. surface=wood
Water removed from dataset
Other Other surface types including paver block, geo grid etc. surface=paving_stones Alternative is surface=grass_paver.
Snow Snow (min coverage 75% of the snow season) surface=snow There are no records of this type in RLIS.
Imported Material Imported aggregates, clay, gravel, crushed rock, shell, sand, etc. surface=pebblestone surface=pebblestone best incorporates the different types of surface that are possible in this RLIS value.
Imported Compacted Material surface=compacted
WIDTH Does not include the trail shoulder Mid-point of each range in meters
1-5 Average width range in feet est_width=0.9
6-9 Average width range in feet est_width=2.3
5-10 Average width range in feet est_width=2.3
10-14 Average width range in feet est_width=3.7
15+ Average width range in feet est_width=4.6+
Accessible Trail meets current accessibility guidelines (ADA and Access Board Interpretation/Guidelines) wheelchair=yes
Not Evaluated Trail not evaluated for accessibility
Ineligible Trail determined ineligible to meet current trail accessibility guidelines wheelchair=no
Not Accessible Trail does not meet accessibility guidelines wheelchair=no
Motorized Use is allowed Motorized use is allowed on this trail or segment motor_vehicle=yes
Motorized Use is prohibited Motorized use is not allowed on this trail or segment Implied by highway=path
Motorized Use is allowed seasonally Motorized use is allowed on a seasonal basis motor_vehicle:date_on=* and motor_vehicle:date_off=*
Yes Permitted Default value for highway=path implies foot=yes. However, if access=no or access=official, then foot=yes is needed if pedestrian use is allowed.
N/A Not designed for pedestrian use
No Not permitted foot=no
Yes Permitted Default value for highway=path implies bicycle=yes. However, if access=no or access=official, then bicycle=yes is needed if pedestrian use is allowed.
N/A Not designed for road bikes, i.e., not paved.
No Not permitted bicycle=no
MTNBIKE Mountainbikes are grouped in with bicycle, assuming that the surface will indicate what kind of bike can ride the trail. http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Mountainbike
Yes Permitted mtb=yes mtb=yes is an abandoned tag, but mtb:scale=* is unknown. mtb=yes marks the trails for future exploration by the community.
N/A Not designed for mountain bikes, i.e., paved.
No Not permitted bicycle=no
Yes Permitted horse=yes
N/A Not designed for horses, i.e., paved and/or too narrow.
No Not permitted horse=no

Removed from RLIS Trails

RLIS Field RLIS Value Description
STATUS Proposed The preferred alignment of trail adopted in local plans
STATUS Conceptual Concept level alignments of trails not yet adopted in local plans


Bike routes can be controversial. We tagged for bike routes because OpenTripPlanner needs to know what streets or paths can be accessed by cyclists and which streets or paths are safest if a user indicates he/she prefers safer routes. Safety can be subjective, so we tried to use tags that did not indicate preferences, just objective observations.

RLIS has multiple types of bike routes - some have infrastructure to indicate a bike route (traffic calming devices, painted signs on the road, etc), while others are just low,medium, or high traffic through streets that RLIS maintainers thinks might be a good bike route. Because the bike routes indicated by RLIS maintainers are used on a variety of bike maps handed out by bicycle shops, groups, and online, we felt that even the ways without infrastructure were important to tag.

We created some tags because OSM tags were insufficient, and we were afraid that conflicts over bicycle=* tags would result in edit wars. Two such tags are RLIS:bicycle=designated and RLIS:bicycle=caution_area. We applied RLIS:bicycle=designated to all ways that have any sort of bike route designation in RLIS, whether it is due to bicycle infrastructure or an RLIS maintainer’s opinion (though most of these have since been deleted and replaced with bicycle=designated. RLIS:bicycle=caution_area indicates ways that connect bike routes and are often considered part of a bike route, but may be dangerous due to small shoulders, high traffic, low visibility, or some other reason.

We are also using a tag that is only proposed because no other tag seemed sufficient - cycleway=shared_lane. We use this for Portland’s bicycle boulevards, which do not have a bike lane, but rather share a lane with traffic. However, the traffic is usually low, “sharrows” are painted every couple hundred feet to indicate bicycle traffic, and traffic calming devices are often used.

Finally, for paths in the RLIS bike route dataset, we add bicycle=designated along with RLIS:bicycle=designated.

Our early tagging proposal: https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AtPC2OnLzHFSdHBYUGdNMkItMGdVNm4wSWFwLXdzdFE&hl=en_US&authkey=CMj58IsB

If you're curious about how bicycle tags affect routing with TriMet's implementation of OpenTripPlanner, see OpenTripPlanner#How_OpenTripPlanner_uses_OSM_tags_for_routing.

Turn restrictions

Various datasets were used for turn restrictions, from aerials and VISSUM (by Metro) to sign inventories and limited turn restriction datasets from various jurisdictions. Turn restrictions are added manually using JOSM with the Turn Restrictions plugin.

Speed limits

Various datasets from local cities and counties were used to find maxspeed=* values as well.


A few different RLIS datasets offer information on waterways, and all of these were used along with aerials in our waterway edits.


Certain highway types are controversial and not clearly defined. For the Metro area, we decided to get input from the OSM talk community, the wiki, and the local OSM community, and set up a clear standard of how we are tagging trails and paths. This decision was made halfway through the editing process, so not all trails and paths may follow these conventions. Basically, we want to add access tags to all trails and paths because cycleway, path, footway, and pedestrian tend to be debated highway types and frequently change. We want to make sure that a path that allows cyclists will continue to route cyclists on the path whether it is tagged as a footway, cycleway, path, or pedestrian highway.

Access tags should be explicit and redundant in case highway type is changed (i.e. highway=footway and foot=designated). OTP needs to read access tags for highway=path, highway=cycleway, highway=footway and highway=pedestrian and only assume motor_vehicle=no for these 4 highway types.



  • Same as highway=footway, but where entire street is for pedestrians
  • Examples: Rose Garden paths

  • A way that is mainly or exclusively for bicycles. (wiki)
  • Default access restrictions: motor_vehicle=no, bicycle=designated
  • Explicitly and redundantly add relevant tags: bicycle=designated
  • If other intended uses: foot=designated, horse=designated, etc.
  • If other legally allowed uses: foot=yes, horse=yes, etc.
  • If other disallowed uses: foot=no, horse=no, etc.
  • Generally, these have signage found in the Standard Highway Signs guide, and pavement markings consistent with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for bicycle facilities.
  • Examples: cycleways along I-205 and I-84; Morrison Bridge's cycleway that doesn't allow pedestrians

bicycle=yes and bicycle=designated
  • bicycle=yes bicycles can legally access the way but there's no explicit signage suggesting that it's a bike route (such as I 5 south of OR 217, or OR 217 itself).
  • bicycle=designated bicycles can legally access the way and there is signage suggesting it's part of a bike route.