|Used to describe networks of various kinds.|
|Status: in use|
|Tools for this tag|
The tag type=network is used in some places to tag relations which represent a "network". Most commonly this has been used to map cycling and walking "node networks" in the Low Countries of Europe, and public transport systems in some cities.
How to Map
The network relation has the following tags:
- type=network - specifies this is a network relation
- network=* - specifies the type of network relation: (optional)
- name=* - name of the network
- ref=* - official reference code of the network (optional)
- operator=* - operator of the network (optional)
The members of a network relation are different for each type of network:
- Cycling, walking and outdoor sports networks: route relations and/or superroute relations
- Node networks: route relations and network nodes
- Public transport networks: route_master relations
- Road networks: route relations and/or superroute relations
Controversy over this tag
Use of this relation sometimes violates the principle that relations are not meant to model categories like "all tram stops in Frankfurt".
- Network relations group their member regardless of a certain key or feature, as OpenStreetMap does not feature static IDs, the creation of network relations creates a "real" group.
- Each member can be described with a certain role, which is especially useful for network relations.
- Relations are ordered lists. So when the order of members is important, this can be captured in a network relation.
- Some network relations may become huge as they represent huge network, this may become an issue.
- Especially new mappers repeatedly do not understand that/how they have to add parts of the network to the relation. Therefore, this is not always done properly and requires additional maintenance.
The use of the tag network=<xyz> for all members of a network is the most common alternative. The drawback is that the value of the network is often not unique and the network=* tag is used differently for bicycle and hiking routes.
Usage and examples
Cycling, walking and outdoor sports networks
The concept of network-relations is used for node networks in particular. This enables grouping of both routes and nodes. Sometimes network relations are also used for normal networks, containing only routes.
- - Fietsnetwerk Houten, containing all routes of a cycle network
- - Wandelnetwerk Land van Streuvels, containing all routes and network nodes of a walking node network
- - Skateroute-netwerk Midden-Delfland , containing all routes and network nodes of an inline skating node network
Public transportation networks
Network relations are sometimes used in the context of a common fare system, a certain type of transportation and the (subsidized) concessions to operate a number of lines. However, controversy exists whether this usage violates the principle that "relations are not categories".
Network relations are used to mark the membership of a route to a public transport concession. This is motivated by the ease of maintenance in the light of constant changes in concession ownership.
- - Hoofdrailnet Nederland concession, containing the route master relations of all train routes belonging to this concession
- - Stadsvervoer Amsterdam concession, containing the route master relations of all tram, bus and subway routes belonging to this concession
- - Noord- en Zuidwest-Fryslân en Schiermonnikoog concession, containing the route master relations of all bus routes belonging to this concession
The idea of network relations for concessions or fare systems (German: Verkehrsverbunde) was doomed on the mailing list as they change regularly and have no relevance for users. The current situation seems to be that everything is mapped in the route=* or route_master=* relations and network relations are abandoned and ignored (examples: missing underground line 4, with note=teilen, teilen, teilen, German for
divide, divide, divide).
Some network relations are used to group route=road relations. This is done in addition to a network=* tag on the route relations itself and could therefore be seen as redundant information. However it could be useful when multiple networks exist parallel to each other.
- - International European route network, containing the route and superroute relations making up the E-road network.
- network=NL:A and network=NL:N, the A-road and N-road networks, which exist parallel to the Rijkswegennet. - Rijkswegennet, containing the route relations making up the national road network of the Netherlands. The route relations themselves use