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Public-images-osm logo.svg highway = motorway_junction
Central Motorway Junction AK II.jpg
An exit from a motorway or other major road. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Rendering in OSM Carto
Group: highways
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
See also
Status: de facto

Use the highway=motorway_junction tag to identify a point along a highway=* with junction refs or names where it is possible to exit the highway onto another road.

This is usually found along a highway=motorway, but is also applicable to other major roads with numbered/named and typically grade-separated junctions, e.g. highway=trunk or highway=primary. Ordinary at-grade road junctions for local orientation only are generally mapped with junction=yes instead.

How to use

Add a highway=motorway_junction tag at each node node along a highway with named or numbered junctions where a driver can legally exit, onto a highway=motorway_link, highway=trunk_link or other road class. This node should be positioned as the last point before the splay at which it is still possible to make a smooth turn.

Name and number

Some countries name their motorway junctions (e.g. Italy), while others number them (e.g., UK, US,[1] Spain; also France for most motorway junctions), some are doing both (Germany, France for junctions with the circular motorway surrounding major cities).

The following tags may be added to the node highway=motorway_junction node:

  • ref=* to identify the [W] exit number, as indicated on nearby signage. For unnumbered exits (e.g. to rest areas) in highway systems where exits are normally numbered, use noref=yes to explicitly note that the ref=* tag is not missing, but rather that no such value exists for that node.
  • name=* for the name of the junction or interchange. Do not confuse the name of a junction with the destination(s) the junction leads to. In most cases worldwide, sign information describes destinations, not the name of the junction or interchange itself. If a signpost or indication displays destinations exclusively, this data belongs to destination=* tags of the ways, not the name=* of the highway=motorway_junction node.

If an exit number is displayed on road signs, please also set this number in junction:ref=* on the way way branching off. This avoids any possible ambiguity regarding which way is the continuation of the road and which way is the exit (e.g. when an exit is on the left in a right-driving country). It also avoids confusion if there are multiple exit ways with different numbers at the same node.

Destination of the exit

The destination of an exit can be indicated on the way way that branches off from the node motorway_junction node by destination=* and destination:ref=*. The key destination:lanes=* can provide further details like the exact position of the signpost and the destination of each lane. See the article about the key destination=* and its subkeys for further details and examples.

The alternative key exit_to=* directly on the node motorway_junction node is not recommended any more. It has the disadvantage that it might be ambiguous in some cases, e.g. on parallel motorways (though using exit_to:right and exit_to:left solves this, which is also a problem for ref=* on the node), that it doesn't work for non-motorway junctions with more than two destinations, and that it does not allow to break down destinations per lane.

Related keys


Picture Tagging
M6 Motorway - Junction 15 Half-Mile Sign - geograph.org.uk - 1630811.jpg

On the node node where the exit way leaves:

On the way way branching off:

Junction example.png

On the node node where the exit way leaves:

On the way way branching off:

On the way way continuing the current way:

I385 Exit split.png

Split exit - on the node node where the exits separate:

On the way way branching off to the left:

On the way way branching off to the right:

The following keys on the junction are proposed:

See Also

  1. In the United States, some toll roads, such as the Pennsylvania Turnpike, have well-known and prominently signposted exit names that are distinct from exit destinations.