Talk:Proposed features/maxspeed none

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Comments welcome


Some German autobahns don't have a legal speed limit. Either they are to be such by default or tagged specifically as such. Should this voting end in a rejection, I feel obliged to then start a new vote between the alternatives so that it can be decided if the default for the German motorways is 130 or unlimited. Otherwise we'd be loosing data. Alv 11:08, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Why only for maxspeed?

Something like this would be useful for names and other tags, too – of course, I don’t know whether there are streets named “none” around or whether “none” would be a valid value for some other key. To avoid problems like that, someone has – interestingly only some hours ago – suggested the value NO_VALUE (or _NO_VALUE to even further avoid collisions with real names) on the German language part of the OSM fora. (Together with some other values.) --Tordanik 16:06, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

I think something like '-' would be more useful, because of spelling mistakes and mix-up with real names. Or are there values I don't know? --Josias 16:19, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
"-" could be misinterpreted as "unknown" or "untagged" --Phobie 14:07, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

"Defaults should not be tagged"

I have question for those who've commented their vote only with "Defaults should not be tagged": Do you mean that every motorway and two carriageway trunk road with a minimum of two lanes in each direction in Germany (presumably the German legal requirement for a German unlimited road) should be thought of as being "there's no limit", or the same for the whole world, or for all highways all around the world? If only for Germany, how would you then tag an unlimited speed highway in some other country for which it was not a default for any highway type? Montana had them for some time but they could pop up elsewhere in the world... Alv 07:23, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I understand "default should not be tagged" in the following way, not to give every road a maxspeed-Tag but using OSM_tags_for_routing/Maxspeed to catch default-limitation (access, minspeed, maxspeed, weight-classes, vehicle-classes, etc.). Only if there is an explicit maxspeed sign it should be entered (tagged) into the OSM database (and not to the default-tables). --Cbm 13:28, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
That far is obvious and you were the ones with a reasonably (IMO) worded comment on the vote. What hasn't been answered by the others, is why are some opposing that maxspeed=none should never be used anywhere else, even if such ways existed. The problem might arise from the proposals wording tying two things together: 1) distinguishing not-surveyed from unlimited and 2) acknowledging the existence of maxspeed=none. I'm starting to think that the Proposed_features/internal_informations_between_mappers could be used for marking suspected limited (Autobahns) and this modified to be only about acknowledging that maxspeed=none is acceptable. But that would kind of require stopping the vote, new RFC and a new vote... Alv 06:22, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Why is this required?

Surely we don't actually need tags to say that there is no maxspeed. It's just unnecessary to keep this redundant info in the database. I would expect any routing program processing a way not tagged with a specific "maxspeed=*" tag to assume that it's the maximum available value for that highway type and that country - subject perhaps to a person's own preferred driving speed on motorways Richard B 16:29, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Richard B, this is required to find out if a road has been checked for maxspeed yet or not. It does not have to do with national maxspeed limits. --Lulu-Ann 11:40, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Looking at the current data in OSM I would not call the "maxspeed=none" info redundant, since at least 90% of the roads do not even have a "maxspeed"-property. I guess that would force every attempt to use OSM data for routing to ignore the "maxspeed"-property or to leave the decision to the user, like a lot of commercial routing programs do. --BearT 19:14, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
BearT, the currently poor use of a certain key should not have influence on defining the needed keys. The maxspeed= none is not (only) for the routing, it is needed to identify wether a maxspeed has been checked by a user or not. --Lulu-Ann 11:40, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
It wouldn't force ignoring the maxspeed property at all. If it doesn't have a maxspeed property, then, as I said above, you assume that it's the maximum for that type of highway and country - OR - you have some input regarding the user's preferred driving speed on motorways/major roads. In the UK, residential might represent 30mph, motorways 70 mph etc. - unless tagged with a maxspeed - where that would take over. In Germany, you would still want to assign a speed to unrestricted autobahns - routers still need to assume there is a travel time. This is where the user input is useful, or you just set a "reasonable" default. Just because a large proportion of roads do not contain maxspeed tags does not mean that the maxspeed tag is useless and should be ignored - just as it does not mean that every single highway necessarily needs it as a tag. Richard B 20:36, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Richard B, you can not identify a maxspeed by the road type - otherwise you would have to split the way whereever a different speed limit applies. Again, the issue is not only to make the speed information available to the router, the issue is to make the information available to the mapper it the information maxspeed is mission or if there is no speed limit for the road. The ideas is to be able to identify highways that are completely tagget, without having to check over and over again if there is no sign or just no tag. --Lulu-Ann 11:40, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
But we do split roads every time there is a change of situation e.g. speed limit - or perhaps if a cycle route shares a road for a few hundred metres etc. The different sections of road can then be grouped into a relation. Richard B 14:34, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Which would require the routing software to know a lot about the streets it uses. Most of the smaller streets have no connection to a town or even country other than proximity. So talking about a routing software now it would be a lot easier, if there was a property like "maxspeed=none". On the other hand with an ideal map where everything is properly tagged with every desirable detail it would be much easier to let the routing software store a maxspeed for street types in a specific country which could easily be changed there, without retagging all the streets.
anonymous, street types are not useable for speed limits as you would have to split the way at each speed limit change. I a country where a maximum speed for motorways is set by default, this can be handled by individual tagging or by a country-maxspeed-for-motorways-tag (With the problem that you might download only a region to your routing software, not downloading any node of the surrounding maxspeed-zone.) In a country without a general maximum speed on motorways you need to store a difference between "this road has not been tagged for maxspeed" and "this road is checked and definitively HAS no maxspeed" - ideal map or not. --Lulu-Ann 11:40, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Another issue to me would be that there is no information on the map features page saying that residential means a certain speed. It's just saying that residential means a small street into residential area. So I don't think one can safely assume that the classification of the street as residential mandatorily says something about the speed. Except that it's not too fast... --BearT 21:15, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
BearT, the highway tag does not imply any speed limit as that would cause the need to split the street at each speed limit change. --Lulu-Ann 11:40, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
To be honest, the certain speed is up to the individual router. I would expect a router to apply a certain weighting to any generic residential street. As you said, it's not going to be too fast. It doesn't need to be exact, however. Whilst you are correct in saying nothing is documented on Map Features - a residential street is a minor road, with houses on it. Most countries I've visited have much reduced speed limits in towns and villages by default. In the UK the default limit is 30mph. In France it's 50km/h - fairly similar. A router may assume that a residential road has a lower average speed than that perhaps. On tertiary roads I'd expect a router to assume a higher average speed. etc. Regarding knowing whether something is in a town or not. Residential necessarily implies residents - i.e. houses = village/town. I think it's a safe assumption to assume that you will not be going that fast. Regarding countries, it should be easy enough to get country polygons to match against. Richard B 23:04, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Richard B, existing speed limits are not at all the issue of this proposal, so let's not discuss them here. If there shall be an country-wide area to store the default speed limit, then the value "none" would be needed for Germany again. As stated above, if you only download a region into your routing software, you might not download the general speed limit object and therefor miss it. This proposal is not only intended to give a speed estimation for the routing software, though "none" would imply to ask the user for his personal maxspeed habits or his personal vehicle abilities. This proposal aimes to inform the mapper wether a road part has been already worked on considering speed limits or not. I want to enable persons to set a speed limit status on a wiki status page to "complete" by looking at the tags without looking at the highway again and again. --Lulu-Ann 11:40, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't understand the argument here. You don't store a "germany" speed limit object. It gets programmed into the routing engine as a list of defaults for german road types. You don't need this information tagged in the database. All roads must be assigned a weighting for the router to work out the "cost" of travelling down them. German autobahns still need a positive weighting for the result to make any sense (implying a guessed max-speed - possibly a user input depending on preferred driving speed). If there is a maxspeed tag, then the weighting may be based on that. If no maxspeed tag then it looks at the type of road and then looks up the preprogrammed defaults. Richard B 14:41, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
So you expect the routing software programmers to collect geodata like national speed limits outside of OSM? Why? Why shouldn't a routing software work whereever I am based on the geodata it's using? --Lulu-Ann 15:36, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't like the value "none" first of all since it is really only applicable in Germany and possibly a few other countries in the world, secondly because it would be obsolete and require retagging if the German government one day decides to introduce a general speed limit on motorways. A much better idea would be general values for maxspeed corresponding to respective national laws, such as 'maxspeed=default_motorway/default_trunk/default_rural/default_urban'. This way a router just have to refer to the law in force for the respective country to know the speed limit. If the general speed limits change nothing needs to be retagged. Polderrunner 08:28, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Polderrunner, this map is a worldwide map, and if there is a certain interest in any part of the world it should be taken into account. We don't want to exclude any users, especially not car drivers and mappers, do we? (If so, I'd rather end my activities on collecting tags for the handicapped...) If the German government one day decidees to introduce a general speed limit on motorway, it will be ONE mass edit to change "none" to "whatever". This does not interfere with your maxspeed default values, please go ahead and propose that. If you look on Germany again with your default motorway, you will propose the value "none" for that again. As already mentioned above, if you only download a small part of the map, you might not download the default limit area and therefor miss it. --Lulu-Ann 11:40, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Hmm... retagging... not at all necessary if no maxspeed tag exists. So, it's always the default, especially if German Autobahns (and similar) get a default max speed, and, very much better so, if this default speed someday gets changed, it will still apply. If you have to retag all "maxspeed=none" to "maxspeed=whatever", changing "whatever" into some other "whatever2" WILL break segments that would retain the value of "whatever", since local rules might apply. A default created by law should in any case at best be tagged to a "default"-value and not to a fixed limit. And honestly, if i am interested in allowed speeds in any part of the world, meaning, i download any area of the world map and want to know how fast i may go, i certainly WILL know what country that area belongs to, why else would i want to know? --florianheer 01:06, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
I can arrange with maxspeed=countrydefault, but where do you want to store that? --Lulu-Ann 15:36, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
There are several possibilities: This could be stored in a relation, on a Wiki page, as tags of a point at specified coordinates... I agree that this default or none value is necessary to make clear that the street has been checked and there are no explicit limits at this street. I suggest something like maxspeed=default and if necessary some additional tags to specify the region (state, country etc) and the class of streets that would allow to find the applicable default maxspeed value from a table. countrydefault might be too specific as there might be countries with different law in different regions. - Bomm 08:50, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
No we should never use maxspeed=default because all needed data should be in the OSM-database! The best way is to create relations i.e relation:name=maxspeed-motorway-germany relation:maxspeed=none . If the german government than decided to change "none" to "130", we only need to change ONE relation! --Phobie 13:51, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

I think we should not mix up data and metadata. Instead of using 'maxspeed=none' to show someone cared to check maxspeed, we probably should use something like "verified:maxspeed=,<user>". This could easily extended to other information as well and separates data from metadata. Schoos 13:47, 11 September 2008 (UTC)


In Germany, speed limits on motorways caused by variable traffic signs, and change depending on the traffic situation. Sorry for my rotten english.

orginal: In Deutschland werden Tempolimits auf Autobahnen oft durch Wechselverkehrszeichen angezeigt und wechseln je nach Verkehrslage. --BDROEGE 17:05, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

There will be another proposal for that. This value applies only if there is no limit at all. --Lulu-Ann 11:13, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Didn't look

  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. As with other types of highways this still means "local law applies", there is no need for it. Without additional ruling, a Autobahn simply is unlimited. --florianheer 03:15, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
you can't vote as the voting has not yet startet --Lulu-Ann 11:14, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Interesting, when I voted, it definetly said here: "Vote open". well... nonetheless, i still don't see the point. --florianheer 14:43, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Tell me, how do you find out if a German motorway has no speed limit or if nobody ever had a look and tagged it? --Lulu-Ann 16:09, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Um, you tag the ones that *do* have a reduced limit. Richard B 16:34, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Fine, and then you remember for the rest of your life? And how does your knowledge enter the minds of new mappers? Or does the effect apply, that each new mapper around wastes fuel to have a look? --Lulu-Ann 17:13, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Now, how do you find out, the tagging is correct, even if someone marked the part as unlimited? it simply adds no valuable information. --florianheer 00:52, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Looking at the europe extract, it appears there are 27 ways tagged with "maxspeed=unlimited". Presumably these are all in Germany. I believe personally that the maxspeed tag should really be restricted to numerical values which will be machine readable, however. Richard B 08:02, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
It's the same as landuse=farm - you could say all untagged areas in Germany are landuse=farm, or you could tag them and all untagged areas are not explored. So we need a possibility to add this information (maxspeed not explored / maxspeed unlimited). maxspeed=none,unlimited,-1,∞(endless) - Never mind, but have to be there. Bobosch 12:05, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
That would imply that every road has to have a maxspeed set... i wouldn't do that. I would not tag every road outside of a town 100 km/h, that is the default, only if the normal rules don't apply. And I would always assume that a road without a maxspeed tag has the default maxspeed. Well, put simply, I would not use maxspeed=none/unlimited or whatever, at best maxspeed=default_motorway (and even then i think it's redundant). --florianheer 19:44, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
1) We should tag all streets with maxspeed, because local laws can be much more complex than just highway-type or inside-outsite of a town, in some countries. 2) What will you do, if the default is 130 km/h, but a streetsign sais "unlimited"? There may be countries, where unlimited is not default, but exists as sign... --TEL0000 02:49, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. Same as Florian --wer-ist-roger 12:27 7 August 2008 (UTC)
you can't vote as the voting has not yet startet --Lulu-Ann 11:14, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

maxspeed=unlimited better?

maxspeed=unlimited should be better than NONE because there are lots of ways beyond the official road traffic where also no maxspeed exist. --Cbm 01:33, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Other variants would be maxspeed=no (Maybe for machines this is more easy to read) or maxspeed=NO_VALUE (as proposed in the german forum: --TEL0000 02:55, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
No, except for the motorways there are no streets without speed-limit in Germany! It is always 100km/h if no other limits apply. --Phobie 14:05, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
thats not totally correct. there are also motoway-likely streets in germany wherer there is no speed-limit --Cbm 03:14, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, you are right. STVO §3 A limit does not apply if the directions are separated by a median strip and each direction has at least two lanes. --Phobie 12:11, 11 September 2008 (UTC)


Technically the maxspeed on german Autobahnen is not "unlimited": There is a "recommended" or suggested speed of 130 km/h -

We don't have a tag to indicate those squared blue signs yet - and although they are not too frequent and might be abolished soon: I think "reference_speed=130" would be useful to cover both "Richtgeschwindigkeit" and "end of speetlimit" on german motorways. Please take a look at Proposed_features/ref_speed

maxspeed=* is indeed unlimited. But there is also recommended_speed=130 --Cbm 03:29, 21 August 2008 (UTC)


To my knowledge, no roads have no speed limit whatsoever. The "unrestricted" sections of the Bundesautobahnen are still subject to a "recommended speed" of 130km/h. Routing engines sometimes come up with an estimated journey time, and for this they must have a speed. The "unrestricted" sections of motorways in Great Britain are subject to nominal speed limit of 70mph for cars, but this does not in and of itself prevent drivers from exceeding this speed in practice. Ultimately, the difference between a limit and a recommendation is moot, as drivers using excessive speed is not and should not be our problem. We should not be concerning ourselves with a decision by a road user to abide by or not abide by the law. If someone presents a practical use case (remember, our disclaimers make it clear that our data is not suitable for safety-critical uses, such as by government or law enforcement bodies to determine what speed limits apply where), then I might be persuaded to support this. Remember, OSM does not exist for the sake of data collection — for everything we do, there must always be a genuine, credible, practical use case. Chriscf 15:14, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

recommended speeds are only "security advices" and has not the meaning of explicit or default-set maxspeeds. Therefore we need the value "maxspeed=no;none;unlimited;...".
If there is no explicit maxspeed (set by signs) german motorways and 'express highways' (Schnellstraßen) has indeed no maxspeed (no nomimal limit like in UK or elsewhere in the world).
  • maxspeed=no is the only correct data to catch theese facts.
  • Routing software must learn to interpret default-speeds (minspeed, maxspeed, recommended_speed)
  • we need no maxspeed-Tag for every OSM-way; only explicit maxspeeds should be tagged. For the rest we use default-settings (OSM_tags_for_routing/Maxspeed)
--Cbm 07:39, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

A "recommended" speed is still a notional limit, and for all practical purposes we put our data is the same as the maximum. What is your use case for this tag? Chriscf 16:55, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
any german 'Autobahn' (without explicit maspeed-signs) is a practical example to strictly differ between maxspeed and recommended_speed. The recommended_speed=130 is set by law (default) but you are totally allowed to ignore it --> maxspeed=no.
Another example: in Germany bicycles have no maxspeed-limit (neather explicit or law-default) inside or outside town. Except e.g. in =pedestrian or =living_street they are allowed to drive as fast as the like (limitation is only the personal constitution). So we need maxspeed=no to catch this fact. --Cbm 09:03, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm still missing an actual use case for the difference. Chriscf 13:28, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Can the "unlimited" value be found on traffic signs along the roads? If not, then IMHO we don't need this tag on ways since I'm against tagging default values (you wouldn't tag each road with something like "bicycle:maxspeed=no" in Germany either, right?). However, we have to setup a table with default maxspeeds for each country where this value can be used. So, I'm not against this value, I'm against tagging ways with it if there's no traffic sign with the "unlimited" value :-) --Eimai 11:07, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
i don't wanna tag each highway with maxspeed-tags eather, therefore we have OSM_tags_for_routing/Maxspeed. But we need the value NO ;) --Cbm 13:21, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
In places there are "speed restriction ends" signs, if the previous part of the motorway has had a lower restriction. At least there were the last time I was in Germany. Alv 12:14, 6 October 2008 (UTC)