Proposal talk:Ref:color

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feedback welcomed here


I'm not sure that using the UK as an example is a good idea, as this tag just isn't needed in the UK as the colours in the UK are fixed for each road type - motorway is always blue, trunk is always green and everything else is white. TomH

true, as way colors where born using uk as model. but note that this way trunks would have the text in yellow which is closer to reality (ok, not too important). But what about primaries, secondaries and tertiaries, do they have red, orange or yellow signs as they are rendered?. The example points out that it may wont be that much of a change in uk so why not approve it. Also i would ask for a more global point of wiew, if uk users travel they can expect same physical kind of roads for their way colors but will have also local sign colors. Im not in favour of "tagging for the render" at all, but if at the end main renders don't follow, 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 --Sergionaranja 07:59, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Country defaults, not as tags on ways

This should be done by country defaults instead. It makes no sense to tag every way with the colours of its road number signs, as these colours are the same for the same kind of road in the entire country or state. --Eimai 17:58, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Eimai, besides, it should cover shape as well. Many countries use different shapes on the ref sign depending on administrative level of the road (i.e. in Brazil, federal roads have signs similar to US interstates, with a shield shape, while some state roads use other shapes or clean squares). Also in Norway some roads have intermittent border on the signs, while others have complete border. But all this can be done by making country specific rules, since it will make a very complex set of tags, and if needed, make a simple reference tag to use on the road (ref:country=br + ref:level=es and ref:coutry=br + ref:level=br) --Skippern 18:22, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

The rationale for this proposal is based on the fact that here in Spain, we've got more ref box colors than administrative levels. Look at the proposal examples and tell me how to tell apart the colors from M-516 and SO-P-6001 (besides using funky regexp-based rendering rules). Ivansanchez 21:44, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
My suggestion allows for this, a ref:country to allow for a list, and a ref:level for where on the list you end up. ref:country=es can for example have ref:level=M and ref:level=SO-P as two different levels/render rules. In Brazil we have 26 states, each with its own code, and sign design, while all of them are the same administrative level (i.e. ES, BA, and MG are all the same level, but look different on the sign). --Skippern 04:45, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Over here we're having a lot of road numbers being translated into route relations lately, and those relations have a network tag that can be used to determine the road type, and thus the road number colours.
And if we're not using network tags for relations, some "funky regexps" for each country is a good way to do it. On the other hand, tagging each way that has a reference with the colours that are used is a sure way to end up with a lot of unnecessarily duplicated information. Information that could be determined by reading the other tags that are present, which means it just has to be avoided. --Eimai 10:46, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the network tag, it will fit perfectly the spanish case and I think even will be used to display the localized shields in the main map. The drawing rules should be worked by the local teams of every network. --PerroVerd 14:11, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
I second that. --Skippern 15:56, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
On the Norwegian intermittent border signs, aren't they (as in all? Nordic countries) indications that "this is not the road in this sign but following this will lead you to the road with this number"? Alv 11:03, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
If you refer to E-road signs with intermittent border, yes, but also lower level roads use this, as I remember Fylkesveg (Fv) have intermittent borders while Riksveg (Rv) have complete borders, except for that, the signs are completely equal. --Skippern 20:19, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
we should tag only "this road is" instead of "this road goes to". the route finders would do the last for us.--Sergionaranja 07:54, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
When the official ref of the road leading to E6 is E6 with intermittent border (link road) than we should tag it as such. --Skippern 14:18, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
ok, then--Sergionaranja 12:08, 28 April 2009 (UTC)


Please don't use France in your examples. First your texts and colors are wrong. Second, we don't need any colors since the administrative level is in the reference itself ! A for Autoroute, N for national road, D for departemental, etc. Just reading the ref gives the color (if you need one). -- Pieren 12:18, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

color and references where taken from wikimedia Commons photography, you mean that A is not red any more nor is N, and D, is still yellow?. i don't pretend with this examples outside Spain to tell you how you must do it. just trying to see how this schema would look like in different places. if you are so kind to give more info i`m sure french example would not have mistakes.--Sergionaranja 15:15, 19 April 2009 (UTC)


There is no need for ref:colors! German Roadsign appearance can be derived from the ref=* tag. The color scheme of 10 predefined colors does not fit the colors used for german road signs (warm yellow, dark blue). Autobahnen do have a lengthy hexagon form with a white border, Bundesstraßen do have a black rounded rectangular border. --xylome 08:42, 20 April 2009 (UTC)


This suggestion comes to short for brazil, too limited color definitions, and missing shape, horizontal bands, vertical bands, split background, and much more --Skippern 13:04, 20 April 2009 (UTC)


This tag seems to work only in Spain.

At least UK, France, Germany seem to have just 1 colour for each reference type, thus is easier to take the colour from the ref letter directly.

In Brazil the reality seems much more complex as references have several or split colours so the proposal comes too short. it can´t describe all features of Brazil ref signs

US has a complex reality as well, with many administrative: us, federal, state.. on their motorways. some overlapping so one road can have several refs "ref=A19;C34". that won´t work either as is now.

Seems that some people agree that tagging each way with ref:color is too much work and propose to use the network=*, it seems that every road belongs to a network and that network has its own sign render. then a table made by each country zone defining colours, shapes... can be read to know local reality. this network tag can be applied to route relations, this way a multiple ref road can belong to several relations.

In Spain networks change less than ref:color, we are now under several ref:color changes. Which is another reason to use a network approach.

There are two overlapped proposals for network=* : Key:network proposal and Network proposal

The first of the two links is a new (ok, some months old) proposal by me. I can't see, why this should be overlapping with ref:color ... In fact it's total opposite, because I want a stronger seperation of operator=*. The second link is an abandoned proposal, so of no relevance. -- Skunk 13:40, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Location + road number + ruleset = colours and shape

Let's start a ruleset table...

Rule Road number Example
(Straße mit Vorrang)
white text on blue (176FC1) background with rounded corners Hinweiszeichen 19.svg
L... black text on white with a black rounded border Hinweiszeichen 21.svg
A... black text on white A12
B... black text on white B401
E... white text on green, white border E40
N... white text on blue, white border N123
P... white text on blue, white border P20
R... black text on white R0
BR... black text on white, black border, shaped like a shield BR-101
BR... white text on green, white border, shaped like a pentagon pointing down BR-101
ES... black text on white, bluish line above reddish line above ref, shaped like a rectangle ES-060
RJ... black text on white, black border, shaped like a pentagon pointing up RJ-071
RS... black text on white, black border, shaped like a shield? RS-703
SP... black text on white, black border, shaped like a pentagon pointing up SP-160
{1..11} (Põhimaantee) white text on a red background and a white border Finland road sign F29-2.svg
{12..95} (Tugimaantee) black text on a yellow background and a black border Finland road sign F30-42.svg
{1190..25252} (Kõrvalmaantee) black text on a white background and a black border Finland road sign F31-522.svg
E ... (Euroopa teedevõrgu tee) white text on a green background and a white border European Road 65 number DE.svg
{1..20} white text on a red background and a white border Finland road sign F29-2.svg
{40..99} black text on a yellow background and a black border Finland road sign F30-42.svg
{100..999} black text on a white background and a black border Finland road sign F31-522.svg
{1000..9999} white text on a blue background and a white border Finland road sign F32-3622.svg
A ... white text in a blue (#003399) lenghty hexagon and a white border around the hexagon Bundesautobahn 81 number.svg
B ... black text on a warm yellow (#ffcc33) background and a black rounded rectangular border Bundesstraße 14 number.svg
E ... white text on a green (#009933) background and a white rounded rectangular border European Road 65 number DE.svg
A... white text on red, white border A28
E... white text on green, white border E233
N... black text on yellow N211
r... white text on brown, white border r103
S... black text on white, black border, curved top and bottom
E... white text on green, white border E233
E... white text on green, white border E233
... white text on green, white border (important state roads) 70
Rv... black text on white - solid border (state roads) 211
Fv... black text on white - intermittent border (regional roads) 103

Trail color

The red trail, the blue trail... should use this? Jidanni (talk) 20:42, 30 November 2022 (UTC)


colour=* says not to call it color. Jidanni (talk) 20:44, 30 November 2022 (UTC)