Talk:Tag:highway=turning circle

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Discussion about initial use

Resolved: Joshdoe 15:46, 14 May 2012 (BST)
  • I feel that this could well be covered by the highway=whatever;area=yes features as is also proposed. It's more generic in that the same can actually be specified and can also be used for other stuff. --spaetz 11:07, 26 April 2007 (BST)
    • I see your point, but a turning circle is really too small a feature to warrant a whole bunch of nodes and segments just to get the shape to render in a map. It's

the same rationale as having a mini-roundabout feature as a node. Jonobennett 21:51, 26 April 2007 (BST)

    • i agree with this, it's a very simple way of adding useful information, without requiring the mapper to draw an areaMyfanwy 02:48, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
      • I agree about the single node idea. These roadway features are heavily used in the US. Cohort 23:09, 21 May 2007 (BST)
        • They range in size, and shape often. So if its a node a radious would be needed, asuming its circular. Ben 23:59, 24 May 2007 (BST)
          • not necessarily, i would suggest they are diagrammatic only, so just as we do not map the precise width of every road, so we do not need to provide a diameter for this. it's there to give drivers a quick idea of whether or not they can turn around on that roadMyfanwy 02:48, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
          • And, if the circle is a square, triangle, oval, etc, go ahead and do the area=yes bit. But for most, a single node would work fine. --Cohort 09:51, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
For what it's worth, typically US roads with the designation "court" (like 'street', 'avenue', etc) have these turning circles. In fact the "court" designation is effectively almost equivalent to a dead-end sign, so much so that there's often no dead-end signs for these roads.
Also the street designation 'Circle' is often used in the same fashion. --Cohort 09:51, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I suggest that this be a node tagged highway=circle. --Cohort 09:51, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
    • that sounds very vague. adding 'turning_' as a prefix removes any ambiguity, and does not make the tag overly long - there are plenty more long ones in common use Myfanwy 09:51, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I find this feature useful, since in Germany this is very common. And a key for a node would save lot of time. I have been drawing areas in the past and it takes considerable more time. Toralf 10:42, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I would suggest that an optional key/value pair that describes the radius would be useful, I have seen turning circles that vary considerably in size. Franc 11:55, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I would also suggest to use a single nodes. k="highway" v="turning_circle" seems to be appropriate for me, as "circle" is to generic. Fo me it doesn't seem usefull to map the exact shape. area=yes could be a good thing on very large areas. MichaelK 13:19, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I have used highway=roundabout which implies I haven't finished mapping and so is very wrong. - LastGrape 11:42, 10 January 2008 (UTC)


Resolved: Joshdoe 15:50, 14 May 2012 (BST)

is now open, until 2008-01-24

  • i approve this proposal Myfanwy 09:52, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • i approve this proposal Boghammar 10:28, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal Franc 10:29, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal -- MikeCollinson 10:33, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal DavidDean 10:42, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal --Mackerski 11:09, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal -- EdoM (lets talk about it) 11:40, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal -- LastGrape 11:42, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal -- Robx 12:49, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I disapprove this proposal Here in my area they are all different shape and sizes, sometimes with an island in the middle, sometimes without one. A picture or two of what we are voting for could help. --Ckruetze 13:36, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
    • as the proposal states, this is a diagrammatic/conceptual approach, to indicate whether or not a driver can easily turn around at a given point on the road. the name is irrelevant
  • I approve this proposal - Chillly 14:05, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal - Thewanderer 18:35, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal --Swampwallaby 20:45, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal --Cartinus 23:56, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal Alv 07:08, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal --Dalkvist 17:07, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal --Colin Marquardt 22:58, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal --AndreR 17:23, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal --Geoff 15:32, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Cohort 19:32, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal --Pt 20:06, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal --Steinarh 13:15, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

voting has closed, this proposal is approved

Can I assume that this is the same as a cul de sac?

Resolved: Joshdoe 15:50, 14 May 2012 (BST)

See cul de sac on Wikipedia. --Seav 15:52, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Sure. I've been using it exclusively for this purpose already. Alexrudd 22:02, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

What is the difference with a mini_roundabout?

Stale: Joshdoe 15:50, 14 May 2012 (BST)

In the text it says There is no central island. So does it mean that the wider end of a dead end street which contains a central island (e.g. grass) should be tagged as mini_roundabout or is that used exclusively where two or more roads are joined? --User:Pietje leugenaar

If there's an island you should draw a circular way around it, like you'd do with any normal roundabout (although it most likely isn't a roundabout, so you don't have to add the junction=roundabout tag).
(btw, in Belgium, mini_roundabout shouldn't be used because it's a UK thing and doesn't exist here) --Eimai 14:41, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
In Brazil I use turning_circle for a widening in a road meant to give enough room for a truck or larger car to turn around. Most often seen at the end of cur-de-sac streets without exists, though some times also in the middle of narrow roads. mini_roundabout is places where this have meaning for the flow of traffic, i.e. in some intersections. --Skippern 14:53, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
I thought the whole rationale about these two tags was to avoid drawing too much tiny circles. As it is now even a relatively large areas could be tagged turning_circle just because there is only asphalt, while a small dead end street with a tiny patch of grass in the middle (just look at the satellite photos of the Sprinkhaanstraat in Ghent for an example) should be drawn explicitely. May be it would be better to drop the There is no central island condition and leave it to the good judgement of the mapper. --User:Pietje leugenaar
You should always use your judgement when mapping :). When I first used and documented this tag someone suggested using an area=* tag instead. My point was that a turning circle wasn't that large an area, and that it didn't warrant a whole bunch of nodes and ways just to map it. I'd say the same still applies: Is the feature on the ground complex and large enough to map using a looped way? If so, use one. If not, use highway=turning_circle. Jonathan Bennett 16:15, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
The turning point in the Sprinkhaanstraat certainly looks more than big enough to have its own way around it. --Eimai 19:04, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
@Skippern: I thought widenings in the middle of a narrow road were supposed to be tagged as highway=passing_place? --Lyx 18:02, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Argh, I am in the middle of doing a large import of data from the survey department of a city, I might change that during the revision of the data, for the large bulk import it is too late to fix now...... Also almost impossible to get out directly from my data as it is chunked up in a rather strange way, so I get no direct system in the data. ALAS cannot be done on import time.
In the UK at least, a highway=passing_place is generally in a rural area, off to one side of the road and only one vehicle wide. By contrast, a highway=turning_circle is generally urban, on both sides of the road and wide enough to allow vehicle turning (strangely enough). When it's less late here, I'll find aerial images to show what I think of when I use these tags. Jonathan Bennett 01:35, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
I am thinking of starting to tag these as highway=turning_circle, barrier=island or highway=turning_circle, traffic_calming=chicane. I map neighborhoods, like this one, all of the time in Melbourne and Palm Bay, FL. I'm not going to map out every single one of these. They all get one node. --Panther37 01:29, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I have been tagging these as highway=turning_circle, traffic_calming=island now. I think this way makes sense. --Panther37 13:10, 15 May 2011 (BST)
highway=mini_roundabout is probably not correct unless there's explicit signage making the circular roadway one-way. --NE2 10:15, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. It seems like poor advice unless there's both a direction to it and some sort of intersecting road or driveway. Still, I've kept the current page's intent in that recent edit, for now. --achadwick 13:36, 11 May 2012 (BST)

My Suggest is,

  • a mini_roundabout is to distribute the traffic, it has more than one incoming street.
  • a turning_circle has only one incoming street, and it's function is to makes it easier to get back where i am coming from.
But I think, to capture the form of the turning_circle, i suggest the turning_circle should be also a 'area' (highway=turning_circle;area=yes) and not only a residental-road or service-road (highway=residental;area=yes) --cptechnik - Peter Coenen - Windeck (talk) 14:08, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

On forest tracks

Resolved: Joshdoe 15:50, 14 May 2012 (BST)

Turning circles are often found on forest tracks, for the purpose of turning forestry vehicles/machines; they are found along tracks as well as at the end. Tongro 11:27, 12 May 2011 (BST)

Central island

Unresolved: Joshdoe 15:50, 14 May 2012 (BST)

User:NE2 made an edit saying turning circles do not necessarily have a central island, which I have reverted since I don't believe any loop of road with an island is a turning circle -- it's a loop of road. In the UK at least, a turning circle is a specific feature, not just any road feature that has a circular outside. I see no arguments against this position on this talk page, so if you disagree could you speak up, please? Jonathan Bennett 11:04, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

I tag loops of road as loops of road, as they aren't turning circles. Saying they are is a bit like saying we should tag roundabouts as turning circles, as you can turn around and they are circular. --EdLoach 11:11, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

See above: "What is the difference with a mini_roundabout?" There are definitely enough people using turning_circle when there is a central island. That includes myself - if it fits the definition were you to remove the island, and it's not mapped as a looping way, it's a turning_cicle node. --NE2 11:18, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

I see User:Pietje leugenaar making a suggestion two years ago, me answering it and no further discussion. I don't think that's a lack of consensus. Also "remove the island" is quite a significant change. A much longer vehicle can turn in a turning circle than a loop of the same diameter. Jonathan Bennett 11:50, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
I also see Panther37 (and now myself). So it's a question of whether you want to lie and say that the tag is only used for situation A when you know it's also used for situation B. --NE2 12:05, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
NE2 please do not acuse other mappers in this manner, it is not appropriate. I suggest you delete or amend your comment. blackadder 13:24, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Eh? I'm accusing the wiki of lying to data consumers. --NE2 19:12, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

A mini roundabout is just a painted mark, possibly a hump, but in any case with no kerbs. If the island has a kerb then it should be drawn as a roundabout so that the feature in the centre can be properly tagged. blackadder 11:44, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

This is definitely not how I've been using mini_roundabout or have seen it used in the U.S. It's generally used wherever the footprint lies within a normal intersection. (As for the feature in the center, even a mini_roundabout with no curb may have a surface=* that differs from the normal road surface.) --NE2 12:05, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Please have a look at wikipedia. Quote: "Mini-roundabouts can be a painted circle or a low dome but must be fully traversable." So the major difference between a roundabout and a mini-roundabout is the ability to drive straight through a mini-roundabout. --Imagic 12:16, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

My point of view: if there is widened area to facilitate easier turning of a vehicle I would tag it as:

  • an area with highway=residential/whatever and area=yes. So we know the exact dimension of the turning circle.
  • for easier, faster tagging one could use highway=turning_circle on a node as simplification, if and only if there is no island in the center.
  • if there is an island in the centre, the road should be drawn as is and no node with highway=turning_circle should be present.

--Imagic 12:03, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Where I map (Viera and Melbourne FL, USA), there are lots of dead end roads and 85% of them have some type of turning circle or miniature roundabout at the end. There's no way in hell I'm going to draw out all of the nodes. What's wrong with calling them turning circles and then adding another tag to signify that there's a barrier in the middle. OSM was designed for Europe and there are different roads in the US. Maybe a whole new tag should be introduced, but I'd like to just modify existing tags. --Panther37 12:24, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Well, of course everyone would prefer features to be mapped as the actually appear. If a feature is simplified for time then consider adding a fixme so that others can work on the feature some more at a later date. blackadder 13:24, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
fixme is a cop-out tag; things are simplified all of the time. highway=turning_circle and highway=passing_place could be both defined by area=yes. However they are not. They are simplified because they get the point across. Let's just vote on traffic_calming=island and then use it in both highway=turning_circle and highway=mini_roundabout. Wouldn't this solve our problem? --Panther37 06:53, 12 May 2012 (BST)

"Turning circle road"

Hi, I was wondering how to tag a road serving as turning loop, since turning circle and turning loop are used with nodes. My example is here --Massic80 (talk) 09:52, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

Just add oneway=yes to that looping segment and make sure it is going the correct direction. --Jaggedmind (talk) 21:33, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
Hi, thanks for your answer! I think that this solution wouldn't have the same semantic meaning: it would be just a "one way loop", like a roundabout with no exits. Yes, it's the same of a turning loop, but it isn't explicitly declared.
Moreover, in that specific case there is no road signal explicitly forcing the one-way constraint. --Massic80 (talk) 21:49, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Needed on area

There are many turning circles that are not round at all. And there are many turning circles, that have more than one highway attached, e.g. footways. This needs to be allowed and rendered correctly on areas, too.--Lulu-Ann (talk) 15:47, 19 December 2017 (UTC)

Hi, the definition on the tag page says it is a widened area of road and not always circular, so I think you can use it for other shapes than just circles.
I also don't think there is an issue with using a turning circle with a footway attached, or even in the middle of a highway if it is there for vehicles to turn.
Areas tagged with (for example) highway=residential are already rendered as a white area. GinaroZ (talk) 18:12, 19 December 2017 (UTC)

Width or diameter?

Which tag is preferred for micro-mapping the size of a turning circle: width=* or diameter=*? --T99 (talk) 00:34, 25 April 2019 (UTC)

I would prefer diameter because it is a circle. --EinKonstanzer (talk) 15:10, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

Turning Circle Variations

Hello everyone, Can these examples qualified to be a turning circle ?


See the page for turning loops. Tag:highway=turning loop That is what I would consider all of your examples. If it is already drawn as a circle, it would be redundant to actually add the tag to the ways. --Karsonkevin2 (talk) 12:40, 12 July 2021 (UTC)


Something is way off with the third bullet point of the "Diameter" section:

Is the turning circle is a kind of rectangular and not a circle you decide if it renderd different to default. If you enter a value then take the shortest width of the gemometrie.

Apart from the huge amount of errors, I don't feel like it is very explanatory and should probably be revised or deleted altogether.

--Schwukas (talk) 10:00, 12 July 2021 (UTC)

I interpret it as as something along the lines of "If the shape isn't perfectly circular, take the minimum diameter".--GoodClover (a.k.a. Olive, ) (talk) 20:59, 12 July 2021 (UTC)