Th:WikiProject Thailand

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ประเทศไทย, เอเชีย

latitude: Help translate this into Thai!13.0, longitude: Help translate this into Thai!101.5
Browse map of ประเทศไทยHelp translate this into Thai! 13°00′00.00″ N, 101°30′00.00″ E
Edit mapHelp translate this into Thai!
External links:Help translate this into Thai!
Use this template for your city

ประเทศไทย is a ประเทศ in เอเชีย at latitude 13°00′00.00″ North, longitude 101°30′00.00″ East.Help translate this into Thai!


There are some users in Thailand, add your own username if you map in Thailand by adding the following category to your user page (you can add your town or city at the same time). [[Category:Users in Thailand|name]]

OSM community meeting in Chiang Mai, March 2011
Bangkok OSM community mapping party, April 2012

There is an internet forum (message board) and a Facebook group for people in Thailand where you can talk with others about all things regarding OpenStreetMap (OSM) and in particular about mapping in Thailand. In this forum you can write your posts either in Thai language or in English language. If you have any questions about OpenStreetMap in Thailand, feel free to ask there. Proposals for this page can be added on the WikiProject Thailand Drafts page and discussed in the forum.

A nice tool from geofabrik labs was used to generate an animated gif of Thailand. It shows the progress of OSM in Thailand. A big THANK YOU to the community for making that huge progress. Keep on the good work.


Territory based projects

  • Bangkok - Capital city and largest of Thailand's city by far -- many missing streets around the city
  • Phang Nga - Province in the South West. Some people interested in this area
  • Chiang Mai - Province in the North and the 2nd largest city of Thailand
  • Phuket - Island province to the South of Thailand -- many missing streets around the city

For a list of Nakhon (City), Mueang (Town) and Tambon (Subdistrict) see Wikipedia: List of cities in Thailand

โครงการอื่น ๆ

  • Remote Surveys - Project for collaborative surveys of cities in Thailand
  • /Protected areas — This subpage is for listing sources for and tracking the mapping progress of national parks and other protected areas.


The user-base in Thailand is growing therefore we need to start coordinating.

As OpenStreetMap is a wiki-like project, every user is basically free to choose whatever tags he likes. Over the time some key/value pairs had become standard in the way to tag things. These are documented in the wiki, a good starting point is the Map Features page.

For Thailand some specialties exist in how to tag things here. This page lists only the things that are handled special in Thailand.

When conventions are final they will appear on this page, if they are still under discussion they will be listed on the Talk page.

Multilingual names

The maps Mapnik and Osmarender at use name=* e.g. the local names for rendering. There are maps available where the language can be chosen:

  • Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam: Billingual, local (e.g. Thai) and English

Background according to Wikipedia:

  • "In linguistics, romanization or latinization, alternately spelt as latinisation or romanisation (see spelling differences), is the representation of a written word or spoken speech with the Roman (Latin) alphabet, or a system for doing so, where the original word or language uses a different writing system (or none). Methods of romanization include transliteration, for representing written text, and transcription, for representing the spoken word." Reference: wikipedia: Romanization.
  • "The Royal Thai General System of Transcription (RTGS) is the official system for rendering Thai language words in the Latin alphabet, published by The Royal Institute of Thailand. It is used in road signs and government publications, and is the closest thing to a standard of transcription for Thai, though its use by even the government is inconsistent." References: wikipedia: Royal Thai General System of Transcription and wikipedia: ISO 11940.

How to get the transcription of names:

  1. Collect it from signs when collecting data. Map users will compare to signs.
  2. Wikipedia, other sources on the internet or for names of administrative organisations Office of the Royal Society: Changwat, Amphoe, Tambon, Khet and Khweng Name. The Department of Local Administration: Local Administrative Organization's English Name
  3. Use the program for Windows Chulalongkorn University: Thai Romanization Program.
  4. Transcribe yourself according to wikipedia: Royal Thai General System of Transcription.

Tagging example:

name=ภูเก็ต. Local language Thai. Note: There's an ongoing discussion in regard to brand names
name:th=ภูเก็ต. Thai.
name:en=Phuket. "Romanization".

The renderer can create maps in one or two languages:

  • Thai only: e.g. ภูเก็ต
  • English only: e.g. Phuket
  • Bilingual: e.g. ภูเก็ต Phuket just by using the name and the name:en value.

People who can read Thai will prefer the names in Thai due to reasons discussed in wikipedia: Royal Thai General System of Transcription (RTGS). Other people will prefer the transcription of names in Roman characters. When using the map and comparing names to signs or when asking Thai people for help a bilingual map is convenient.

In cases where the Thai romanization is different from the English name, the RTGS transcription can be placed in the name:th-Latn=* tag. This might not be necessary, as theoretically it would be possible for the renderer to automatically generate such romanizations. However, the accuracy of such software is still quite limited, especially with proper names.

name:en=Phuket Province
name:th-Latn=Changwat Phuket

Highway classification

Thai highways are classified into 5 types:

  • Motorway (ทางหลวงพิเศษ) maintained by the Department of Highway (DOH)
  • National Highway (ทางหลวงแผ่นดิน) maintained by the Department of Highway (DOH)
  • Rural Road (ทางหลวงชนบท) maintained by the Department of Rural Roads (DRR)
  • Local Road (ทางหลวงท้องถิ่น) maintained by the local administrative organization
  • Concession highway (ทางหลวงสัมปทาน) maintained by the Department of Highway (DOH)

There are also roads maintained by other agencies, such as the Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT)'s expressway and the State Railway of Thailand's local road.

See articles on Wikipedia: Thai highway network (in English) or ทางหลวงในประเทศไทย (in Thai) for more information.


แท็ก OSM รายละเอียดและข้อเสนอแนะ ตัวอย่าง ภาพประกอบ
highway=motorway Thailand road sign Expressway.svg ทางด่วน รับผิดชอบโดยการทางพิเศษแห่งประเทศไทย highway=motorway
name:en=Si Rat Expressway
Thai Motorway-t7.svg มอเตอร์เวย์ ที่มีการควบคุมการเข้าถึง (1-2 หลัก ป้ายพื้นหลังสีน้ำเงิน) รับผิดชอบโดยกรมทางหลวง highway=motorway
name:en=Bangkok-Chon Buri Road
ทางแยกต่างระดับชลบุรี มุ่งหน้าพัทยา.jpg
highway=trunk Thai Motorway-f9.svg มอเตอร์เวย์ ที่ไม่มีการควบคุมการเข้าถึง (1-2 หลัก ป้ายพื้นหลังสีเขียว) รับผิดชอบโดยกรมทางหลวง highway=trunk
name:en=Kanchanaphisek Road

(West section)

Kanchanaphisek Road in Bang Yai, Nonthaburi.jpg
Thai Highway-2.svgThai Highway-22.svg ทางหลวงแผ่นดิน 1-2 หลักทั้งหมด ยกเว้นมีการระบุไว้เป็นกรณีพิเศษ (ดูหมายเหตุใต้ตาราง)

(Noted that a 1-2-digit national highway section that is shorter than 5km and is a hanging end shall be downgraded to eliminate the hanging end or to secondary.)

name:en=Mittraphap Road
Any road section* that is more than 90% dual-carriageway with a physical median and shoulder, and is more than 100km long. (Length counting can be extended to different road ref.) highway=trunk
name:en=Chayangkun Road

(Section from Nakhon Phanom to Ubon Ratchathani)

highway=primary Thai Highway-205.svg ทางหลวงแผ่นดิน 3 หลักทั้งหมด ยกเว้นมีการระบุไว้เป็นกรณีพิเศษ (ดูหมายเหตุใต้ตาราง)

(Noted that a 3-digit national highway that is shorter than 5km and is a hanging end shall be downgraded to eliminate the hanging end or to secondary.)

name:en=Suranarai Road
Road205 in Amphoe Thep Sathit.jpg
Any road section* that is more than 90% dual-carriageway, has a physical or painted median (wider than 1m, not just a double solid line) and shoulder, and is more than 25km long. (Length counting can be extended to different road ref.) highway=primary
name:en=Ubon-Trakan Road
highway=secondary Thai Highway-3215.svg ทางหลวงแผ่นดิน 4 หลักทั้งหมด ยกเว้นมีการระบุไว้เป็นกรณีพิเศษ (ดูหมายเหตุใต้ตาราง) highway=secondary
name:en=Bang Kruai-Sai Noi Road
ทางหลวง 3306, อำเภอเลาขวัญ, Jan2013.JPG
A rural road or local road that is of equal or greater importance (in terms of performance/width/number of traffic lights/total length) as nearby secondary roads. highway=secondary
name:en=Lat Bua Luang-Mai Tra Road
highway=tertiary Thai Rural Road-อท.5021.svg ทางหลวงชนบททั้งหมด (อักษรย่อจังหวัดและเลข 4 หลัก) ยกเว้นมีการระบุไว้เป็นกรณีพิเศษ (ดูหมายเหตุใต้ตาราง)

ทางหลวงชนบททั้งหมดควรจะถูกแท็กด้วย ref=pf.nnnn เมื่อ pf คืออักษรย่อจังหวัดที่เป็นตัวอักษรภาษาไทย ตามด้วยจุด และตามด้วยส่วนที่เป็นเลขอ้างอิง ไม่ควรมีช่องว่างในค่าของแท็ก ref

A local road that is of equal or greater importance (in terms of performance/width/number of traffic lights/total length) as nearby tertiary roads. (Usually a major registered local road.) highway=tertiary
name:en=Thung Klom-Tan Man Road
highway=unclassified Thai Local Road-ฉช.ถ 8-0005.svg ทางสาธารณะลำดับต่ำที่สุดที่รถยนต์สามารถใช้ได้ (ส่วนใหญ่เป็นทางหลวงท้องถิ่น รหัสจังหวัดตามด้วย "ถ" และเลขห้าหลัก หรือทางขององค์กรอื่น ๆ)

Typically unclassified roads in Thailand are the roads having no designated number. Unclassified roads have lower importance in the road network than tertiary roads, and are not residential streets or agricultural tracks.

Local roads should be tagged with ref=pf.ถnn-nnn with a hyphen at the correct position. There should be no spaces in the ref tag value.



แท็ก OSM รายละเอียดและข้อเสนอแนะ ภาพประกอบ
highway=motorway Expressway (ทางพิเศษ) with full access control.
highway=trunk Not to use.
highway=primary Top-level urban road across the city connecting trunk to trunk, or road of equal or greater importance than the primary intercity highway that runs through that city.
highway=secondary Main urban road connecting primary to primary or higher, or road of equal or greater importance than the secondary intercity highway that runs through that city.
highway=tertiary Roads that are more important than regular unclassified or residential roads, or roads that connect several unclassified or residential roads.
highway=unclassified The lowest rank of public road accessible to motor car for through traffic or outside of a residential area. Also used for the main throughfare in an industrial estate or a university campus.
highway=residential The lowest rank of public road accessible by motor car in a residential area, often lined with a residential property, and rarely used for through traffic. At least a motor car can easily pass. Also used for roads within a gated housing estate.
highway=service A road used to access to an estate, parking, or a specific part of large private area such as an industrial estate or university campus.
highway=service + service=driveway A service road leading to a specific building, residence, property or place of business.

For example, each house's private road that branches off the residential road.

highway=service + service=alley A narrow service road usually located between the rear sides of buildings to provide access to utilities such as back gardens, rear entrances, fire exits, and storage areas.

These tags should not be used for narrow residential roads that provide access to the front entrances of buildings.

highway=track Roads for mostly agricultural or forestry uses. This tag should not be used on unpaved roads that provide access to permanent human settlements or facilities.
highway=living_street Not to use. There is currently no legislation in Thailand granting lower speed limit and pedestrians the right of way over other road users in residential areas.
Others See highway=*


แท็ก OSM รายละเอียดและข้อเสนอแนะ ภาพประกอบ
highway=path+ motorcycle=yes


highway=path+ motorcycle=designated (if signposted)

Narrow way which a motorcar can't pass. Motorcycles are permitted or commonly used by locals.
highway=footway Minor pathways that are used mainly or exclusively by pedestrians.

For example, designated footpaths in urban and attraction areas, mountain trails that are only suitable for walking.

Others See highway=*
  • If two nearby roads with the same or nearby origin and end have different ranks, and the road with the lower rank has better performance (travels faster between those two points) than the road with the higher rank, their ranks shall be swapped (not just downgrade or upgrade one of them). This is usually the case with bypass roads.
  • A national highway or a rural road that passes through a city is frequently transferred to the Local Administrative Organization. These highways shall still be tagged according to their previous administrative classification.
  • Hanging ends should be avoid if possible. For example, if two primary roads from outside arrive at opposite points in the same city, both ends shall be connected by upgrading the urban road between them to primary, even if it is not qualified in most cases.
  • Frontage roads shall be one rank lower than main roads and not higher than secondary.
  • The road section that has been rebuilt as a new route and the previous route ref have not yet been changed, hence the old route shall be downgraded 1 step.
  • The top-level urban roads in each settlement shall not be tagged higher than any intercity roads that lead to that settlement.
  • Concession highway (ทางหลวงสัมปทาน) is an administrative classification. Classification should follow the road's importance.
  • Highway tag values that are not mentioned here shall adhere to OpenStreetMap's general guidelines.
  • "Section" refers to the road distance between any (1) other same or higher rank road, (2) national border, (3) city/town, (4) start/end of the road ref., and any other (1) (2) (3) or (4). (doesn't have to be the nearest one)

Rough guidelines for minor highway tag decision-making (useful in most cases)

  • is the road wide enough for motor cars?
    • yes: is the road exclusively for pedestrians?
      • yes: highway=pedestrian
      • no: is the road within a private property/estate/facility?
        • yes: is the road within a gated housing community?
        • no: is the road frequently used as through traffic or to reach a non-residential/farming destination (attraction, hotel, temple...) ?
          • yes: highway=unclassified
          • no: is the main purpose of the road access to forestry/agricultural fields?
            • yes: highway=track
            • no: is the main purpose of the road access to permanent residences?
              • yes: highway=residential
              • no: best to not map it you are not sure of its classification. If you are forced to tag the road even without knowing the proper classification, mark it as highway=road.
    • no: is the path only suitable for walking (e.g. sidewalk, golf course footpath, attraction walkway, hiking trails…) ?


The first digit of national highway and motorway route numbers follows the region of Thailand the route primary links to: 1 and 5 for the North, 2 and 6 for the Northeast, 3 and 7 for the central region, 4 and 8 for the South, and 9 for the Bangkok ring road. (The motorway system currently only consists of routes 7 and 9, so route numbers beginning 5, 6 and 8 don't yet exist.) (See also the Thai highway network article on Wikipedia.)

Rural road numbers consist of a two-letter province abbreviation followed by four digits. The first digit indicates the level of highway the road connects to, while the remaining three digits are provincial index numbers. Therefore the first digit may be changed following changes to the connecting highway, while the last tree digits generally remain the same. The numbering system for the first digit is: 1 indicates a connection to 1-digit national highways, and likewise for 2, 3 and 4; 5 indicates a connection to other rural roads or local highways, and 6 indicates the road connects to places without forming part of a larger network.

Occasionally one may come across roads bearing reference numbers that include two-letter province abbreviations, but don't otherwise conform to the rural road numbering system or aren't found in the Department of Rural Road's index (see #Official sources below). These are usually outdated reference numbers belonging to the Public Works Department or the Office of Accelerated Rural Development, which were responsible for the roads before they were transferred to Department of Rural Roads in 2002. These outdated numbers may be qualified by the words โยธาธิการ (ยธ.) or เร่งรัดพัฒนาชนบท (รพช.), respectively.


Map Features #Highway
Highway tag usage
Tagging samples/out of town
Tagging samples/urban
Asia/Asian Highway Network


ใช้ amenity=fuel ในการแท็กสถานที่ ใส่ชื่อลงใน name=*, name:en=*, name:th=* ตามด้วย operator=*, operator:en=*, operator:th=*. ตัวอย่างสถานีบริการน้ำมันที่พบบ่อยได้แก่

ประเภทของเชื้อเพลิงสามารถแท็กได้ตามนี้ Tag:amenity=fuel


Besides the tags listed in Map Features the following tagging is common in Thailand. Try adding width=* to specify the width of the waterway.

Tag Element Natural waterways Photo
waterway=riverbank area Used for larger rivers (more than 12m wide), to define an area between the opposite riverbanks.
Chao Phraya - Horizons.JPG
waterway=river way Larger river, แม่น้ำ (Mae Nam). Typically wider than 5m. If the waterway is smaller than you should consider using waterway=stream instead.
Khek River in Wang Thong.jpg
waterway=stream way Naturally formed waterway. Typically smaller than 2m, but can be used up to 5m (e.g. if the water is not deep and people can walk through it).
Tag Element Man-made waterways Photo
waterway=canal way If the name of the waterway contains the word "Khlong" (Thai: คลอง) or if it looks like a typical canal or khlong we should tag it as "canal". Add boat=* where appropriate.
waterway=ditch way If the waterway is significant smaller than a typical canal (less than ), chances are good that it is a "ditch".
Klong Isaan.jpg
waterway=drain way If it is made out of concrete (คอนกรีต) or build from other hard materials, it is maybe a "drain". A drain does not nessessarily contain water all the time. In dry seasons it could be dry and only be filled while it is raining! If the width exceeds and the drain does contain water most of the time consider using waterway=canal instead.
Iron Cove Ck looking downstream from John St, Croydon.jpg

Administrative levels

In Thailand there are 2 systems, the provincial and the local administration. References: wikipedia: Administrative divisions of Thailand and Thailand subforum.

The provincial administration is hierarchical and centrally controlled by Department of Provincial Administration and Ministry of Interior:

Kingdom of Thailand > province > district > subdistrict > village
Ratcha-anachak Thai > changwat > amphoe > tambon > muban
ราชอาณาจักรไทย > จังหวัด > อำเภอ > ตำบล > หมู่บ้าน).

The local administration is administrated locally under the support of Department of Local Administration:

  • provincial administrative organization (PAO), องค์การบริหารส่วนจังหวัด (อบจ.): same boundary as province.
  • municipality (thetsaban, เทศบาล) has 3 classes:
    1. city municipality (thetsaban nakhon, เทศบาลนคร (ทน.))
    2. town municipality (thetsaban mueang, เทศบาลเมือง (ทม.))
    3. subdistrict municipality (thetsaban tambon, เทศบาลตำบล (ทต.)).
A municipality can cover
  • subdistrict administrative organization (SAO), องค์การบริหารส่วนตำบล (อบต.)
can cover one or more adjoining subdistricts in the same district, also subdistricts partially if area shared with a municipality.
  • community (chumchon, ชุมชน)
is administrated by a municipality and can be the same size or smaller than a prior village.

References: wikipedia: Thesaban and wikipedia: List of cities in Thailand.

There are two special cases:

  • Bangkok
is divided into districts (khet, เขต) which are further subdivided into subdistricts (khwaeng, แขวง) and communities (chumchon, ชุมชน).
is a local administrative organization with no provincial administration. Local administrative organization are responsible for all provincial responsibilities.
  • Pattaya City
located in Amphoe Bang Lamung. Equivalent to the city municipality. The difference is minor, and it only affects a small portion of the administrative organization.

The table shows the values for Key:admin_level and for Key:place. Municipality extends in parallel to subdistrict and may be more or less than one subdistrict. 11 administrative levels are used. The table lists the terms for the administrative units in English, Romanized Thai and Thai.

Country Administration Administrative levels admin_level=* and place=*
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
English / Romanized Thai / ไทย
Provincial Administration / Kan Pokkhrong Suan Phumiphak / การปกครองส่วนภูมิภาค N/A Kingdom of Thailand / Ratcha-anachak Thai / ราชอาณาจักรไทย N/A Province / Changwat / จังหวัด place=province N/A District / Amphoe / อำเภอ place=district N/A Subdistrict / Tambon / ตำบล N/A Village / Muban / หมู่บ้าน place=village N/A
Local Administration / Kan Pokkhrong Suan Thongthin / การปกครองส่วนท้องถิ่น (not to be tagged) N/A Subdistrict Administrative Organization (SAO) / Ongkan Borihan Suan Tambon (O Bo To) / องค์การบริหารส่วนตำบล (อบต.) place=county N/A
(see note) Khwaeng / Khwaeng / แขวง place=suburb (see note) Community / Chumchon / ชุมชน place=neighbourhood
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration / Krung Thep Maha Nakhon / กรุงเทพมหานคร Bangkok / Krung Thep Maha Nakhon / กรุงเทพมหานคร place=city District / Khet / เขต place=suburb N/A Subdistrict / Khwaeng / แขวง place=quarter N/A
  • The place=* should only be used on nodes. It can be linked to the equivalent boundary=administrative by adding it to the boundary's relation with the role=label.
  • Please note that most new municipalities, that have recently been upgraded from the SAO, are still in rural areas and should not be tagged as place=city or place=town. If communities have yet to be established, implying that the villages are still fully functional, the municipality should be tagged as place=municipality instead, while the villages should still be tagged as place=village. If communities have already been established, then change the municipality to place=city or place=town, and change the place=village to recently established communities' place=neighbourhood.
  • place=neighbourhood can be applied to any urban area with a name, whether it is an officially recognized community or not.
  • All boundary=administrative name tags should have a prefix (Thai) or suffix (English), but not all place=*. Only the node of provincial administration (place=province, place=district, and place=village) should be prefixed or suffixed. However, some place=neighbourhood should be tagged with prefix or suffix (ชุมชน / Community) if they used the name of a specific place, such as the temple, as the community's name, to differentiate them.
  • The level-10 boundary=administrative's name tag should be หมู่ที่ xx / Mu xx, whereas place=village's name tag should be บ้าน xx / Ban xx.
  • People should be able to recognize the name tag of place=city and place=town. If no one uses the official name, such as the community or the business's branch, the more common name should be used instead.
  • The level-10 boundary=administrative should not be removed as soon as the communities are established, because it may still be used for house addresses. Before removing it, ensure that the house address has already been changed to use a street instead.
  • In some subdistrict, there may be more than one village with the same name because they are split for administrative purposes. In this case, they should be represented by a single place=village node.
  • Because of the small population in some remote areas, some distinct settlements may exist that are not recognized by the authorities (they are recognized as a part of nearby village). In this case, place=hamlet is appropriate.


In Thailand addresses general consist of

Term Example Tag Photo
English Romanized Thai Thai English Romanized Thai Thai addr=*
housenumber Lekthi Ban เลขที่บ้าน 85/1 85/1 85/1 addr:housenumber=* Addr hamlet subdistrict district province.jpg
street Thanon / Soi / Trok ถนน / ซอย / ตรอก Tiwanon Road Thanon Tiwanon ถนนติวานนท์ addr:street=* *
village Muban (Mu Thi) หมู่บ้าน (หมู่ที่) Mu 2 Mu Thi 2 หมู่ที่ 2 addr:place=* *
subdistrict Tambon ตำบล Bang Talat Subdistrict Tambon Bang Talat ตำบลบางตลาด addr:subdistrict=*
district Amphoe อำเภอ Pak Kret District Amphoe Pak Kret อำเภอปากเกร็ด addr:district=*
province Changwat จังหวัด Nonthaburi Province Changwat Nonthaburi จังหวัดนนทบุรี addr:province=*
postal code Rahat Praisani รหัสไปรษณีย์ 11120 11120 11120 addr:postcode=*

It should be noted that depending on the area, either addr:place=* or addr:street=* is used, and both should not be used together.



In addition to a survey with GPS one may also use some aerial images if available with a suitable license.

Landsat provides low-resolution satellite imagery of the whole country and is available with different image modes.

While Bing aerial imagery is available in many parts of the world and is the default layer in ID editor, it can be very outdated in rural areas of Thailand (often +5 years).

A recommended alternative with more recent imagery is Maxar and ESRI.

Official sources

Legislation and other official proclamations by the Royal Thai Government are exempt from copyright protection. Maps accompanying documents published in the Royal Thai Government Gazette (available at ) may be useful as sources for manual tracing (e.g. of national parks).

GIS data is available from several government agencies, but are presumed to be protected by copyright and unsuitable for import.

The Department of Highways provides a publicly accessible database of national highways at As above, the data is considered unsuitable for systematic import, but is useful as a source for confirmation of data and quality assurance.

The Department of Rural Roads publishes indices of rural highways at They include route numbers and names (which typically describe the route's start and end points), location, length, and start and end coordinates (although the coordinates appear quite unreliable).

The local highway registry is available at


การแท็กสำหรับจักรยาน (ปัจจุบันใช้สำหรับเชียงใหม่เท่านั้น)

There are many cyclists in Chiang Mai, but almost no officially signposted cycleways or -routes exist. There have recently been some efforts from the Chiang Mai cycling community to collect information about common routes used by cyclists. For this, we tried to figure out how to use OSM conventions to mark roads as cycling routes. This could be a proposal for a convention to establish cycling routes in Chiang Mai and maybe other regions in Thailand.

Objective tags

The following tags should always be considered, because they can be easily verified on the ground and are also used by most cycling routing engines:

  • key:highway: the lower the road class, the lesser traffic and lower speeds can be expected, e.g. highway=unclassified or residential would be more suitable for cycling than highway=primary or secondary etc.
  • key:lanes: lanes=1 normally best suited for cycling, because less traffic can be assumed than on roads with >1 lane
  • key:surface: if the road is paved or not makes a big difference for cycling and should therefore be included in cycling related editing


  • key:maxspeed: rarely signposted in Thailand
  • key:bicycle: only refers to the legal (e.g. signposted) access for bicycles on roads. It is therefore not a measure for the suitability for cycling

Subjective tags (no ground truthing possible)

Subjective tags can help to give more in-depth information about the cycling suitability of a road, which cannot be determined by the objective tags alone. They should only be used if the user has a good local knowledge.

  • class:bicycle tags (derived from class:bicycle#Values):
    • class:bicycle=1: Prefer (decent car traffic, but still better than other roads, or road is not in a good condition like dirt road with holes)
    • class:bicycle=2: Very Nice way to cycle
    • class:bicycle=3: This way is so nice, it pays out to make a detour also if this means taking many unsuitable ways to get here. Outstanding for its intended usage class.
    • class:bicycle=-2: Only use to reach your destination, not well suited (e.g. big junctions, but have to be passed to connect to another calmer road).
  • key:scenic: If the scenery of a specific part of the road is remarkably beautiful, this key can help to rank the amenity of a cycling-suitable road.

Proposing routes: key:lcn

In order to propose possible cycling routes (local and regional) for a cycle-route network, the key:lcn or key:rcn tags can be helpful. Furthermore, the cycling roads will also be rendered on the OSM-cyclemap[1], which is also being used on the main "Cycle Map" layer.

  • key:lcn=proposed (for local routes, e.g. inside the city bounds)
  • key:rcn=proposed (for regional routes, e.g. to other districts/provinces)

The key-value would be 'proposed' for now, since these routes are not officially designated. Routes should only be proposed if they have been tested on the ground and/or been agreed on by the local cycling community.

If there are any designated routes (not existing in Chiang Mai yet), of course they should be tagged as lcn=yes / rcn=yes.