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About Me
OSM Logo This user submits data to OpenStreetMap under the name
Gps-304419.svg Gorm uses a Garmin Legend HCx and might be willing to answer questions on it from OSM users.
JOSM Gorm submits data to OpenStreetMap using JOSM.
Firefox Gorm prefers Mozilla Firefox.
Babel user information
no-N Denne brukeren behersker norsk (bokmål)morsmålsnivå.
en-3 This user has advanced knowledge of English.
da-1 Denne bruger har grundlæggende kendskab til dansk.
sv-1 Den här användaren har grundläggande kunskaper i svenska.
Users by language

My name is Gorm and I live in Stavanger, Norway.

My bother User:Antwelm dragged me into this. Now there is no stopping me! Started off in in Potlatch removing lint. Moved quickly onto JOSM when I got my Garmin Legend HCx. I use the exellent service of to download a ready cooked .img map for Norway to put onto my Garmin.

My preferred mode of transport in the city is bike and for longer trips (rural areas) I'll be using my new KTM Duke motorbike.

Tools I like using

Proposed JOSM plugin: JOSM/Plugins/RoundaboutExpander

Some opinions of mine

The ref=* used in Norway

Main roads are Europavei, Riksvei and Fylkesvei in Norway. Common abbreviations is E6, Rv44 and Fv275 respectively. There is a ongoing discussion on what to put in the ref tags. Some wish to include a code for the official classification of the road in the ref-tag. Others want to have only the number as ref and otherwise indicate what kind of classification it is.

Including classification


Then there is the question of how to format the ref tag.

I believe that the best way to go, is to use the official xxx. In Norway, that is NVDB ( Its easy to strip away if you dont need it in your application.

For Europavei its 'EV 39'. This is an ongoing discussion in other countries that take part in the European road network.

Then we have 'RV X', 'FV XXX', 'KV XXXX' and 'PV XXXXX'.

Some prefer to use the is_in=* tag to indicate witch county it's in. A more elegant approach would be to deduce the county by the location.

Without classification

We then need to make certain the classification is otherwise indicated.

With highway tag

We could use the highway=* and peg the different classes to the usual values: Europavei and Riksvei = trunk, Fylkesvei with signs = primary and unsigned fylkesvei = secondary.

We then run into the problem of how to tag ferries and other part of the routes that does not have a highway tag at all. Also highway=motorways pose a problem as they must obviously still be motorway while at the same time may be any one of the official classes.

With a special tag

We could invent a new tag, class=* for example, that indicate the classification:

This makes for extra work and is quite superfluous when there is other good methods that can be used.

With a relation

This technique is already in use for some larger E-routes in Norway. A relation could replace the ref-tag completely. But as for any relation with many members, there is a danger that some inexperienced user might accidentally destroy the relation, it might be wise to keep the ref tag as "backup" for the relation.

highway=incline(_steep) is silly

Finally, they have been depreciated. I have spent quite some time to replace all occurrences of these tags on ways with highway=<whatever the connecting ways were> and incline=yes (or steep). Yes, I know this is not numerical, verifiable values, but then routing software and other users of this information could simply ignore it or use default values of, say, 6 and 12. As for direction we can assume nothing but direction of way is going upward.


There are still a few thousand nodes tagged with these tags.the tag should simply be replaced with incline=yes or incline=steep. There is no direction on nodes, so ways using the node could "inherit" the tag if there is only one node on that way with incline=*

My opinion these should also be plainly replaced with incline=yes|steep. I cannot there would be much impact. There cant be many "users" of this tag. The only ones that would have any real need for this information simply would not be able to use it as it is, and thus probably has not put in support for it. Only implementation I have seen till today is icons in JOSM and mapnik (or was that osmarender? The names istn't very descriptive).

using highway for anything but ways is silly


There is a long discussion on this. It boils down to the need for mappes to know if a street is complete or not. For that, I find it much better to use "fixme=*"


A very useful tag that is in much use today and quite self explanatory. The tag and value should be rendered on "lint-maps" etc that is used by mappers to find placess to go to. Some possible values:

  • yes: The object is probably very inaccurate in many aspects
  • no: Better remove the tag alltogether if you consider this value.
  • stub or continue: This way is mapped very short to indicate its presence. But in reality it may not have been explored by mappers at all.
  • name: Some temporary name or spelling is wrong and needs to be verified.
  • position: Way is mapped from memory, picture, satellite or extrapolated and needs gps tracking. Should be already be tagged correctly.
  • <any key or semicolon separated list of keys>: Those tags is probably inaccurate and needs verifying.


OSM is a spatial database and should be perfectly aware of what areas any tag is in. Editors should show (with graphics?) all areas any tag "is_in".

This if of course all dependant that we all become better at marking areas such as suburb, county, region, country etc. We should work harder to have official borders released to the public in those regions that don't have it yet. is a ticket for something similar.


I have not seen any good explanation for this tag. Absolutely useless. In most cases it is identical to the name tag and can simply be removed. Sometimes its by it self and can be renamed. If there is no place tag place=locality could be added.

Sometimes both the name and place_name tag is present with different values. I would, believe it or not, prefer to rename place_name to is_in in those cases.


are brilliant for many mapping aspects. We are not using them enough, editors isn't handling them good enough and rendrers isnt handling them good enough.

For example: Most longer routes, i.e trunk, motorway, primary and bike routes (no: Europavei, Riksvei) should have one relation for each them while the ways it consists of should have minimal tags (possibly just highway and name).