West Virginia

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West Virginia, United States, North America

latitude: 38.5, longitude: -80.5
Browse map of West Virginia 38°30′00.00″ N, 80°30′00.00″ W
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West Virginia
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West Virginia is a state in United States, North America at latitude 38°30′00.00″ North, longitude 80°30′00.00″ West.

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Getting started

Publicly available resources useful for mapping in West Virginia:

For getting help it is adviced to check out#local-west-virginia in OSMUS Slack.

Current projects

  • Raleigh County mainly and its surroundings [by User:Ottwiz and RoccoAWD].
  • Kanawha County since it has kind of a recent Bing (Summer 2018) ~10 cm orthoimagery as the tile infos say there in JOSM (you can check it of course). of course you can compare it with NAIP, but it's recommended to go with the Bing in this case. Mapping natural features and buildings, since this imagery is very crisp. Check alignment to NAIP of course. (Mapbox has also a crisp imagery there but that doesn't cover the county much, just only Charleston and its area in a 5-10 miles of radius)
  • Northern Panhandle (Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall counties) by User:Ottwiz (but anyone can help) [will do an OSMUS Tasking Manager project once, but only for Hancock, Brooke, Ohio counties in one, because Marshall county landcover mapping is done)
  • Gilmer County (Sterling) – somewhat thorough mapping. (TIGER alignment is an offline WIP; please don’t bother that for now.)
  • Named Trails in West Virginia
  • [You can add your project that you are working on in West Virginia.]

Road tagging guidelines

For all intents and purposes, WVDOT has assigned different road types to all roads in West Virginia.

When contributing to map area in WV, please ensure to follow "road surface type" and "highway sign systems" rigorously. Other map features, like stream and forest, should be followed as well along with data from USDA or USGS.

A general road tagging guideline can be found under United States roads tagging. Read carefully before touching any elements!

Interstate Highways

I-79 (WV).svg
Main article: Interstate Highway relations

Interstate highways should be tagged as highway=motorway and ref=I num (without a hyphen). Interstate ramps onto or from a motorway should be tagged as highway=motorway_link; destination=* tags should be added according to signage.

US Highways

US 50.svg
Main article: United States roads tagging § U.S. Highways

Most US highways in West Virginia will be tagged highway=primary, though this is not a hard and fast rule; some non-motorway divided highways (such as US 50 between Parkersburg and Clarksburg) are more appropriately tagged as highway=trunk. Controlled-access highways occasionally exist near (relatively) major cities, and should be tagged in the same fashion as an Interstate Highway. Tag all US highways as ref=US num.

State Routes


Most state highways in West Virginia can be either tagged highway=primary or highway=secondary, depending on the usage; occasional exceptions do exist, such as highway=trunk. Tag all state routes with ref=WV num.

Do note that the WV Department of Transportation uses the term “trunk” in a different way than OSM does. For example, WV 5 between Glenville and I-79 is considered a trunk road by the WVDOT, but would only be considered highway=primary by OSM standards as it is (relatively) low-volume.

County Routes

Circle sign 220-7.svg

Most county highways—technically secondary state highways as they are managed by the WVDOT—are most often tagged as highway=residential, highway=tertiary or highway=unclassified. Tag all county routes with either ref=CR num for “whole number” routes, or ref=CR numerator/denominator for “fractional” (spur) routes (e.g. ref=CR 220/7 for the sign displayed on the right).

Do NOT tag county highways as highway=track; instead, use highway=unclassified, and some combination of surface=*, smoothness=* and/or tracktype=*.

Please refer to "TIGER Roads 20xx" map overlay (like the 2019 edition) to route numbers, or from the mid-late 2000s TIGER import, because it may happen that the road number doesn't exist in the map overlay.

Home Access Road Program (HARP)

Street Sign For a Home Access Road.png

HARP roads are almost always highway=residential. Tag all HARP roads with either ref=HARP num for “whole number” routes, or ref=HARP numerator/denominator for “fractional” routes, similar to the county route scheme.

Delta Roads

Delta roads are entirely defunct despite the rare sightings of remaining signage. They were represented with a trianglular shield. Do not tag delta roads except as old_ref=*.

Miscellaneous map features

Please follow OSM Good practices, especially avoid introducing features by embracing wrong elements. Also be aware of aerial imagery, ESRI (Clarity) could be dated[1] comparing with ESRI. WV has Best Leaf-off (Mixed Resolution) Service hosted at West Virginia GIS Technical Center for public use, it is recommended to use it for relevant area with dense tree population. Maxar has recent imagery of 0-2 years in some areas, but it may happen that it is not updated all over the place, so it may happen that there are some image tiles with an age around 5+ years. It is recommended to use multiple imageries at once (Maxar, NAIP, Esri, Bing), and compare them.

See also

Surrounding states

Other map sources


  1. dated means here ~5+ years of age, as near Moundsville, WV there existed a power plant in Ohio "R.E. Burger Power plant" (OSM reference to it) which was demolished in 2015(see the Wikipedia article on it), but the imagery still has the towers.