Adding multi-branched road

In my area there are a lot of roads that have multiple branches (all with the same name). I have also noticed that these roads have been created in two different ways.

The first way is that each branch is done separately (but linked to the main ‘trunk’). In this way, when you click on any branch, only that branch highlights for editing.

The second way is in the fashion of “pen not leaving the paper” (if you see what I mean). In this way the whole of the road (whole tree) will highlight for editing.

Which brings me to my question. Which is the preferred/recommended method of creating these multi-branched roads with a single road name.

First, consider ways in OSM not equal to ways in real life. A way in OSM is a line with two or more nodes having the same properties (tags), this line may be closed (area). You second option is therefore not possible in OSM as they must form a continuous line.

A multi branched road can be mapped in any way, taking into account the limitations as described above. There is no preferred method within those limitations. For example, in the Netherlands, as a result of the AND import each section of road between two junctions has it’s own way (perhaps more if properties change somewhere along the way). But you may choose to draw the main (as you say ‘trunk’) road as one way and each stub as a separate way.

If I understand correctly using the second method for the branches there must be two sections of the way on top of each other. This I would find confusing if I was trying to amend it later - say for example I want to split one branch off the main one to add the tag noexit=yes to the branch. Rather than being a way, it would effectively be a closed loop (or more than one if multiple nodes are shared). Very confusing, and quite complex to rectify. I’d probably end up deleting the loop and redrawing the way as the quickest method.

I always use the first way. You can still put the name tag on each section of the road. I think at least some of the renderers are then trying to be intelligent enough not to put copies of the name all over the place where there are lots of adjoining sections with the same name.


Thank you for the prompt replies, they are very helpful.

I will make the changes as recommended above (IE to do each branch as a separate way).

Many Thanks

Small note about editing lots of similar ways:

If you use potlatch you can just press “r” to repeat the last tagging you made, this is very handy when you want to create a road with lots of branches…

JOSM has something similar, you copy tags from one way with ctrl-alt-c, then paste them with ctrl-alt-v. (Too cumbersome for me)… :slight_smile:

Alternatively: select all nodes/ways and add the tag in one go, but there are more complex ways to do this :wink:

Alternatively again: In Josm I commonly find myself combining ways and re splitting, just to transfer the tags. With the keyboard shot cuts it’s pretty quick; defiantly a lot quicker than any retyping, possibly quicker than copy and pasting also, since that’s just shortcuts. I’ll have to try that though (new version?)

Yes, that’s why I want it too. ctrl-alt-c is too slow. The potlatch shortcut is very nice, since you never have to copy anything (this makes it flakey as well)… :slight_smile:

This is probably dreadfully simple, but - I have come across a road here tagged Østergade. But that name actually applies to a very small section of this road.
How do I split this road? I have a question about joining two roads not too far from this location - how do I go about that?

Splitting works almost identical in both editors: select the node where you want to split the road (or add a node there). Then in Potlatch, click the scissors symbol. In JOSM press ‘p’ or click ‘tools → split way’.

Joining: In JOSM, select the two ways and press ‘j’ or click ‘tools->join ways’. In Potlatch, I don’t know…

In Potlatch:
Splitting: press ‘x’ or the scissors.
Joiing: click on one way, then shift click on the other.

PS. sorry for hijacking this thread… :slight_smile: DS.