Bannered routes in US

I was having a discussion with someone earlier today and was curious where to go to suggest standard practices for bannered routes like I XX Business, US XX Loop, etc. since from what we read standard is the spell out the whole name of the type (spur, loop, alternate, connector, etc… ) but that ends up causing it to not render on a number of map displays due to length which makes reading some information harder.

We wondered where to discuss either to request standard change to have accepted standard abbreviations to use to deal with this, and/or to see if length of reference tags extended to allow them to render. I think the person i discussed this with will pop in here to explain more in depth.

Contact the people providing the end user rendered maps and suggest algorithms they could use to truncate the name, as this is a problem with a renderer, not with the map. They will probably need to add heuristics to their implementations which will recognized these cases when their appear on appropriate US roads.

Also note that none of the renderings are intended for the sort of end user that would consume this information.

My impression was that the belt routes around Pittsburgh (“Orange Belt”) etc did show up on the shields, but I can only see a single “Blue Belt” shield now.

Probably the best way to deal with this is to raise an issue on github for the Carto-CSS style, or even better create a pull request. I think a reasonable way to do it would be to contract the terms in the pre-processing LUA step.

Why not tagging elements with keys short_name or name:abbreviation?

Who do we contact to force the OSM renderings to include the full Business, Alternate, and other bannered routes? imperialmog and I brought this topic up is because some people put “Bus.” or “Alt.” for rendering purposes. I want a solution to where “Business” and other bannered routes can render onto OSM without issue. If the people in charge of rendering the map cannot resolve this, then a temporary/permanent solution would be to shorten the bannered routes with abbreviations.

Nobody. There is no contract with you to provide that service, and the map rendering provide OSM itself is not intended for your usage.

If you want a map that does this, either find an existing map renderer that is intended for your audience and make a business case to its maintainers, or implement your own rendering system to produce the map that you want.

Do not abbreviate names in the OSM database to make the standard rendering achieve your aims. That violates one of the basic rules on names in OSM.

You misinterpret what I said. First, I asked who do I contact, not contract. Second, I want the OSM rendering to include the entire ref tag instead of not rendering when the ref tag is over the character limit. For example, if the ref tag has “US 36 Business;US 61 Business”, then OSM will not render the shield. If the ref tag has “I 670;I 70 Alternate”, OSM will not render the shield. OSM only has an 8 or 10 character limit per line for rendering the ref tag. I want the OSM creator/renderer to actually render highway banners such as “US 36 Business” or “I 70 Alternate” or “US 63 Connector”, etc. I seen people abbreviate the banner (example ref “I 29 Bus” instead of “I 29 Business”) because the current OSM rendering would not render things like “I 29 Business” due to the character limit. I want to request the OSM creators to extend the character limit.

Please try to look at some tickets which are already there:

Probably this one could be related (just guessing, roads are very complex in osm-carto):

Thank you for your response. Are the links the place to persuade the OSM/Mapnik maintainers to solve the issue of non-rendered bannered routes?

Several people have experimented with rendering all the US-Style shields from relations - here’s one such view for Columbus.

Kansas City:

** Note: there is no tile cache, and scrolling the map to a new location may be VERY slow.

I have no idea what it would take to implement in the default OSM map for the US, but many have wished for it. It’s not a simple task.

See this ticket also -

You said “force” and the only way you could do that is if the renderer developer had obligations to you under a contract.

Just to clarify things a bit just in case:

  • OSM is a community with different sub-projects and there’s no hard links between them
  • tagging is one thing (and we have one common database collecting all the objects with their tags), but rendering is independent activity, there are many different maps using this database
  • what you see on the main by default is a map using “osm-carto” style (Mapnik is just an engine used for many map styles)
  • I’m one of developers of osm-carto and we develop it independently of the website/server team, we also have freedom in how do we want to treat tags

“Persuade” is not the right word probably, because it’s not lack of good will, but rather lack of good proposition how to do it in practice, but yes, this is a place where decisions are made how the default map style looks like. #1513 might be a good start.

kocio, there is no one in the internet able and/or willing to render bannered routes. I know Phil Gold renders those bannered routes based on route relations, but his map is outdated. Mapbox only renders Business, Alternate, Truck, and Bypass bannered routes for Interstates and U.S. Highways but not for state highways and other bannered routes.

The purpose of me bringing this up is because:
1.) I (and perhaps others in the OSM community) need a quality assurance tool based on rendering that I am tagging the refs properly.
2.) Services that uses and renders OSM does not meet expectation for rendering bannered routes.

I do not run or own a business which means I do not negotiate contracts. You still misinterpret what I said so my point stands.

In that case I’d suggest having a go at solving the problem yourself. That’ll help in a couple of different ways - it’ll help you understand the technical reasons why existing OSM based maps don’t show the routes that you want them to, and it’ll help you explain to people such as the developers of the OSM Carto style what they can do within that style to address some of those issues.

As an aside, it’s worth mentioning that US-style “business” routes (such as Business 80 in Sacramento - that’s one I’m familiar with) don’t have an obvious equivalent in many other countries. Firstly, US routes are expressed as relations in OSM rather than on the way itself (they have to be, because two routes can run over the same physical piece of road). Secondly “Business 80” is a very long reference and even if highway shields are created from relations there needs to be some work to fit in on a shield.

The good news is that it’s possible to do quite a lot of processing of data up-front as it’s read into the database that’s used for rendering, and I’d suggest exploring that route as a way to get things to display the way that you want. That’s what I did when I wanted to show a similar concept (long distance walking routes) on a map similar to the current OSM Carto style.

What you’ll need to do first though is to set up a local copy of the map style and have it creating map tiles in a style such as the current OSM Carto style. Once you’ve done that you’ll be able to start tinkering with it to get it to do what you want. There are lots of links from the “front page” of the map style . The “Docker” instructions in there might be helpful; I’d also suggest reading which is designed as “soup to nuts” installation instructions for a tile server and the tutorials at .

Nope, you missed the point hadw was making.

The developers do what they do in the way that they do it because they feel like doing it that way. You don’t have a contract with them so you don’t get to insist that they do it a different way. You can’t force them to implement your suggestions because they’re not your employees, or your agents, or have any contract with you. What you may be able to do is persuade them that your suggestion is sensible and useful to enough people that it’s worth them implementing it for free, in their own time.

OK, I think hadw also misinterpreted what you wrote (as did I the first couple of times I read it). When you said “force” you meant something like “which switches or options do I use to make OSM render things in this style?” But such options aren’t (currently) there. So the only way you’ll get them is to persuade the developers that it’s a good idea. However, the rest of the post where you mentioned “force” implied strongly that the developers ought to immediately bow to your demands as though you were reporting a bug (“resolve this”) when what you actually need to do is either persuade them it’s a good idea useful to many people or to ask them very nicely. Or you could implement it yourself.

SomeoneElse, that looks very complex, but I’ll give it a shot once my college semester is over.

Brian de Ford, I said “to force the OSM renderings” to display the bannered routes. I never said to force the content creators or whoever is in charge of the rendering to do what I request. Your second paragraph almost had it right. The statement “to force the OSM renderings to include…bannered routes” means I want the person in charge of the rendering to force the computer to render the bannered routes by raising the character limit. I’m sorry if I made this too complicated for all the readers to understand what I am saying. hadw still misinterpret/misread what I said because hadw based it off of one word instead of the entire question.

Also, if the bannered routes issue has been brought up in the past, why has it not been resolved today?

Because it is complicated:

"Resolving this issue would require multiple steps and would certainly be a long-term effort. "

[ ]

You can however start with this old prototype:

First things first - creating a rendering that works in the US only is a lot easier than one that works worldwide (where route relations aren’t in use, or if they are, are sometimes flights of fancy by mappers).

However, as I understand it there are two different issues here - bannered routes (in terms of what I’m familiar with, visually distinguishing Business 80 from I80 in a reference somehow) and US-style pictorial shields (issue #508, linked above).

Solving both problems will likely be easiest with special lua preprocessing, but of the two displaying bannered route refs is by far the easiest, since there are just two bits to it - (1) processing a bit of text so that “I80 Business” or similar is munged down to something that will fit in a ref tag and (2) ensuring that if we’re displaying only routes from relations and not from ways (which is easy if we’re only interested in the US and harder but still doable elsewhere).

Pictorial shields potentially needs more information (which state we’re currently in) and I suspect the tagging variation is wider than for the bannered routes being discussed here. It’s not an impossible problem to solve but it’s more difficult than “just” the bannered routes being talked about here.

What both problems really need is someone to be frustrated enough about the display of these things in OSM-based maps now to spend the time and effort to create a rendering that works. That someone is likely to be from the US, as outside the US we tend not to have this sort of route at all, so (speaking entirely personally) it’s not an “itch that needs scratching” in the same way that (say) the rendering of English and Welsh rights of ways was to me. That doesn’t mean that people aren’t willing to give help and advice (for example see all the links above).