Enhancing Lane Representation

I have identified a crucial feature that is missing in the current road options. Currently, when we select primary or secondary roads with multiple lanes—whether they have 2, 4, 6, or even more lanes—OpenStreetMap displays just a single line representing both directions of traffic. This approach can be quite limiting and does not accurately convey the structure of multi-lane roads.

To enhance the usability and accuracy of OpenStreetMap, it would be highly beneficial to incorporate lane lines in the middle of the roads. By clearly delineating individual lanes, we can provide a more precise representation of the road layout. This improvement would make it easier for users to identify the number of lanes and their respective directions, significantly aiding in navigation and route planning.

Furthermore, incorporating lane lines would provide substantial benefits for third-party mapping applications that rely on OpenStreetMap data. These applications, which often include advanced navigation features, could utilize detailed lane information to offer more accurate lane guidance and turning instructions. This enhancement would not only improve the user experience for drivers but also support the development of more sophisticated navigation tools.

In summary, adding lane lines to represent multi-lane roads in OpenStreetMap is a much-needed feature that would enhance the map’s accuracy, usability, and functionality. It would provide clearer visual information and support better navigation features for third-party applications that use OpenStreetMap data.

OpenStreetMap data does well contain the lanes attribute. Not all data consumers choose to show that data though, the standard view on osm.org chooses not to.

To navigate by car, I use the third-party app Magic Earth, which uses OpenStreetMap data. There, lanes are shown in the navigation view, as I marked in a screenshot I just made in the demo mode.


The map-machine renderer also visualizes lanes and street width.


OSM is database of geographic items. Lane attributes are saved in OSM, and if these are shown or not shown, depends on the rendering application. Not OSM.