Highway classification, again.

Hi. I’ve been away for quite some time, but I’ve just been looking at the Thailand map and still think that the highway classification scheme could be better.

Many two-digit highways serve the same level of importance to traffic as Routes 1 to 4. Route 41, which overlaps AH2, is a clear example, and is already classified as “trunk”. Not having a green route on the map linking to Chiang Mai or the entire southern Isan region (where perhaps a sixth of the country’s population lives) seems rather absurd, IMO.

I think two-digit routes serving such importance are more often the norm rather than the exception, and the definition for “trunk” fits quite well: “Important roads that aren’t motorways. Often suitable for long journeys or relatively high speeds.” Certainly the almost-400 km ride to Ubon Ratchathani is a long journey?

I’d like to suggest that most, if not all, two-digit routes should be re-classified as “trunk”. If others disagree, at least we could decide on a case-by-case basis, since there are only 17 of them.

Also, many three-digit routes link major cities and are four-lane paved dual carriageways throughout (or most of) their length. They seem to better match the description for “primary” than “secondary”. If we re-classify the two-digit routes as “trunk”, this would leave “primary” available, but I’m not sure whether it would be proper to label all three-digit routes as such.

Don’t feed the trolls.

Don’t waste your time with such recurrent and useless discussions.

OSM made and will continue to make progress by mapping not by yaking.
Thailand needs mapping with local knowledge, not these discussions.

When in doubt about the topic read

Happy mapping from a happy mapper

Hi Willi,

I don’t have the impression that Paul is trying to troll. Actually he contributed a lot in Thailand

Not every discussion is bad, just because it’s an discussion.

The proposal of Paul is compatible with the current mapping scheme described in the wiki. It would still take into account the classification of the road.
Tagging like this we would loose the special tagging of the roads 1-4.

I also see the tagging problems Paul mentioned. If we upgrade all road classifications we have room at the lower end. But at the cost of loosing a clear tagging. The orientation on the road number is easy. Count the number of digits and know the classification. If we change that we would upgrade the unclassified into tertiary.

While this would free up the unclassified for possibly tagging major intra-town roads it is no longer clear how to tag what feature.

It’s still rainy season, so some time at the PC for discussion should be available.


A good point or idea doesn’t require a high amount or quality of contributions. But the argument “a lot” has been brought forward. And I had a closer look at it.

The referenced picture Where Did You Edit (June, 22) gives a good impression about the location but not about the number. 2,000, 28,000, 67,000 and 400,000 look quite same, whilst 9,000, 13,000, 28,000 64,000 and 130,000 last version nodes (June, 24) appear to be minor.

Looking at the numbers How did you contribute to OpenStreetMap shows about 26 times more nodes touched (258,000) than created (9,500) and 9 times more than last modified (28,000). I didn’t see such a ratio anywhere else. It gives me the impression of few own contributions, changing mainly contributions of other mappers and that only few of these changes survived. Similar for ways and relations. Checking changes confirms this and gives an impression of the type of changes.

Comparing the above “proposal” with the discussion 2 years ago gives me the impression of a rush job after 18 month absence without reading or perhaps understanding the old discussion and the referenced material first. For me yaking and trolling. Even in the rainy season I prefer to spend my time on mapping, currently on re-mapping non ODbL data in the Northeast. More than 35,000 edits in the past week alone, mainly ways having just a source=Bing and a highway, landuse or natural tag. It’s a lot but easy armchair mapping and almost done.

The classification in OSM follows the classification of the DOH, the authority in Thailand. Already about 1500 km motorway, 6000 km trunk, 8000 km primary, 15000 km secondary, 32000 km tertiary and 23000 km unclassified highways have been mapped one by one spending a lot of hours. Justifying such a major change requires more than a few sentences. I expect a thorough job with at least:

  • Reasons why the classification of the DOH is inappropriate.

  • Problems and why they can’t be solved with the current scheme.

  • Proposal of a new classification scheme in the same detail as the current which can be applied with the same ease.

  • Reasons why the new scheme is superior enough to justify

  • deviating from the DOH scheme

  • changing the current classifications

  • overruling the decisions of the mappers having classified the individual highways one by one.

[/*] [*]List of affected highways with justification for each.[/*] [*]Plan following [Data working group - Mechanical Edit Policy](http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Data_working_group/Mechanical_Edit_Policy)[/*] [/list] I'm looking forward to see this on the [discussion page](http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:WikiProject_Thailand) and to discuss any new point which hasn't yet been discussed already 2 years ago but will not engage in endless fruitless discussions.

As Willi2006 said, scrutinising others’ edits isn’t relevant to the discussion, and probably fruitless. I never claimed to be an active or big contributor; I just thought I’d offer my suggestions for others to constructively comment on, seeing as over two years had elapsed since the subject was last touched upon and things of course would have changed. That, of course, requires contributors’ willingness to discuss and listen to others opinions’. As far as I remember, and re-reading the discussion page confirms that, the last time discussion took place, Willi2006 was the only person vehemently opposed to representing highways any other way than currently documented. However, only a couple other contributors had any input, and Stephankn wasn’t among them, nor others present on this forum whose opinion I thought would be valuable, though perhaps I was mistaken in the amount of traffic it receives.

Anyway, I thought that two years might have been enough time to give a better picture of the state of things, and that with constructive discussion we would be able to confirm whether everyone agrees with the status quo. Anyway, their shouldn’t be need to argue over editors’ suspected motives or agendas. The merit of the proposal at hand is what matters.

As asked above, take this as the proposal:

The current classification system is inadequate because it does not reflect the importance of a highway in the street grid as described in Key:highway. Primary is defined as “a major highway linking large towns”, which is what three-digit routes are, although they are currently tagged as secondary. Compare with the example from the DOH website: Route 202 links Chaiyaphum and Khemmarat, both major towns with 10,000+ population. Likewise, the description for secondary as “a highway which is not part of a major route, but nevertheless forming a link in the national route network” and “generally linking smaller towns and villages” fits the four-digit routes, which are defined by the DOH as national highways linking provincial centres with its districts or important places within those provinces.

The current system also doesn’t allow a systematic classification for rural and local highways; they are forced to assume the same classification level already used by the national highway system.

Shifting the currently applied classifications up one level would address these issues. One- and two-digit routes can share the classification of trunk, since they are the major routes and practically serve the same level of traffic. The DOH also defines both of them as principal highways (ทางหลวงแผ่นดินสายประธาน), differing in whether or not they cross regions.

So here’s the proposal:

Highways beginning with 5-9 (as well as expressways) = motorway, as before.
1- & 2-digit = trunk
3-digit = primary
4-digit = secondary
Rural & local highways = tertiary
Unnumbered roads = unclassified

Far from ignoring the DOH classification scheme, this should provide room for a better degree of scheme adherence and differentiation between highway levels (except one- and two-digits, that is). The change is systematic, so it should be possible to universally convert highways which already adhere to the current system without needing to manually examine individual routes. This was among the alternative proposals shot down two years ago, and I would like to know what others think of it now. I also hope the more knowledgeable contributors would share the technical aspects of how feasible the proposal is.

If it is agreed that the current system works better, it would be great to finally have that properly documented and written down. Otherwise, constructive discussion resulting in a better classification scheme should lead to overall improvement of the project. I doubt a few minutes from each editor would subtract much from overall time contributed to mapping. After all, the world isn’t ending tomorrow (as far as we know).

Also wondering whether discussion is supposed to continue here or move to the discussion page; there is a comment there saying discussion should be held in the forums.

By the way, in case you were still wondering, most of my edits consisted of fine-tuning details of already-mapped areas (almost all in Bangkok actually), e.g. marking dual carriageways, flyovers (overpasses) and names. They are minor and relatively small in amount; it is fortunate for the project that others can afford more time and effort to contribute. Feel free call mine armchair edits; I won’t take offence, thank you.

That’s true but not the whole truth. In addition: Paul_012 was the only one opposing to the current scheme. Two more contributed: WanTan supported the current scheme. Jpatokal had a comment about the provincial roads which are listed in the current scheme now. I count this as support too.

Khemmarat isn’t even a town wikipedia: List of cities in Thailand. How is major defined? I wouldn’t regard Chaiyaphum as major.

Far too vague. As stated already I’ll have a look when it is on the discussion page in the same detail as the current scheme.

Making a thorough scheme and thinking seriously about it takes far more than just “a few minutes”. Before I would require “a few minutes” from others to review my proposal I’m used to spend much more time to come up with a thorough proposal.

The proposal should go the discussion page allowing the same detail and format as on the projekt page. The discussion should take place here in this forum thread not cluttering the proposal.

The major classification criterion is a formal one - i.e. roads are classified within OpenStreetMap as they were classified by the regional/national authorities. That’s also the main criterion in commercial maps.
When you look at the “usability” of a road, we have different criteria. Commercial maps use the number of lanes as a secondary criterion.
When looking at a photograph of a road which looks like http://www.panoramio.com/photo/37898500 (I found that with Google Earth), I’d think of a tertiary or an unclassified road. But it’s Phetkasem Road (high way 4) - thus marked as a primary.
On the other hand, with the classification used with mapping Thailand, every road seems to be classified a rank or two less than elsewhere. But consistency within a country is most important.

Hi Paul_012, and a big welcome to the forum (a bit late, as i am also not really an active user at the moment) :slight_smile:

I didn’t know that there is such a misbehaviour to new users here. Please do not get disappointed because some users like to take things a bit too serious. Sorry, i do not have something interesting to contribute to the topic of this thread. But openstreetmap is an open and democratic platform, if i remember right. Everyone can tell his/her opinion, can edit wiki pages or even edit the OSM data, if he/she think it should be different. Some people should not forget this and should not think that the thai section of OSM is their work just because they have made big contributions. Just my two cents, sorry for the offtopic. I could not resist :slight_smile:

Where in this thread someone wrote that it’s not allowed to tell ones opinion?

Doesn’t “Everyone can tell his/her opinion” imply everybody can object to an opinion?

Isn’t this a contradiction and how can this coexist: accepting the opinion of others but changing their work which is based on their opinion just because thinking it should be different?

Is OpenStreetMap really a democracy or isn’t it similar to other open (source) projects a do-ocracy?

Is a democracy really this? A system where everybody says: “Oh, I don’t like the rules, the laws. I think different. I’ll make my own.” I thought this is called anarchism.

I don’t remember that in the Thailand forum the amount of contributions has been used as argument in discussions. On the contrary it has been written

Without showing evidence there’s nothing but baseless accusing someone having misbehaved just to justify baseless allegation and suspicion.