National Highway Mapping

i was also doing NH47 earlier…
its messed up at some part as the government has merged NH47 with NH17 and made NH66, there was already another NH66 not related to the previous mentioned, between Pondicherry - Krishnagiri

well, about NH48, its nothing I have added… it was already existing…
I have added the new relation to the existing roads…
some parts have gps data… well to my eyes on potlach, look exact… potlach doesnt allow much zoom tho…
I am currently doing the editing in browser… later at home will use JOSM…
kinda new to this so, didnt really understand why you meant its not a motorway, but will change later…


The NH47 goes from Salem - Ernkulam-Kanyakumri; the NH17 goes from Mumbai - Edapally (ending here in the NH47)
The NH66 is from Pondy-Krishinagiri.
In parts the NH47 is mapped as NH66, thats not OK.
Also someone has renamed the NH47 in NH544. After the proposed(?) renumbering of all NHs it may be NH544. Normally in the ref-tag the old name is used.

Motorway : I meant the motorroad-tag. Most mappers use this definition for India :

So if a trunk don’t have crossings, it can be a trunk with motorroad=yes. So the NH48 is mostly only a trunk without the tag motorroad=yes.


Please could u read the **Route **section of this wiki page
it point to a reference number 4, its a pdf, i think it has important data to be noted…

Similar info i guess, here

I was amazed to see that this data belong to march 2010 and I didnt knw (I think many more ppl dont know)

as the article says, NH47 isnt in kerala anymore and NH544 and NH66 r in kerala…
Looks like OSM needs a bigger changeover now…

Yes, in the PDF (reference 4) there is a list of the renumbering of all NHs in India. But its difficult to read, because there is no table old numbers / new numbers.
Till now the mapping status is : ref-tag = old number ; ref:new-tag = new number
I propose to continue like that.
Look at the old NH47, starting at Salem : till Erode I have made yesterday a lot of corrections (including old/new ref.

but the kerala pwd link had it clearer i suppose.
thanks for guidance, i didnt understand the reference tag new and old what u mentioned, but will have a look at the corrections u did when i get the time, should make me understand better i hope.
so now what abt the old NH66 and the new NH66 clash? new relations or replace the old ones?
i feel new relations wud be better, keeping the old ones.

also could u explain what u meant by “ref-tag = old number ; ref:new-tag = new number”

If we want to introduce the new NH-numbers, we could use the name-tag.
Actually the mappers use the name-tag like this : ref=NH8; name = National Highway 8.
I think thats redundant and useless information. Only something like name= Jaipur Bypass makes sense.
We could write in the name-tag : name:“NH17/NH66“ (first old number, second new number)
This would be rendered and can be seen in the map (Mapnik).

Concerning the relations : I think its better to keep the old relations with old refs and create new relations with the new numbers. In the new relations the ref-tag cann’t be used, else the data is contradictory. So in new relations we should use only the ref:new-tag.
Like this, in a few years, when people is used to the new numbers, corrections could easily be made in the database ( automatic renaming by a script).

I think it is important, to have consense in the Indian mapping community, how to solve this problem.

So I ask all mappers to contribute to this discussion.

I have made for demonstration a relation for the new NH11 (3187168) in Rajasthan from Jaisalmer, Pokaran, Bikaner (old NH15), Dungargarh, Ratangarh to Fatehpur(old NH11).

If we make it like this, there should be a new Wiki-Page for the new relations (like

All Nhs which have a new number now have a ref:new-tag. For all NHs with a new number there is an extra relation. There ist also a new wiki-page, where all NHs with new numbers are listed.
See :

Because all map-renderer only look for the ref-tag, the new numbers are not to be seen in maps.

Once more I ask everybody to write here your opinions, what to do with the NH numbers.

But, if the NH number has changed or its stretch extended, then why not change the name completely in main ref and put the ols NH name in ref-new tag or so.
this way we will be putting the correct name of NH in rendered maps.

My 2 cents.

Updated NH94 (Rishikesh-Yamnotri Highway) based on GPS data from my latest trip.
Older route is now under water of Tehri Dam lake and has been updated accordingly.

According to Alok Sharmas suggestion the renumbering should be made like this :
upto now : ref=NH 47; ref:new=N 66
new : ref=N 66; ref:old=NH47

But I’m not sure, whether this is a good idea:

  1. The government has announced the renumbering in April 2010. Till now I didn’t find any official document where the new numbes are mentioned; always the old ones.

  2. The new numbering system isn’t complete. There are still NHs which don’t have a new number.

  3. Where traffic signs still have the old numbers, it’s a bit confusing?

Sorry, my example is not false.

Better :
now : ref=NH17; ref:new=N 66

new : ref=N 66; ref:old=NH17

By the way, actually we have two NH66, because the highway from Mumbai is mapped with the new number NH66 (better N 66) instead of NH17.

Here is the list of all National Highways without a new number :
NH3A, parts of NH24B, parts NH 44E, NH65A, NH69A, parts of NH76, NH76A, NH76B, parts of NH86, NH86A, NH102A, NH102B, NH114A, NH116A, NH116B, NH127B, NH131A, NH158, NH162EXT, NH236, NH305, NH315A, NH327EXT, NH330A, NH343, NH360, NH502A, NH527C, NH532, NH709EXT, NH730, NH730A, NH927A, NH931A, NH947, NH953

It’s all become so confusing with new ref numbers while at the ground level, old numbers still prevail. I like the idea of Ref:old/new

I think we should execute that. Possible to do that with a script?


no it is not possible to do this with a script. It is not accepted inside the international community and mostly afterwards reverted by the OSM working groups. Furthermore in some regions are the new Highway Numbers in use. I could see some new numbers in Odisha.


Hi all,

As a part of improving the road coverage network in India, a trial run was carried out for the state of Manipur and a basic workflow developed for verifying and updating the National Highway coverage in OSM. The workflow and the basic discussions around the task has been put up in this Github repository . Also a diary has been published in OSM regarding the issue. It would be great to have the OSM community to look into this workflow and contributing towards any suggestions and discussions on improving it.


I have added a lot of new NHs. So the statistic of NH-coverage now will look better.

The following problems have to be solved:

  1. Shall all defined trunks (even the recently updated) be classified as trunks?
    Some mappers remap the trunks back to primaries…
    My proposal : yes and no exceptions

  2. Actually we have constructions like ref=NH848;SH30;SH21.
    Shall we alter this to :
    ref=NH848 ; ref:old=SH30;SH21
    That means, trunks have only NH-ref-tags. Everything else in the ref:old-tag.
    The ref:old-tag is not rendered. So this informations are not to be seen in standard maps (Mapnik…)!

  3. Old /new numbers :
    parambyte suggests to map ref=NH66/17
    Shall we map the trunks like this with ref=new number/old number?
    My proposal: old numbers in the ref:old-tag. It’s like this actually.

Dear all,

  1. in my opinon is a NH a trunk and should have only one exception, in case of a much bigger Bypass road. A NH is also not an expressway, its an NH with motorroad=yes.

2)I am with you to copy the OLD NH Number to ref:old, but in my oppinion we should only use the realtions to define the numbers. In your case we have a relation with NH848, SH30 and SH21 on the same way. No ref number should be written on the way it self.

  1. In my oppinion, we should only use the new numbers. Unfortunalty some of the numbers has changed some month back to the old one. e.g. NH8 was changed to NH48 and now back to NH8. Unfortunatly this causes that we have to check every NH again. (Iam not 100% whether this file is the latest version its a mix of new and old numbering)

Best regards

Nikhilprabhakar wrote in his blog:
„At Mapbox, we have been looking to improve the coverage of road network in India, which is among the lowest in the world on OSM in comparison to CIA world factbook.“

To prove the actual situation, I looked in

The total length of National Highways, which are mapped in OSM, is 94 197 km.

Concerning the NHs, the situation is not so bad (94% coverage)!!!
The statistic mentioned in the blog of nikhilprabhakar count the NHs with 2 ways (both directions) twice. So there are coverage-values with more then 200%!!!

No other replays to my questions in post 37???

Actuall coverage of NH-mapping in India :

All defined NHs are listed in the Wiki.

NHs mapped in OSM : 96 000 km
Not mapped : 1 800 km
Without new number : 600 km

Sum = 98 400 km

total length (Morth list) : 100 087 km

We have about 1700 km difference between OSM and MORTH-list.

All NHs are now mapped as trunks.