Residential vs Unclassified in Potlatch for newbies

I was (maybe still am) confused about whether to tag streets as unclassified or residential. I found this in the mailings lists:

Opinions differ slightly but generally:

unclassified - a wider road used by through traffic
residential - a narrower road generally used only by people that live on
that road or roads that branch off it.

and put it in the wiki.

Part of my confusion may have come from the fact that in the Potlatch drop down, residential appears above unclassified, which made me think unclassified was for really tiny roads. In fact, unclassified can be quite big streets in town, and residential should be lower down the list.

Do correct me if I’ve got it wrong. If I’m right, where should I suggest the change to Potlatch?



There is a difference of opinion yes although this is semi-recent. There was an agreed way of doing it originally and it can be seen from most users that have been mapping a while and most people continue to map this way; but what you have concluded from reading, I agree with.

highway:unclassified is the through roads, or roads which lead to something other that the houses built along them, or col-de-sacs that run off them. The width of the road doesn’t really effect if its unclassified or not though, but mearly the purpose of the road. (maybe different in towns?) On an OS map (npe) the yellow roads are unclassified, yet some of these are extremely thin, but they are still used as an unclassified road.

Residential is exactly as you said and I agree residential is a lower status road that unclassified.

Suggestions for potlatch changes should go to Richard Fairhurst I imagine (Forum name: Richard). [wiki’s dead at the sec so can’t get you a link]

I use residential for anything with houses on it, and unclassified for things that aren’t used to access houses.

I think it’s and extremely hard aspect of OSM.

You’re right about it being in the wrong order in Potlatch. I need to add ‘service road’ to that dropdown anyway so I’ll fix that at the same time. Thanks for the tipoff. :slight_smile:

It’s fixed in 0.8b which should be live on the server pretty soon.

Great. Thanks Richard.

Incidentally, have you introduced a small bug in the auto suggestions under “tourism”? “theme_parkattraction” appears as a single item, but I assume these are two separate tags.

What is the best place for reporting bugs like this?


You can create tickets for bugs, feature requests etc to the trac website. The code for Potlatch is here.

Well spotted - I’ve fixed that and it’ll be live next time the server code is deployed and the server restarted.