Road Classification System (talk & poll)

Transferred comments from changeset (making Chalkida - Lepoura and Lepoura - Karystos roads secondary as they lead to towns)

Here we will discuss about a road classification system that we will agree to use from now on.

Just to help this conversation i propose to start with the top most issues and afterwards we can proceed in other details.

So I have some questions to make.

1.What kind of classification system do we want for National and Provincial raods?
a) A classification system that reflects (not necessary literally) our legal documents? (from 1956 to 1998) or
b) A classification system that reflects how busy roads are, depending on destinations?
(i think that road conditions are irrelevant, there are surface and smoothness tags for that)

2.a) We must adapt our map to navigators? or
b) Navigators must adapt to our map?

Please take your time to think thoroughly and don’t hurry your replies up.
Please reply only to the above questions, we must go one step at a time. There are more questions to go.

Sorry, my mistake on the EO44b, I was busy on the dissertation. (Is there a smiley for a facepalm)?

LOL :slight_smile: Thats ok.(And no facepalms, we all make mistakes) Anyway this particular road is an exception.

Please lets focus on our subject

I will go with 1a (A classification system that reflects legal documents).
and 2b (Navigators must adapt to our map).

My next questions are even more critical, but they depend on our decision on the above questions.

1(a). The most basic answer to that question is that the system must reflect the legal documents. It is a practice all over OpenStreetMap, from the UK to Germany.

In detail, the classification system should be based on the legal numbering system as far as possible (with limited exceptions such as Hydra, where cars are banned). So for example, National Roads on E-roads should be trunk (since I think the definition of a motor-road is too vague for it to have its own category), all other National Roads should be primary, and Provincial Roads should be secondary.

2(b). Navigators should adapt to OpenStreetMap data: there are dedicated tags that give detailed information such as road layouts, condition, surface and lighting (some may know me for having lit up all the classified roads of London a while back). If we were to classify roads based on condition, then this is why the map of Greece looks rather bare at the moment.

It has been something that I have aimed for since 2013, after the discovery of the provincial roads (and OSM was the first major map to number them).

Ok, thank you for your reply. Exceptions (not only Hydra, i think there are more), and e-roads will be discussed later. Lets stick with basic issues right now. As i said we will go one step at a time.

1a is (+2) (A classification system that reflects legal documents).
2b is (+2) (Navigators must adapt to our map).

first of all, there is already a topic about this: “Κατηγορίες δρόμων” and a conversation before that in topic “consensus about road classification” and i dont understand why you made a new one…

second, there is a complete classification system i made some time ago: and that’s the one we need to discuss

i never suggested to map for the navigation software, you just asked me what the voice command says when there is no ref…so 2a is out

i understand there are official documents about road classification (in a country like Germany or UK that should be enough, because there is an organized scheme backed by the state and updated regularly)

in our case these documents are outdated, forgotten and far from reality (there are major roads missing, old provincial roads have become urban highways, or they lead to villages, on the mountains, some are not even paved)…for all these reasons i think road numbering should only be secondary info (nat_ref/reg_ref)

national highways connecting something other than cities or other major destinations, should not be named Εθνική Οδός and should not be primary

i only care to represent reality (in real life road names are based on destinations…a primary road connecting 2 cities is called Εθνική Οδός Θεσσαλονίκης - Φλώρινας, not EO2)

i dont care about the condition of the road (exception:very poor quality roads, without lines of even asphalt)

about EO44: section Thiva - Chalkida should be primary (they both have population over 10000) and named Εθνική Οδός Θήβας - Χαλκίδας…section Chalkida - Lepoura should be secondary because connects Chalkida to towns like Eretria, Aliveri, Kymi and Karystos (all over 2000) and named Επαρχιακή Οδός Χαλκίδας - Ερέτριας, or simple Χαλκίδας - Ερέτριας κτλ

i think this is the best depiction of reality…a driver leaving Chalkida would know his destination simply by road type (when on primary road he ends up in a city, when in secondary he goes to a town)

sorry for the long post i just needed to state my case

I know about other topics, and I know that they end up nowhere. Besides that, I think it’s best to start all over again and try to clarify the basic issues.

Question 1.a says: A classification system that reflects (not necessary literally) our legal documents?
So we will discuss about names, refs etc in the next posts. Actually my next questions will be about that.
I am just trying to put some “boundaries” in this conversation so we can end up somewhere.

And as for EO44, section Chalkida – Lepoura, as you said connects Chalkida to towns like Eretria, Aliveri, Kymi and Karystos (all over 2000), not only one town, and if you add them up I am sure that are over 10000.
In fact, every driver that wants to go to South Evoia will go through section Chalkida – Lepoura. Think about it.

Thank you for your reply

So question 2 becomes:
Rule#2: Navigators must adapt to our map

I am taking the above occasion to point out another point of view.

Let’s ask ourselves, why Greek government has “labeled” those roads as national roads?
And why Greek government has “labeled” the above particular road (Chalkida – Lepoura) as a national road? Is this road so important?
(This road is just an example)

I think that when Greek government “labels” roads it has in mind the entire (geographical area) population that a particular road serves.
So, government, doesn’t see destinations separately. Please think about that too.

(I’m just putting this point of view too on the “negotiating table”)

National roads are registered in two legal documents (of 1963 and of 1998) that they almost agree with each other.
In fact 1998 document is based on 1963 document. That it’s already referenced in 1998 document.

So, next question is:

  1. National roads basically should be tagged as:
    a) Primary, according to the above documents (with exceptions of course)
    b) Primary or Secondary, according to their busyness and their destinations. (cities, towns, etc)
    (don’t confuse busyness with business :))

(All exceptions, of every rule, will be discussed later. At first let’s agree on the basic rules).

  1. I think it should be “3a” as the minimum: in detail, I desire that National Roads on E-roads should be trunk (since I think the definition of a motor-road is too vague for it to have its own category), and all other National Roads should be primary.

I will go with 3a too of course, because 3b its a matter of personal perception.

But I can’t understand the commitment that you are proposing. (National Roads on E-roads should be trunk).
E-roads are just routes, and they have nothing to do with if a road must be primary or secondary or trunk.
E-roads can go through any road as they are just routes.

I was wondering that if we were to tag all National Roads as primary (level 3), then what do you think would be trunk (level 2)?

i dont think 3b is a matter of personal perception…in fact in the first ever definition of national highways by the Greek state,a national highway is a road connecting cities, major airports/seaports/archaelogical sites and major military sites (the last one explains roads leading to military airports) source: Βασιλικό Διάταγμα 9-8-1955 “Περί Καθορισμού των Εθνικών Οδών κατά τις διατάξεις του Ν. 3155/1955”

a city is over 10000 or former prefecture capital (population doesnt change much, is updated only once in 10 years)
archaelogical sites dont go anywhere
major airports (international) are clearly defined

as for the total population a highway serves, thats hard to estimate (there is no need to complicate things)

about national highways spanning in 3 road types:there are in fact laws in effect (ΦΕΚ30Β/1996, ΦΕΚ735Β/1995, ΦΕΚ664Β/1995) that separate national highways in primary, secondary and tertiary

also ΦΕΚ293Β/1995 separates provincial roads in primary and secondary

i searched all the sources mentioned in ΦΕΚ253/2015 ΑΑΠ and i managed to download them from (αναζήτηση ΦΕΚ)
i think the 1995 documents could clarify the situation about what is primary/secondary etc

i believe this is the proper way to do it:

πρωτεύον εθνικό δίκτυο - trunk
δευτερεύον εθνικό δίκτυο - primary
τριτεύον εθνικό δίκτυο - secondary
πρωτεύον επαρχιακό δίκτυο - tertiary

While the following source is copyrighted by Egnatia Odos, I refer to this map of the Arcadia regional unit (on page 31) as an example why it is not a bad idea to split National Roads and Provincial Roads:

Splitting the roads just adds a great layer of unnecessary complexity to the map, when for many years National and Provincial Roads were simply just that in common use.

amaroussi you are again out of sync…you wanted to go by official documents…i give you official government decisions about road classification and you are still against

Well, because i strongly suspect that this conversation will be toooo long, and in the end we will not end up on any conclusion (see other topics),
I say (declare) that it was wrong to have taken the initiative to try to bring this community into an agreement.

Consequently, and because all of these conflicts are becoming frustrating, henceforth I stop having a primary role in this convesation. From now on, my role will be secondary, and where is possible consultative
If someone else wants to regulate this discussion please feel free do it.

I will study thoroughly all the above ΦΕΚ documents, and then I will reply accordingly


The future of the OSM Greek community is very much at stake here if we do not come to an agreement soon. I am tired right now, but can JayCBR please point out where I ever agreed to change from “ref” to “nat_ref”. I do not remember been shown the ΦΕΚ30Β/1996, ΦΕΚ735Β/1995, ΦΕΚ664Β/1995 documents before you pointed it out yesterday.

I am just a mere minion in the debate right now because I am no longer bothered to pick a side in any debate, let alone do anything more than local traffic flows and undiscovered local roads. I tried hard to make good use of what is available, only to end up in such a crippling deadlock.

However, I blame nobody because the entire road classification system was crippled long before OSM even existed. There is simply no certainty in the system that the government created, made far more complex with the multiple levels of national and provincial roads.

At first look on the above documents, that JayCBR posted, i am starting to see a hope of finding common ground. I will post more later.