Road network improvements in Thailand

Hello Thailand community,

My name is Andrew Wiseman, I work for Apple on the Maps team. My team is interested in doing some fixes and improvements to the road network in Thailand on OpenStreetMap, things like fixing duplicated and overlapping roads, adding missing roads, making sure roads connect (or not connect) properly, fixing incorrect alignments, ensuring road classifications are consistent, and other similar issues.

Are there places you know of that need improvement or types of problems you see frequently? And are there any imagery sources you’d recommend, any specific highway classification guidelines you recommend, or anything else that might help? I’ve seen the guidelines here:

We have a Github page here about the project with a number of examples of the types of things we would address:

Also I have read about past mapping efforts in Thailand, so I wanted to make sure I got your feedback. I know the local community has spent a lot of time mapping and we want to make sure we are helping. Along those lines we do not plan to adjust road classifications on tracks, residential or unclassified roads, unless they are very incorrect (for example, a road that should be primary but was tagged residential by mistake.) We will also be very careful of not connecting roads that should not be connected due to walls or other barriers.

If you’d like I’d be happy to do a call with the community to talk more. I will also be at State of the Map in Heidelberg.

An automated translation of this message is below.

Thank you,


Apple, Inc.



ฉันชื่อ Andrew Wiseman ฉันทำงานให้กับ Apple ในทีม Maps ทีมของฉันสนใจที่จะทำการแก้ไขและปรับปรุงเครือข่ายถนนในประเทศไทยบน OpenStreetMap สิ่งต่าง ๆ เช่นการแก้ไขถนนที่ซ้ำซ้อนและทับซ้อนกันเพิ่มถนนที่ขาดหายไปทำให้แน่ใจว่าถนนเชื่อมต่อ (หรือไม่เชื่อมต่อ) อย่างถูกต้องแก้ไขการจัดแนวที่ไม่ถูกต้อง ปัญหาที่สอดคล้องกันและอื่น ๆ ที่คล้ายกัน

มีสถานที่ที่คุณรู้ว่าจำเป็นต้องปรับปรุงหรือประเภทของปัญหาที่คุณเห็นบ่อยครั้งหรือไม่? และมีแหล่งภาพใดบ้างที่คุณแนะนำแนวทางการจำแนกทางหลวงเฉพาะที่คุณแนะนำหรือสิ่งอื่นใดที่อาจช่วยได้ ฉันเห็นแนวทางที่นี่แล้ว:

เรามีหน้า Github ที่นี่เกี่ยวกับโครงการที่มีตัวอย่างของประเภทของสิ่งที่เราจะอยู่:

ฉันได้อ่านเกี่ยวกับความพยายามในการทำแผนที่ที่ผ่านมาในประเทศไทยดังนั้นฉันต้องการให้แน่ใจว่าฉันได้รับคำติชมของคุณ ฉันรู้ว่าชุมชนท้องถิ่นใช้เวลามากในการทำแผนที่และเราต้องการให้แน่ใจว่าเรากำลังช่วยเหลือ ในเส้นทางเหล่านั้นเราไม่ได้วางแผนที่จะปรับการจำแนกประเภทของถนนบนเส้นทางถนนที่อยู่อาศัยหรือถนนที่ไม่มีการจัดประเภทเว้นแต่พวกเขาจะไม่ถูกต้องมาก (ตัวอย่างเช่นถนนที่ควรเป็นถนนสายหลัก แต่ติดแท็กที่พักอาศัยโดยไม่ได้ตั้งใจ) ถนนที่เชื่อมต่อซึ่งไม่ควรเชื่อมต่อเนื่องจากผนังหรือสิ่งกีดขวางอื่น ๆ

หากคุณต้องการฉันมีความสุขที่ได้คุยกับชุมชนเพื่อพูดคุยเพิ่มเติม ฉันจะอยู่ที่สถานะของแผนที่ในไฮเดลเบิร์ก




บริษัท แอปเปิ้ล.

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for reaching out.

I have some questions:

  1. Inconsistent highway classification, how would you resolve this from the air?
  2. Highway physical barrier - I would be wary about this, making sure that there is a physical barrier. In the image you posted I see a shadow around the bus but not the barrier which makes me suspect these are road markings and not a physical barrier. I wouldn’t split up a way because of road markings.

Hi Mishari,

Thanks for the questions. On highway classifications, in the case of the example on the Github page, there is a small segment between the divided highway that is different from the the other, longer portion of the road — we would use the local highway guidelines to confirm what both should be. In general though we won’t make many classification changes unless they are very incorrect and quite obvious.

For the physical barrier, we would use as many resources as we can find, such as street level imagery if it’s available. In the case of the example on Github, on Bing, Mapbox and Maxar it looks like a grassy median strip to me: And farther north the grassy strip ends and there is a painted section, which then tapers into an undivided road:

Also farther south the road it is divided into two separate ways, then merges again without the road actually changing, as far as I can tell: Where in doubt, we could also reach out to whoever edited it most recently. I also think it should be divided because the side roads don’t seem to be accessible from opposite side, such as

Here is another which has a Mapillary image showing the divided highway with a grass strip between, which in Maxar Premium imagery looks similar to the above example. and

Along those lines, is it Thai policy that a barrier must be physical rather than painted in order for a road to be divided, or are both ok?



Near the junction with road #33, road 3222 is physically divided. So use two separate lines there, both with oneway=yes, lanes=2 etc. tags. Where the physical division ends, use one line only, with lanes=4 tag; it is possible to cross the “painted barrier” in the center, and it’s quite common to do so in Thailand (always take care of vehicles turning right stopping on that barrier; I don’t if it is actually legal to do so). Near the provincial border, the road narrows to two lanes, so split it up there and add lanes=2 there.

By the way, in the “grass barrier”, you can see some white lines crossing it. Those might be places where motorcycles cross the barrier… While cycling in Thailand, I also saw gaps in concrete barriers, wide enough for motorbikes, suggesting that crossing there might be legal for bikes. I usually do not map them.

Thank you Bernhard, that’s about what I was thinking. Good to know.

Hello Andrew,

this is a tough one. In general I am in favor of cleaning up such clearly broken things. In Thailand we just have too few mappers around to fix all or even to guide new mappers properly. So help is appreciated.

I just ask you to be extra careful when trying to fix things not 100% clear. Don’t try to to resolve all potential problems reported by some tooling or the other, just to get some “completion statistic” improved.

Also be aware that sometimes aerial images can be quite dated and the road layout has changed in the meantime. If you see something flagged as “wrong” which was quite recently mapped, maybe even by one of the more experienced local mappers, please try to send a message asking for clarification.

With increased road construction activity over the last years it might also be that some roads got extended or upgraded. Some of the problems on bridges or link sections you found certainly come from incomplete re-tagging in such situations.

In greater Bangkok, also be aware of the elevated highways. Here multiple roads are on different levels. And often GPS signal is quite bad in such areas, so GPS tracks do not help much.

I will be in Heidelberg at the conference, so I’m happy to meet you (and team?) for a chat. Also if one of the local mappers wants me to discuss something special, please contact me.


Hi Andrew,

I concur with everything said above.

Looking at your Github pages it seems Apple is making a big effort here. How does this tie in with Apple’s own map product?



Amongst many things I would like to say on this subject, I would concur with my colleagues, in that Thailand driving reflects a very cavalier attitude to road markings, and painted traffic islands are often used as turning lanes and the like. In short, if the barrier is physical, then map as a divided road… if not, then map as single adjusting the lane numbers if you see fit.

Thailand is undergoing a massive program of converting single lane carriageways to dual, and the aerial imagery often is many years out of date. So, please never be tempted to “follow the rule” above especially without contacting the mapper making the most recent changes.

I, for one, map these “new” dual carriageways, and mark a waypoint at as many u-turns as I can, albeit when flying past on a motorbike - I don’t get them all so feel free to add any missed ones showing on the imagery. Seeing these small “link roads/u turns” on the map is also a good way to realise that the road may be dual, when the imagery says not.

There are also a lot of “unofficial” u-turns and paths that connect one carriageway to the other. These are not paved, but widely used by motorcycles. Unless they are physically challenging I do tend to map the more widely used ones as short unpaved tracks. From a routing perspective it should stop a normal vehicle from being directed down it, at least to the more casual GPS user.

We also see the Thais regularly blocking up U-turns with concrete blocks and the like. Good practice here is to leave a parallel way marked as a barrier=wall/block, etc in the old u-turn, to stop armchair mappers thinking the turn has just been overlooked, then adding it again ! Others might leave the link showing with a no access tag, with maybe a barrier node too. I prefer the former method as it does not render, creating confusion.

As mentioned, we don’t have a lot of actual surveying mappers in Thailand, but we do pride ourselves on getting things correct and consistent where we can. We have had instances of new contributors changing road classification for reasons outside of our Wiki guidance and only known to them … this undoes a lot of hard work. So I would urge you not to do this, unless its an obvious mistake. Change ramps & U turns to match the parent roads by all means, but please ask before re-classifying a whole road.

We may not have a harmonious voice here, on just whether to classify (for OSM) a road by its Government status, or its actual physical appearance. While I prefer the former, you may see evidence of irregularity. I suggest if this causes issues with your need to “correct” roads, then you fully air this via the formum, and we can adjust our Wiki advice to suit.

Rgds, Russ.