Planned edit to re-tag descriptive names in road route relations in the United States

Problem statement: descriptive names in the name field of road route relations make it difficult for data consumers to consume the name tag for routes that are named but un-numbered because they cannot differentiate true named routes from constructed descriptive name. This tagging also goes against our guidance that names are not for descriptions.

Background: A “descriptive name” in this context is one where a route identified only by route number (ref) also has a name tag populated with a description. For example, this route relation for Interstate 77 in Ohio is tagged name= I 77 (OH) (North).


Planned edit: I intend to systematically re-tag descriptive names on route=road relations in the United States, starting with US interstates. In these cases, the name tag provides no additional information not otherwise present in the tagging other than giving a human-readable description. Therefore, I will move the contents of name into description.

An example of a correctly-tagged route relation is Interstate 95 in Rhode Island, which is tagged:


I changed this back in 2021 and so far this hasn’t broken anything :slight_smile:

Below is an example of a correctly-tagged road route relation that uses a name tag. It’s important that data consumers can consume the name tag in cases like this while not consuming descriptive names.


Scope: This applies ONLY to road route relations in the US and not to road ways. I intend to make no changes to way name tagging with this series of edits. This is NOT a discussion about whether cases like highway=primary + name=State Route 123 on a way is correct tagging – this is purely about road route relations.

Other reading: There is a similar but unrelated thread from back in October regarding this topic on public transit relations.

Please let me know if anyone has concerns about these planned edits.

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