Is there a possibility to know the end of a street when I look in a osm-file? Is there a tag or a system which clearly identify the node which is the end/beginning? With the same street I mean here a street which have a connection and has the same name.

Some times there are streets with forks, which consist out of several ways - like 'Am Teich' in Greifswald (Germany).

But Often we have also several ways even for a street without forks, like Rue Billerey.

To illustrate my question, I made this drawing where we have three times the same points but three times different end-points of the street.

enter image description here

  • I guess the only answer is No, you can't. Think of a roundabout... – AndreJ Dec 11 '16 at 7:03
  • Not sure what your use case is. Maybe you want to find all parts of a street with the same name? – mmd Dec 11 '16 at 11:02
  • I like to print the street in 'R' and want to make in the middle the name. But Its is also a problem when there are in one city two streets with the same name. – and-bri Dec 11 '16 at 11:05
  • 1
    There is no special tag or element defining the end of a way. The end is where the name changes. – scai Dec 11 '16 at 18:57
  • thanks, but the noodes dont have a name tag or? – and-bri Dec 11 '16 at 19:05

I'm not trying to be cute when I say this, but it depends on what you mean by the "end" of a street. But I'll try to answer your question based on the examples you gave.
In general, there is no tag for the "end" of a street in OSM. If there are no more nodes, you can conclude that the street ends.
1. If a street connects with another street but keeps the same name, the assumption is that the street continues there. The street does not "end" just because another street connects with it. The connecting street has a different name because it is a different street.
2. You said, "Some times there are streets with forks, which consist out of several ways" Actually, I'm not sure what you mean by this statement, but I'll try to reply. Yes, some streets have forks, but usually the original name continues in one fork, and the other fork has a new name. That's a typical situation in the United States. The original street does not "end" at the fork. It continues. Another street "begins."
3. A street may be divided into multiple ways for a number of reasons: change in width, change in surface, change in speed limit, a bridge, etc., etc. Though the name may remain the same, any of those circumstances (speed, surface) would require that the way be divided and get different tags.
4. I see no difference between Drawing 2 and Drawing 3 in terms of "beginning" and "end." Both are crooked ways that appear not to connect with another way. There is no obvious beginning or end. In any case, there is no tag in OSM to indicate which node is the "beginning" and which is the "end."
So, I have to ask, what is the reason this is important for you?

  • I like to know where is the end and the beginning of the street to know the middle of the street. This I like to know to place the name of the street in the center. My question was already somehow answered in the comments under the question: when a street contain several elements (in osm called ways) there are connected with the same points (nodes). This nodes which have no duplicated is a end-point of the street. But all further information like your remarks are welcome :) – and-bri Dec 17 '16 at 5:22
  • If you just need the center for labelling, you could buffer all line strings, dissolve all polygons you got, and calculate the centroid of the multipolygon. – AndreJ Dec 17 '16 at 6:37

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