Road attributes

Use the Attributes section to indicate important components of a road. These details add value to the map and help improve driving directions.

Priority

Please refer to our article on road priority for more information.

Type of Route

You can assign route types based on the priority, connectivity and the type of traffic the road handles. Types of routes can range from highways to trails. Marking the route type helps improve Google Maps directions by displaying roads more accurately on the map.

You can select the best route type from the options available in the drop down. Here are some of the common route types:

  • Highway level 1-9
  • Route
  • Bicycle route
  • Trail

Note: The types of routes displayed in the dropdown are specific to the country in which you are adding/editing the route. For example, you might mark an “Asian highway” for a route in India and an “Interstate highway” in the USA.

Lanes

Lanes designate the number of vehicles that can pass parallel to one another on the route. Select the number of lanes to specify the total number of drivable lanes on the drawn road. Verify the number of lanes selected using satellite imagery and Street View where available.

  • One-way Roads: Use the total number of lanes present on the road.
  • Undivided Two-way Roads: If traffic is travelling in both directions, use the total number of lanes on both sides of the road.
  • Split Roads: If the road is split into two separate segments due to a physical or painted median, the Lanes attribute should be set separately for each side of the road.

Note: Some road segments may act as funnels, causing the total number of lanes to increase or decrease along the length of the segment. Use the total lanes at the narrowest part of the segment. For example, a ferry dock entrance road may have 10 or more lanes at its widest point, but decrease to 3 lanes at its narrowest point - so the road would have a lane count of 3.

Max speed

Country specific default speeds: Roads in every country will have a default speed limit depending on the road priority, surface type and the country’s speed guidelines. If you're not sure about the speed value, leave it as default. Some segments may have varying speed limits and should be changed to ensure best routing. Verify the speed limit on posted signs visible in Street View [link] where available.

For example, Local Roads have low speed limits (30 KPH or 25 MPH) while Freeways have high speed limits (100 KPH or 65-75 MPH).

Variable Speed Limits: Some regions may have what are called “Variable Speed Zones.” Within these areas, electronic speed limit signs can be found along the road, usually raised above the lanes. The speed limit on these roads should also be set to the maximum legal limit.

Divider

A Divider separates the flow of the traffic and prevents a turn. There are a few choices available:

  • No divider:Use this if no barrier or paint line is present on the road segment. If a road is split into two one-way segments, then the Divider attribute should be set as No Divider, since the split implies the existence of the Divider.
  • Divider present: Use this to indicate a divided traffic flow and restricted turns to destinations. If you know the type of the divider (or it is evident from the satellite imagery), you may instead choose a more specific value from the drop-down menu.
  • Legal divider: Use this if a painted line on the road segment divides the flow of traffic and restricts a turn.

Note: Raised pavement markers, also known as Botts' Dots, should be treated the same as painted lines when determining the appropriate Divider attribute for a road.

Direction

The Direction describes how automobile traffic flows on the road. In the US, vehicles travel in the right-hand lane, whereas the opposite is true in places such as India and the United Kingdom. Select from the following Directions:

  • No traffic: This should not be used for any restrictions on a road.
  • Two-way: Road that supports two-way traffic (bi-directional traffic).
  • One-way (A to B) / One-way (B to A): Road that supports traffic in a single direction. Select A to B or B to A based on the direction of traffic flow. The A and B markers refer to the endpoints of the road on the map.

Use Street View and satellite imagery when possible to verify the direction of travel.

Elevation

In most cases when Grade Levels are added, the corresponding Elevation attribute should also be added. The following road elevation scenarios can be represented on Map Maker:

  • Bridge: A segment that passes over a single road, water-body, valley or any other line. (When passing over a road or railway, grade levels should be set to Overpass.)
  • Tunnel: A Tunnel is an underground passageway made to pass through natural features (such as mountains, rivers, or water) or under a congested urban area.
  • Normal: A road that isn't elevated over other features.
  • Skyway: A road (or railroad) segment that is elevated for an extended length and passes over multiple or no line features.

Note: Grade Levels and Elevation attributes should only be set for the portion of the road that is elevated or sub-surface.

Surface Type

Select the surface type to indicate whether a trail is paved or unpaved, or specify the type of material used in its construction. 

Road Condition

Select the road's Condition. Good roads will be prioritized for driving directions. Set road Condition according to personal knowledge. Street View and satellite imagery are usually insufficient to judge road quality.

  • Good: A well-constructed road that supports the smooth flow of traffic.
  • Bad: A poorly maintained road that isn't recommended for driving.

Construction status

Select the Construction Status that best indicates if a road is completed or undergoing a phase of construction.

  • Started: Roads that aren't open to public yet and are under construction.
  • Planned: Roads that don't physically exist yet, but a plan or blueprint has been made.
  • Closed for Maintenance: Roads that exist but are temporarily closed for more than 24 hours due to construction.
  • Disturbed by Maintenance: Roads that may be undergoing construction, but allow through traffic.
  • Completed: Default status for roads that aren't under construction. This should be the choice for most roads.

Road Access

Road access allows you to specify if a road is open to the public or is part of a restricted, private area.

Public: Some public destinations (e.g. shopping centers or hospitals) have gates that limit times of access or access fees. These areas are not private, since they are open to the general public and do not require a security check.

Private:A private road is owned and maintained by an individual or organization and should not be used by general traffic. Private roads lead to areas closed to the public, such as a military base or a gated housing community. A road that is marked “Private” will not be used in directions unless the destination is on that road or the road is the only route to the destination.

Segment Usage

Select this to indicate how a road segment is used.

  • Ramp: Connects two non-intersecting roads and allows easy traffic flow to and from higher priority roads to lower priority roads.
  • Special traffic figure: A road segment that is part of a roundabout with a higher priority road cutting through the central island.
  • Enclosed traffic area / Parking lot: Roads inside enclosed areas such as malls and shopping centers that have parking spaces on either side of the road.
  • Pedestrian mall (car-free zone): Paved or unpaved roads for exclusive pedestrian use. These walkways are closed to bicycles and normal vehicles, although buses, trams, delivery vehicles, or maintenance and security vehicles may be allowed. The Pedestrian mall attribute should only be used in conjunction with the No Auto Traffic road Priority.
  • Turn segment: Turn segments, commonly referred to as slip roads, are segments between two connecting roads that bypass the direct intersection of the roads.
  • Highway Interchange: Directly connects one freeway to another freeway. A Highway Interchange overrides all other categories of ramps, such as exit or entrance ramps.
  • Roundabout / Traffic circle: A Roundabout or traffic circle, is a junction at which traffic flows in a circle around a central island.
  • Roundabout bypass: A segment of road that allows vehicles to bypass going around a roundabout or traffic circle and take a free left/right turn

Grade Levels

Grade Levels indicate whether or not roads that appear to be on top of each other on the map intersect.

  • Overpass: Road segment that is above a surface-level road.
  • Underpass: Road segment that is below a surface-level road.
  • Surface: Road segment that is on the ground.

It's possible for multiple roads (including bridge and tunnel segments) to be stacked on top of one another. The stacking of roads from the lowest to the uppermost level would be indicated this way: Underpass 2, Underpass 1, Surface, Overpass 1, Overpass 2, Overpass 3, Overpass 4, Overpass 5.

Bicycle and pedestrian access

Bicycle paths are tracks, paths, or marked lanes designated for use by cyclists and/or pedestrians. You can edit the attributes Bicycle access, Bicycle suitability, and Pedestrian access.

Bicycle access

This attribute indicates how accessible a road is for bicycles.
  • Unknown: The default option for all roads. This allows routing for cyclists unless the Priority is set to Expressway or Freeway.
  • Allowed, no bicycle lane: Roads where bicycling is permitted even though there is no special marked lane for bicycles.
  • On-street bicycle lane: Roads with bicycle lanes that are marked by stripes, signs, and pavement markings.
  • Closed to bicycles: Roads that completely restrict bicycles.
  • Segregated Parallel lane/Trail: Roads designated for use by cyclists only.

Bicycle suitability

This attribute indicates how suitable a road is for bicycle use.
  • PreferredRoads that you'd prefer while cycling.
  • Avoid: Roads that don't have any explicit bicycle restrictions, but you'd rather avoid while cycling.

Pedestrian access

This attribute indicates how accessible a road is for pedestrians.
  • Unknown: Roads that allow routing for pedestrians except when the Priority is set to Expressway or Freeway. Unknown is the default option for all roads.
  • Allowed, no sidewalk: Roads that allow pedestrians, but lack pavement or sidewalks.
  • Sidewalk: Roads with pavement or sidewalks constructed for pedestrians.
  • Closed to pedestrians: Roads that explicitly forbid pedestrian access.
    • If the road is marked “closed to pedestrians” in one direction of travel, pedestrian travel/walking is restricted for that direction on both sides of the road.
    • See example:
      In the image below, when pedestrian access is closed on one side from A to B, walking directions are restricted on both sides from A to B:

Address range

Address range corresponds to the range of the Building/Plot # on each side of the road segment. If you specify the range, it will mean that the Building/Plot # on this segment will lie inside the range. The range is directional and assumed to be uniformly distributed on the segment length. Example: House numbers from one segment to the next.

Best practices:

  • Enter the Prefix and Suffix of the address ranges wherever applicable. Example: A-1 to A-10 or 10C to 20C. If there is no alphabet, leave this field blank.
  • Enter the Address Range starting from the first building/plot number till the last in the Street # from and to section
  • Check Alternate numbering on each side of the street if the Building # or Plot # on each side of the road are all even/odd. For example, Main St. from point A to B has Buildings # 10, 12, and 14, and from point B to A has Buildings # 15, 13, and all.