Road attributes

Almost 50 road attributes can be used to describe various types of roads in Map Creator (e.g. speed limit, lanes, etc.). To simplify editing attributes on roads, there are several “Road types” (e.g. highway) which have a default set of attributes to prevent invalid combinations (e.g. pedestrians allowed on a highway).  The table below provides an overview of valid and invalid attribute combinations.

Fig.: Editable attributes per road type (click to enlarge image)

1 Road attributes menu

After drawing a new road or selecting an existing road, the “Road attributes” menu opens on the left and displays all editable road attributes. Click on each title to expand the section and see the attribute choices. Attribute information is critical for correct display and routing purposes and should be edited according to reality.

Fig.: “Road attributes” menu with expandable attribute sections

2 Road types

It is important to designate a road type because it defines relevance and importance of a road segment when optimizing route calculations. In Map Creator, all road types have a default set of attributes adhering to HERE specifications. Highway, main, local access, residential, parking lot and 4WD roads are mainly vehicular roads, while pedestrian zone, pedestrian road and trails are primarily for pedestrians and restrict vehicles.

Fig.: “Road types” in Map Creator

2.1 Highway

“Highways” are the main connectors between different countries, cities, and metropolitan areas. The main characteristics are: limited access, motorized vehicles only, relatively high posted speed, and a median separating traffic traveling in opposite directions.

Fig.: “Highway” (e.g. Germany)

2.2 Main

“Main” roads are primary or arterial roads with a high traffic thoroughfare between cities, villages, and within urban areas. They typically provide a fast connection to adjacent highways.

Fig.: “Main” (e.g. South Africa)

2.3 Local access

“Local access” roads are secondary roads with a moderate traffic flow which provide a relatively fast connection to cities and villages. Within urban areas they connect residential areas with main roads.

Fig.: “Local access” (e.g. Germany)

2.4 Residential

“Residential” roads are roads within neighborhoods. These roads are low-traffic and normally used by locals rather than as a thoroughfare, but can also connect to local access and main roads.

Fig.: “Residential” (e.g. Germany)

2.5 Parking lot road

“Parking lot roads” lead to parking spaces in front of shopping malls, convention centers, amusement parks, etc.

Fig.: “Parking lot road” (e.g. Germany)

2.6 4WD

“4WD” is used when the road quality is only suitable for vehicles with 4 wheel drive. The “4WD” road type is only available in a subset of countries where this type has a frequent appearance (e.g. North America, Africa and Oceania).

Fig.: “4WD” (e.g. Africa)

2.7 Pedestrian zone

“Pedestrian zone” is a pedestrian-friendly shopping street where vehicle access is limited to delivery vehicles and emergency/service vehicles.

Fig.: “Pedestrian zone” (e.g. Turkey)

2.8 Pedestrian road

“Pedestrian roads” are walkways which are wide enough to allow emergency/service vehicles to pass.

Fig.: “Pedestrian road” (e.g. Germany)

2.9 Trail

“Trails” are walkways, paths, tracks, or earth roads which are only accessible by pedestrian.

Fig.: “Trail” (e.g. Belgium)

The figure below provides an example of the different “Road types”.

Fig.: Road types illustration (click to enlarge image)

3 Road name and language code

Road names and route numbers should be entered according to the street sign in reality.

Fig.: Road name in reality and implemented in Map Creator (e.g. Czech Republic)

How to add road names/route numbers:

1) Use a separate text field for each road name and/or route number.

  • After entering a name a new text field will open automatically.
  • A maximum of four text fields can be used.
Fig.: Entering road names and/or route numbers

2) The language code field appears at the end of the text field.

  • In countries with one language the language code is set automatically.
Fig.: Default language code in the Road name field (e.g. Australia)
  • In countries with multiple languages, choose the language of the road name by clicking the drop down list.
    • For route numbers, use the official language of the region/province/area.
Fig.: Country language code set up where multiple languages exist (e.g. Spain, Catalonia)
  • In countries using languages with non-Latin characters, an additional transcription is needed.
    • If the transcription already exists then the name field displays but it is greyed out and not editable.
Fig.: Country language code set up where multiple languages and transcriptions exist (e.g. Belarus)

3) A warning message will appear if the name exceeds 35 characters (spaces are counted). Use the most common way to abbreviate the name.

Fig.: Warning message because of too many characters and abbreviated name suggestion


  • Changes to existing road names/route numbers are monitored closely because, in most cases, they have been verified by internal experts and validations.
  • When changing an existing road name, ensure you use the name posted on the official sign in reality (not slang).
  • Do not enter multiple road names/route numbers in one text field.
  • Do not enter other information in the road name text fields (e.g. postal codes, house numbers)

4 Speed

Speed information is essential for routing calculations and pre-warnings for speed monitoring. Speed information can be expressed in two ways:

  • As a speed limit.
  • As an average speed.

Both attributes should be added according to reality.

4.1 Speed limit

Speed limits are based on posted speed limit signs in reality. Currently in Map Creator, only general speed limits can be implemented, for example:

  • Sign posted speed limits.
Fig.: Sign posted speed limit
  • Derived from reference signs according to country-specific driving regulations.
Fig.: Derived speed limit from country-specific regulations

Additional sign information like time-dependency or other special situations (e.g. road construction, rain, lateral wind, animal crossing, etc.) cannot be entered in Map Creator and therefore should not be implemented as a speed limit. In cases like this it is recommended to submit a “Feedback”/”Report other map problem” with the problem type “Other”.  Enter all information needed to clearly identify the correct location and additional sign information.

Fig.: Posted speed limit signs with additional information should not be added (e.g. time-dependent speed limits)

Follow the steps below to edit a speed limit:

1) Activate the speed limit display and open the map legend to visualize speed limits.

Fig.: Speed limit display with map legend

2) Precisely define the start and the end point of the speed limit:

  • If the speed limit start and/or end point is not near a node, you will have to create one.
  • If the speed limit start and end points correspond with a node (e.g. from intersection to intersection) then there is no need to create additional nodes.

3) To define the start and end point you can use existing nodes or shape points within an accuracy range of 20 m.

Fig.: Start and end point of the posted speed limit signs with an existing node and shape point in vicinity

4) Follow these steps to create a node:

  • Right-click on the road.
  • Choose “Shape road” and a new shape point will be created at the selected location.
Fig.: Creating a shape point to define the speed limit location
  • Highlight the road and right-click on the shape point.
  • Select “Divide into 2 road segments” and a node will be created.
Fig.: Creating a node to define the speed limit on the road segment

5) After defining the start and end point of the speed limit on the map, enter the new value into the “Speed limit” field:

  • Move the cursor over the fields to identify the direction of your speed limit (A to B or B to A).
  • Enter the speed limit value into the correct field.
  • Check the opposing side for the correctness of the existing speed limit and update if needed.
Fig.: Move the cursor over the speed limit field to identify the direction of travel and enter the new speed limit (click to enlarge image)

Some countries have unlimited speed limits. If this is the case then place a check in the “unlimited” box. After checking the box the numeric speed limit fields are no longer editable.

Fig.: Unlimited speed (e.g. Germany)


  • If “0” is entered the numeric speed limit field will revert to blank.
  • Values ending in a digit other than 0 or 5 (i.e. 43) will be rounded.
  • The smallest value which can be entered is 5.
  • The highest value which can be entered is 130.
  • Only one numeric speed limit field will be visible on one-way roads.

4.2 Average speed

The average speed classifies the overall speed trend along a road and is entered as a range. This differs from speed limits, which are entered based on posted speed limit signs. Therefore it is possible for the speed limit to fall outside of the average speed range.

Average speed ranges are predefined for each road type. You can change the average speed range by clicking on the arrow and choosing a new average speed range which best describes the speed trend of the road.

Fig.: Changing the average speed

5 Direction and lanes

The direction and lanes chapter will give you an overview of direction of travel (1-way/2-way) and number of lanes.

5.1 Direction of travel (1- or 2-way road)

The direction of travel attribute is one of the most important attributes for routing. Take great care when adding or changing direction of travel. Implement 1- or 2-way roads according to sign posted information in reality.

To edit direction of travel:

1) Activate the one way display to visualize direction of travel.

Fig.: One way display

2) Click on the road

3) In the “Road attributes” panel, hover the cursor over the direction of travel options for a visualization on the map.

4) Click on the appropriate direction of travel option.

Fig.: One way coding


  • Direction of travel can only be updated one road segment at a time. If multiple road segments are selected, the direction of travel menu will disappear.
  • Always check the consistency of the direction of travel attribute with the surrounding area. It is a common error to create illogical/conflicting direction of travel on adjacent roads.
Fig.: Illogical one way coding on a ramp system
Fig.: Illogical one way coding on a petrol station

5.2 Number of lanes

Number of lanes indicates the total number of traffic lanes in a single direction. The attribute provides the general lane trend. Do not consider parking lanes, turn lanes near intersections, etc. If a road is two way and there is a difference in the number of lanes in each direction, enter the higher value.

To edit number of lanes:

1) Count the lanes for the single direction by using satellite imagery or  based on your local knowledge.

2) Choose the appropriate lane category

Fig.: Lane category should be “1 lane” as indicated by the image (parking lanes are not counted)

6 Outdoor attributes

Outdoor attributes provide more detail for the “Trail” road type.

6.1 Walking path

  • Paved or unpaved path designated for the use of walking, jogging, or running.
Fig.: “Walking path”

6.2 Hiking trail

  • Typically an unpaved, narrow pathway designated for hiking.
Fig.: “Hiking trail”

6.3 Bicycle path

  • A road, track or path designated for bicycle use and from which motorized vehicles are excluded.

6.4 Bicycle trail

  • Unpaved pathway designated for  mountain bike riders.
Fig.: “Bicycle trail”

6.5 Horse trail

  • Pathway designated for outdoor riding and trekking.
Fig.: “Horse trail”

6.6 Cross-country ski trail

  • Trail designated for cross-country skiing (Nordic skiing).
Fig.: “Cross-country ski trail”

6.7 Ski run

  • Marked path designated for Alpine skiing or snowboarding.
Fig.: “Ski run”

6.8 Ski lift

  • Cable transport device designated to carry skiers up a mountain.
Fig.: “Ski lift”

6.9 BMX track

  • Track designated for BMX bicycles.
Fig.: “BMX track”


  • Some outdoor attribute combinations are invalid (e.g. BMX track cannot be combined with any other type).

7 Structure type

The structure type gives information about the physical works applied to a road segment. Map Creator differentiates three types:

7.1 Open road

A road segment without any additional work.

Fig.: “Open road”

7.2 Tunnel

A road segment that functions as an underground passageway.

Fig.: “Tunnel”

7.3 Bridge

A road segment that functions as a crossing over an obstacle.

Fig.: “Bridge”

To edit structure type:

1) Precisely define the start and the end point of the tunnel or bridge by using existing nodes or shape points within an accuracy range of 20 m.

Fig.: Start and end point of a bridge with an existing shape point at the south end of the bridge

2) To create a start and/or end point:

  • Right-click on the road.
  • Select “Shape road” and a new shape point will be created at the selected location.
Fig.: Creating a shape point to define the bridge start/end location
  • Highlight the road and right-click on the shape point.
  • Select “Divide into 2 road segments” and a node will be created.
Fig.: Creating a node to define the bridge start/end location

3) After defining the start and end point of the tunnel or bridge, choose the appropriate structure type.

  • If tunnel or bridge is selected, the road segment receives a thicker outline to make the structure type visible.
Fig.. Setting the “Structure type” to “Bridge”

4) If the tunnel or bridge has a name in reality then add it in the naming field.  Do not overwrite existing street names or route numbers.


  • A tunnel or bridge should be implemented when the length is greater than or equal to 200 m.
  • If the tunnel or bridge is shorter then 200 m then it can be implemented if it has an official name.
  • When adding a new road segment that includes a tunnel or bridge, check road crossings to verify the underpass and overpass information is represented correctly

8 Surface

The surface attribute describes the quality of the road pavement. The following attributes can be selected to describe it:

8.1 Road is paved

A paved road consists of materials which create a solid surface (concrete, asphalt, brick, cobblestone, etc.).  If the road is considered unpaved (gravel, dirt, grass, sand, etc.), uncheck the “Road is paved” box.

Fig.: “Paved” (e.g. asphalt, cobblestone)
Fig.: “Unpaved” (e.g. sand)

8.2 Poor surface quality

Check this box if most of the road has uneven or broken pavement.

Fig.: “Poor surface quality” (e.g. broken pavement)

8.3 Dirt

Check this box if the road is sandy and muddy most of the time.

Fig.: “Dirt” (e.g. sandy, muddy)

8.4 Gravel

Check this box if the road is primarily gravel.

Fig.: “Gravel” (e.g. broken stony surface)

9 Vehicular access

Vehicular access defines vehicle types allowed on a road. This information is very important for routing purposes and should reflect reality. For all road types (except “Residential”), you can only see a subset of access types because Map Creator shows only logical combinations (e.g. a Highway cannot be “Local vehicular traffic only” so that access type is not visible on a Highway). The full set of access types can be seen in “Residential”.  The following access types are visible in Map Creator:

9.1 No vehicular traffic allowed

The checkbox for “No vehicular traffic allowed” is unchecked by default. If you check the box, the road type will change to “Pedestrian road,” which defaults to allow “Emergency vehicles.” If this does not reflect reality (i.e. emergency vehicles are not allowed), change the road type to “Trail.”

Fig.: “No vehicular traffic allowed”

9.2 Local vehicular traffic only

“Local vehicular traffic only” is unchecked by default. Check the box if through traffic is prohibited.

Fig.: “Local vehicular traffic only” (e.g. “Anlieger frei” = “Residents only”)

9.3 Motorcycles

“Motorcycles” are allowed by default. Uncheck if motorcycles are prohibited.

Fig.: “No Motorcycles”

9.4 Cars

“Cars”are allowed by default. Uncheck if cars are prohibited.

Fig.: “No Cars”

9.5 Taxis

“Taxis” are allowed by default. Uncheck if taxis are prohibited. (no image available).

9.6 Buses

“Buses” are allowed by default. Uncheck if buses are prohibited.

Fig.: “Buses” and “Trucks” are not allowed

9.7 Emergency vehicles

“Emergency vehicles” are allowed by default. Uncheck if emergency vehicles are prohibited (this situation is rare and likely only exists if the road type is a Trail).

9.8 Delivery vehicles

“Delivery vehicles” are allowed by default. Uncheck if delivery vehicles are prohibited.

9.9 Trucks

“Trucks” are allowed by default. Uncheck if trucks are prohibited.

Fig.: “Trucks” are not allowed


  • Avoid isolating roads with different access characteristics.
Fig.: Isolated roads because of access characteristics inconsistency

10 Other attributes

In addition to the attribute sections mentioned above there are several general attributes.

10.1 Toll road

Check the box if payment is required to enter.

Fig.: “Toll road”

10.2 Pedestrians are allowed

Pedestrians are allowed by default (except when the road type is “Highway”). Uncheck if pedestrians are prohibited.

Fig.: “Pedestrians” and “Bicycles” are not allowed

10.3 Good for cycling

Check the box if the road has a bike lane.

Fig.: “Good for cycling”

10.4 4-wheel drive

Check the box if the road should be used with a 4WD vehicle.

Fig.: “4WD”

10.5 Signposted trail

  • Check the box if the trail includes guiding information.
Fig.: “Signposted trail”

10.6 Seasonal closure

Check the box if the trail is closed during specific seasons.

Fig.: “Seasonal closure” because of snow