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Public-images-osm logo.svg place = island
An island is any piece of land that is completely surrounded by water and isolated from other significant landmasses.
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
See also
Status: Approved


An island is any piece of land that is completely surrounded by water and isolated from other significant landmasses.

Islands in the sea

Mf area.svg Draw a closed way counterclockwise along the coastline of the island (water is always on the right hand side). Then add the tag:

Groups of islands

See place=archipelago

Islands in waterways and lakes

Mf area.svg Island within lakes or rivers should be mapped using multipolygon relations. The way for the island should be given the role inner, while the way for lake or river should have the role outer.

If the island has a name, it can be tagged with: place=island and name=*

You can specify the landuse, or by what it is covered with a natural=* or landuse=* tag.

Small islands

Mf area.svg A small island (Wikipedia-16px.png Islet), with maximum area of 1 km², and only a few buildings (or none), located near a bigger island or the mainland, is drawn like a big island, but tagged with:

Example: Wikipedia-16px.png Beginish

if an island is in the middle of the sea and far away of other islands, cause the prominent meaning it will be tagged as "island".

Example: Wikipedia-16px.png Wake Island

Large islands

Islands with coastlines having more then 2000 nodes will require a multipolygon relation to be created containing the place=island and name=* ... tags etc. See this example of the Isle of Kerrera.

Differentiating "Island" and "Islet"

Differentiation between Island and Islet (List with examples)(de).

Rendering hints

The openstreetmap.org Standard layer uses a different method to render coastlines. It takes up to a day before changes to the coastline are seen in the tiles. For more details, see Coastline.

If you place an island on dry land, do not expect water to automatically appear around the island.

Adding this tag to an island will place an italicized label on it.

See also