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Available languages — Key:operator
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Public-images-osm logo.svg operator
Osm element key.svg
Сompany, corporation, person or any other entity who is in charge of the operation of a certain map object
Group: Properties
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areasmay be used on relations
Documented values: 7
Useful combination
See also
Status: In use

The operator tag is used to name a company, corporation, person or any other entity who is in charge of the operation of a certain map object.


Often it's useful to describe that a certain map object is operated by a company, corporation or a person in any way.


For example: Due to the emerging of private postal service providers, it may be useful for map readers to know which postal services provider operates a certain amenity=post_box.
In Germany there are already some private companies like PIN or Stadtbrief who install their own post boxes. Who wants to ship a letter has to choose the post box of "his" postal service provider ? Other examples are pubs, restaurants and hotel chains, maybe also streets maintained by private companies where a fee is required.

If the vast majority of a certain object in an area is operated by a certain organization and only very few by others then it may be sufficient to only tag the exceptions.
For example, when nearly all roads in an area are managed by a local authority then it would be sufficient to only tag those that are not with an operator tag.

When choosing the appropriate text field it is beneficial to use exactly the same text, including capitalization across all entries. Please refer to taginfo stats if company name was already used by someone otherwise the title of the associated Wikipedia article for the same organization may usefully be used as a reference for this.

Operator isn't necessarily the owner

As explained above, an operator isn't necessarily the owner of the map feature.
Especially in infrastructure when many transport and communication networks had been built by public administrations and now operated by private companies.
Be sure to use this tag according to this criteria. Have a look to owner=* and ownership=* instead.


  • tourism=hotel
  • name=Le Méridien Piccadilly (the name of the specific hotel)
  • operator=Le Méridien (the name of the company that runs the hotel, and which maybe run other hotels too)