Key:source

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Public-images-osm logo.svg source
Osm element key.svg
Description
For indicating the source of information of anything added to the OSM database.
Group: Annotation
Used on these elements
may be used on nodes
may be used on ways
may be used on areas
may be used on relations
Status: unspecified

Some mappers use the source=* tag to indicate the source of some information (i.e. meta data) added to OpenStreetMap under the impression that this tag could be useful for verification and to assist future editors who may wish to understand the origins of the data they are modifying. It is often preferable to use separate source tags for each of the main tags, for example source:name=*, source:ref=*, source:lanes=* detailing how the information for 'name', 'ref' and 'lanes' was collected. Since the introduction of changesets these tags are often added as changeset tags rather than in the features themselves.

Note that source:maxspeed=* is frequently used to give information about the type of the speed limit. If you wish to tag both the type of the speed limit and also source information for how the information was collected then either use source:maxspeed in the way described on this page and use 'maxspeed:type' for the type of speed limit (for example maxspeed=40, source:maxspeed=Survey 20 November 2012 and maxspeed:type=sign would indicate that a numeric sign showed a speed limit of 40 km/h based on a ground survey done on 20 November 2012, or use maxspeed:source=*. Please note that currently most usages of source:maxspeed=* are indicating the type of maxspeed, and that by the time this tag was introduced there were 0 occurences of sources like documented here!

How to use

Add a source tag detailing how and ideally also when the details were captured. For example:

  • source=survey to indicate that all tags were added based on a survey
  • source:name=survey to indicate that the name was added based on a survey
  • source:name=survey 10 November 2012 to indicate that the name was added based on a survey on a particular date
  • source=bing to indicate that the information was added based on a use of bing imagery (probably only geometry and lanes, but not names or other features
  • source:name=OS Locator The name was derived from OS Opendata Locator
  • source:name=massgis The details were imported from a Massachusetts open data source
  • source:name=cadastre-dgi-fr source : Direction Générale des Impôts - Cadastre. Mise à jour : 2011 The added from the 2011 version of the French Cadastre data.
  • mf.source:name=Broadway

If you check a feature and confirm that the value is correct, or update the tag value based on a new survey then do update the source information. For example a feature may have originally been captured from out-of-copyright imagery, being tagged 'source=NPE' and you then later improved the alignment using Bing imagery then changed the source value to 'source=Bing'. If a tag value is based on information derived from multiple sources using 'source=NPE+bing' or similar.

In the Potlatch editor a source tag can be added to a feature by pressing 'b'. For large edits the source tag can instead be added to the changeset summary.

More examples

Commonly used sources:

Value Country(ies) Meaning Website Note
bing worldwide Tracing of an old version (before Winter 2012) of Microsoft's map service Bing's aerial imagery (but not their actual maps)
Bing 2012 worldwide Tracing of the current version (since Summer 2012) of Microsoft's map service Bing's aerial imagery (but not their actual maps). Note that it is still 2012 and not 2013 because of the age of the images.
common knowledge worldwide The OSM user knows this from many informal source and believes it to be commonly known by most people who care. For instance most people know that the huge ocean between Europe, Africa and the Americas is called the Atlantic.
cuzk:km CZ Manual or semi-automatic tracing of Czech catastral map http://www.cuzk.cz
dictaphone worldwide The OSM user visited the place with a standalone voice recorder and described his observations, then later entered the data from voice playback
extrapolation worldwide The information was extrapolated from other information, but is still better than pure guesswork
Fugro 2005 DK Tracing of Fugro's aerial imagery from 2005 http://www.fugro.com/divisions/survey/geospatial-services/aerial-mapping
landsat worldwide Tracing of Landsat low resolution satellite imagery
local knowledge worldwide The OSM user has some affiliation with the area (resident, place of work, frequent visits...) and knows this first hand or from others in the area
photograph worldwide Information was photographed (not from the air or space)
survey worldwide see above in section "How To Use"
uhul:ortofoto CZ Usually manual tracing of grey-scale aerial imagery by Czech office for economic use of forests
yahoo worldwide Tracing of Yahoo's aerial imagery

Tags used only by specific data import software:

Value Country(ies) Meaning Website Note
3dShapes NL 3dShapes landuse and building shapes in The Netherlands and a bit across the border
AND NL Data donated in 2007 by AND Automotive Navigation Data, see the AND Data wiki page.
cadastre-dgi-fr FR WikiProject France/Cadastre French catastre maps. Mostly buildings, road names, administrative boundaries, addresses
cuzk:ruian CZ Import source of addresses, buildings, parcels of land in the Czech Republic http://www.ruian.cz
dibavod CZ Import source of water bodies in the Czech Republic http://www.dibavod.cz
DOP_LVA DE source=DOP_LVA_BY_01 - (pilot scheme from 2008-12-12 to 2009-03-31) extending OSM by digital orthophotos provided by the land surveying office of Bavaria, Germany
Geobase_Import worldwide Geobase data. Mostly place names
HELP␣SERVICE␣-␣REMOTE␣SENSING... CZ Import source of some parts of road network in the Czech Republic http://www.bnhelp.cz
IBGE BR IBGE Import. Brazilian federal data
kapor2 SK Import of ways and buildings from cadastre data in Slovakia [1]
KSJ2
LSIB3 worldwide international boundary from the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues (INR/GGI) [2]
NRCan-CanVec-7.0
NHD US National Hydrography Dataset. Imported rivers/lakes
NPS US US National Park Service Data.
OSAK DK Imported address data from official Danish source
PGS wordwide Prototype Global Shoreline. Low detail coastline generated from landsat imagery.
SanGIS␣Addresses␣Public␣Domain San Diego U.S. SanGIS government data
YahooJapan/ALPSMAP JP Information donated by Yahoo in Japan

Further information:

source value instances (change direction MM-YYYY of count) meaning short source meaning contributor
cadastre-dgi-fr source : Direction Générale des Impôts - Cadastre. Mise à jour : 2010 >13.6 million (Green up.png Jan 2013) see Cadastre Government (France) Ceyockey
cadastre-dgi-fr source : Direction Générale des Impôts - Cadastre. Mise à jour : 2011 >9.6 million (Red down.png Jan 2013) see Cadastre Government (France) Ceyockey
cadastre-dgi-fr source : Direction Générale des Impôts - Cadastre ; mise à jour : 2012 >8.1 million (Jan 2013) see Cadastre Government (France) Ceyockey
Bing (and "bing") >7.9 million (Jan 2013) Bing Corporate (Microsoft) Ceyockey
YahooJapan/ALPSMAP >5.2 million (Green up.png Jan 2013) see YahooJapanALPS Data Corporate (Yahoo Japan) value assigned at YahooJapanALPS Data/Highway
3dShapes >4.6 million (unchanged Jan 2013) 3dShapes Corporate (Object Vision) value assigned at Import/Catalogue#Ongoing_Imports
PGS & PGS(could be inacurately) ~4.5 million (Jan 2013) Prototype Global Shoreline Government (United States) Ceyockey
cadastre-dgi-fr source : Direction Générale des Impôts - Cadastre ; (M_or_m)ise à jour : 2009 >3.8 million (Jan 2013) see Cadastre Government (France) Ceyockey
KSJ2 >2.8 million (Red down.png Jan 2013) see Import/Catalogue/Japan KSJ2 Import Government (Japan) value assigned at Import/Catalogue#One-Time Imports
NRCan-CanVec-7.0 >2.8 million (Green up.png Jan 2013) CanVec#CanVec 7 Government (Canada) Ceyockey
cuzk:km ~2.5 million (Jan 2013) Manual or semi-automatic tracing of Czech catastral map Government (Czechoslovakia) Ceyockey (consult to Tag:source=cuzk:km#Most common sources and their meaning
NRCan-CanVec-10.0 >2.4 million (Jan 2013) Canvec#CanVec 10 Government (Canada) Ceyockey
NHD >2.2 million (Green up.png Jan 2013) National Hydrography Dataset Government (United States) value assigned at Import/Catalogue#One-Time Imports
NRCan-CanVec-8.0 >2.1 million (Jan 2013) CanVec#CanVec_8 Government (Canada) Ceyockey
extraction vectorielle v1 cadastre-dgi-fr source : Direction Générale des Impôts - Cadas. Mise à jour : 2010 >2 million (Jan 2013) see Cadastre Government (France) Ceyockey
OSAK (2010) >1.9 million (Red down.png Jan 2013) Address data released by Danish government. Government (Denmark) rasher (personal knowledge)
CanVec 6.0 - NRCan >1.9 million (Jan 2013) CanVec#CanVec 6 Government (Canada) Ceyockey
kapor2 >1.7 million (Jan 2013) WikiProject Slovakia/Sources#Cadastral map Government (Slovakia) Ceyockey
Regione Emillia Romagna >1.1 million (Jan 2013) IT:Emilia Romagna edificato Government (Italy) Ceyockey
survey >0.8 million (Jan 2013) Key:source OSM editor Ceyockey
cadastre-dgi-fr source : Direction Générale des Impôts - Cadastre ; mise à jour : 2008 >0.7 million (Jan 2013) WikiProject France/Cadastre Government (France) ceyockey

JOSM annotation presets

 <item name="Data Source">
   <label text="Way/Segment/Node Data Source"/>
   <combo key="source" 
          text="Source"
          values="landsat,photograph,local knowledge,common knowledge,dictaphone,extrapolation,<other - please specify>"/>
 </item>
 <item name="Street Name Source">
   <label text="Street Name Source"/>
   <combo key="source:name" 
          text="Source" 
          values="photograph,local knowledge,common knowledge,dictaphone,<other - please specify>"/>
 </item>
 <item name="Road Number Source">
   <label text="Road Number Source"/>
   <combo key="source:ref" 
          text="Source"
          values="photograph,local knowledge,common knowledge,dictaphone,<other - please specify>"/>
 </item>

See also