Korea Streetsigns

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In 2009 the Korean government introduced a new street naming scheme. Across the country new street signs were installed and new house number plaques were distributed. See Korea Streetsigns history for a discussion of the history of Korean streetsigns and addresses. You will find that most name tags in Korea are still tagged with Hangeul and English (in brackets) the name tag. The convention recently changed, please follow these rules now and help the manual transition.

Street names

Here's how I enter the information from the street signs. As you can see, there are four tags filled in:

JOSM screenshot showing a street sign photo and properties window
Setting street properties from a streetsign
Tag (key=value) Description
highway=residential The first one is the type of street. In Korea, virtually every kind of street is now named. In this example it was a residential street, but it could be a major road or motorway!
name=주계로7길 This is the 'general' name of the street in Hangeul.
name:en=Jugye-ro 7-gil The English name of the street if known. In the English name, do not include any number transliteration (in the example "chil" for 7 is omitted). The reason for this is because it is not used on all signs, so we should be consistent and omit it.
name:ko=주계로7길 The Korean name of the street, in Hangeul.
name:ko_rm=Jugyerochilgil If you know the Hangeul Romanisation, add it using this tag. Use the appropriate romanisation rules depending on if the element is in the North or the South.

Note: Street names sometimes do not follow a street in a straight line. It is possible for a street name to go around a corner rather that along the entire street or road.

This convention should be used for most objects in the OSM data for Korea. Please help with the transition.


The new street address signs have two forms: a 'house shaped' blue rectangle with a triangular top for most homes and businesses, and a circular sign with blue writing for public buildings. The address number may contain a hyphen.

Homes and businesses

A Korean house address sign
A Korean address sign for a home or business

These signs generally have the address number in large white numerals and the street name in Hangeul and English on a blue background. Public buildings often have a circular sign, and some color and shape variants can be found.

Public buildings

A Korean public building address sign, on a post office building
A Korean address sign for a public building

These signs, on schools, libraries, post offices etc., have the address number in large blue numerals on a white background with the street name in Hangeul and English and a circular logo to indicate the type of building.

How to map

The Karlsruhe addressing schema works well in Korea with the new addressing scheme.

  • Enter the address number (including hyphens if present) into addr:housenumber=*
  • Enter the street name (in Hangul only) into addr:street=*
  • Ensure that the street is recorded on the map nearby as a way with name:en=* and name:ko=* tags. Ensure that the Korean and English names for the way match the Korean and English names on the address sign.

It is not necessary to add the English version of the street name into any addr=* tag. Software can match the Korean street name from addr:street=* with the name=* tags from nearby ways to get the English.


Address sign Tags (key=value)
Th 453.jpg
Th 607.jpg
Th 259.jpg
Th 379.jpg
Th 887.jpg
A square sign in Seoul.
A green background in Hamyang County.
A rectangular sign in Seoul.


official government site regarding the new addressing scheme