Lifecycle prefix

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The lifecycle/status namespace prefix can be used to tag objects with a status such as proposed, planned, construction, disused, abandoned, demolished, historic. See also Comparison of life cycle concepts.

For example: disused:amenity=pub
Also: construction:amenity=parking, proposed:lanes=2, abandoned:railway=narrow_gauge

By using this key prefix it is ensured that current or legacy applications are not confused by objects which do not exist or are not fully functional and only software aware of this tagging concept will evaluate those.

See also date namespace for a related proposal to include dates for historic tags, for example name:-1965=Kings Place. The two possibilities can be combined to some extent.

Historic objects with no relevance to current state of an object generally do not belong into the main database.

How to tag

Add a namespace prefix (for example "disused:") to all keys which are no longer relevant to the current state of an object. You should treat all the tags on an object as a set of facts about the object, and prefix the keys of those facts which are no longer true as a result of the disuse. For example, a concrete parking area which is no longer used for parking cars but which still carries a name sign might be tagged as

name=West Plain Car Park

which makes it unavailable to programs which search parking, and unlikely to be displayed as parking in any default rendering. The name is still relevant, and will still be searchable. If the area is opened up again, it's a simple matter to undo the prefixing.

Common lifecycle prefixes in chronological order

  • proposed:
planned, with a high likelihood of being constructed
usage: ~21,000 in taginfo as of 08/2016
  • planned:
As of 07/2015 considered a duplicate of proposed. It is considered defining this as a stricter proposed: — the planned feature should be approved and funded.
usage: ~2000 in taginfo as of 08/2016
  • construction:
being constructed at this time
usage: ~8400 in taginfo as of 08/2016
not currently available for use, but could be reinstated easily
usage: ~37,000 in taginfo as of 08/2016
still visible but fallen into serious disrepair and which could only be put back into operation with considerable effort
usage: ~153,000 in taginfo as of 08/2016
Destroyed, torn down or broken apart structure on purpose.
usage: ~3500 in taginfo as of 08/2016
  • historic:
a previously valid characteristic
usage: ~29,500 in taginfo as of 08/2016
  • was:
not what it used to be (might not exist anymore)
usage: ~14,200 in taginfo as of 08/2016
features that do not exist anymore
usage: ~2500 in taginfo as of 08/2016
Most frequently used are removed:power=*, removed:building=* and removed:design=* (removed overhead power lines and towers)

Less common prefix values

  • destroyed:
similar to demolished but destructed by any cause other then intentional demolition.
usage: ~260 in taginfo as of 08/2016
  • former:
possible duplicate of was.
usage: ~200 in taginfo as of 08/2016
Features that don't exist but have an high probability to be re-added by a non surveyed edit because they can be seen on commonly used imagery or import sources.
usage: ~180 in taginfo as of 08/2016
Only ruins are remaining of this object. Same as or similar to ruined:. (Please discuss which might be better).
usage: ~300 in taginfo as of 04/2017
Object is in ruins, same or similar as ruins: - see above.
usage: ~125 in taginfo as of 04/2017


Image Tagging Description
Closed down shop.jpg disused:shop=yes A closed-down shop of some sort. If the type of shop it used to be is known, substitute the appropriate value from Key:shop for "yes".
Disused-or-abandoned-pub.jpg disused:amenity=pub
disused:operator=The Oxford Pub Company
name=Fox & Hounds
Boarded-up disused public house. It no longer has an operator as such - no beer is sold - but the name is still useful for navigation.
Weiche der ehemaligen Bahnstrecke Herzberg–Siebertal.jpg railway=disused
Historic railway line. Tracks not degraded but overgrown.
Taplow - fGWR 165103 up train.JPG electrified=no
Railway line with electrification works in progress.
Leisurepitchdisused.png disused:leisure=pitch Disused pitch, now somewhat overgrown.