Place tagging overview

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This article lists all the most common ways mappers currently tag places. A place can be a country, city, town, suburb, village, etc.

A place should never be tagged twice. There should be only place tag per per place.

Place Node

The simplest way is adding a node with a name=* and place=*. The drawback is that this does not map the extent of the place.

Administrative Boundary with Center

If the place has an Administrative Boundary, add a place node exactly like above, but make it the admin_centre or label of the corresponding Boundary Relation. The relation itself should not have a place tag.

This is the most common method for large areas like countries, cities, towns, and some villages.

Place Area

Sometimes, a place does not have an Administrative Boundary, either because it's unmapped, or because it's a relatively small place. This is very common for smaller places like suburbs, neighborhoods, and smaller villages and towns.

Most mappers add a name=*, place=* to an area.

Note that Mapnik currently has a bug: The name tag will not render for areas. Some people try solving this by duplicating the place: They add a place=* to both a node and an area. This is incorrect mapping, and it causes duplications in searches. See the workaround below.

A common workaround to the rendering problem is also adding landuse=residential to the area (in addition to the place and name). The additional landuse=residential tag will cause the name to render. Usually, this workaround is also proper mapping, because a village, suburb, neighbordhood, etc is usually residential indeed.