Power lines

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There are more power infrastructure in the real world than just a power plug and socket. The socket on the wall is just the end of a big grid which is supplied with electric energy through a transportation and distribution network. This is a scheme of some infrastructure. Power-infrastructur.png

Influenced by: discussion on Talk:key:power, User:Adjuva/PowerTagging, Matthew Newton, Bahnpirat

Personal statement: confusions between power=station and power=sub_station are my (Bahnpirat) fault. The following draft use the correct English meaning and "station" is no longer a tag here.

OSM-key (color) English German  ?
Way power=line high voltage overhead power line Hochspannungsfreileitung (400 kV - 50 kV)
Way power=cable + location=* high voltage earth cables Hochspannungserdkabel (400 kV - 50 kV)
Node power=pole (may be also: location:transition=yes) smaller tower, made of wood or stone Mittelspannungsmast (z.B. aus Holz oder Beton)
Way power=minor_line smaller overhead line Mittelspannungfreileitung (55 kV - 1 kV)
Way power=cable with location=underground and voltage=* below 50 kV low to medium voltage underground power cable Mittelspannungkabel (50 kV - 1 kV)
Node power=tower and in this case
power tower where overhead line transitions into underground cable. Erdkabelübergang - Freileitung wechselt zu Erdkabel
Node power=substation with substation=transition underground cable go overground inside a sub station Erdkabelübergang im Umspannwerk
Node power=transformer high voltage transformer Hochspannungstransformator ( > 100 kV)
Node power=substation with substation=minor_distribution distribution for local area Trafohäuschen
Node man_made=street_cabinet + street_cabinet=power distribution cabinet in a street Verteilerkasten

keys and values

key value element description en Beschreibung de
power line Way a overhead high voltage power line oberirdische Hochspannungsleitung
power cable Way an underground high voltage "line" Hochspannungsleitung unter der Erde.
power tower Node a pylon/tower supporting a power line Ein Strommast, welcher die Leitung trägt.
cables 2;3;4;6 Way Relation number of cables per power line/system. Anzahl der Kabel pro "Leitung"/System.
frequency * Node Way Area Relation European standard is 50 Hertz and 60 Hertz for North America to the north of South America also Japan and Taiwan, DC would be 0 Hertz, own power grid for railways in Austria, Germany, Switzerland use 16.7 Hertz Standard ist 50 Hertz für Europa und 60 Hertz für Nordamerika und den nördlichen Teil von Südamerika sowie Japan und Taiwan; Gleichstrom (DC) wäre hier 0, eigenes Hochspannungsnetz der Bahnen in Österreich, Deutschland, Schweiz benutzt 16,7 Hertz.
voltage * Node Way Relation Voltage as integer value. Please use the SI-Unit Volt, but do not append it to the value. Spannung in Volt. Ohne Punkt/Komma oder Einheit.
name (or ref) * Node Way Area Relation name or reference of the power line. This value is consistent along the line. Name oder Nummer der Hochspannungsleitung. Diese ist über die ganze Strecke gleich.
operator * Node Way Area Relation Name of the line operator. If more than one operator is responsible (hybrid power line), list them divided by a semicolon like operator=EON;Vattenfall in alphabetic order. Name des Betreibers.
source GPS
Node Way Area Relation source of position and/or other information Quelle der Position und/oder anderer Informationen.

The whole thing

Dscf0305 600.jpg
The power line is carried on power=towers or power=poles. Three cables are one circuit (except traction power lines, HVDC, and Single-wire earth return). Every circuit has one voltage=* level on which it operate. Draw one way for all circuits connected to one power tower. All lines for 50 kV or more are power=line. For less voltage than this use power=minor_line on power=pole. Use power=cable with location=underground for undergound power lines. name=* should be used for name/number of the line (can be found on power towers).

Illustration of Power.jpg
Power towers have numbers and names on it. Tower numbers increase from start to end point. Names or numbers for each systems can be found on power towers and are the same at each tower. These belong to the power=line and should be taged on the way itself. Use source=survey if you track them! Poles (power=pole) can carry high voltage lines (power=line) with voltages up to 150,000 volts/161,000 volts as well as minor lines. Power towers can also carry power=minor_lines.

Technical facts


"wires=* means the type of cable which hang on insulators. Possible values : single, double, triple, quad .. (table from User:Nahainec/PowerLine)

count Picture tag
1 JP Power Wires Single.JPG wires=single
2 JP Power Wires Double.JPG wires=double
3 JP Power Wires Triple.JPG wires=triple
4 JP Power Wires Quad.JPG wires=quad
5 JP Power Wires Fivefold.JPG wires=fivefold
6 JP Power Wires Hex.JPG wires=sixfold
8 JP Power Wires Octal.JPG wires=eightfold
  • cables=* count the number of used cables shielded by insulators on the tower or pole. Usualy something divided by three, like 3, 6 .. 18 ? Don't count grounded cables. These shield the infrastructure from lightning and are not used for electric power transmission.
  • layer=* There are people connecting ways with power lines. Unless there is a broken line where wires lay at ground this is wrong. Layer=4 or 5 prevent lines going under a layer=2 building=*.


Tag circuits=* allows mapper to represent to number of transit circuits.

Life cycle management

Like all infrastructure power lines are projected, constructed, used and may be deconstructed if it's disused.

See also