Proposed features/Camp Site

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Status: Approved (active)
Proposed by: Davo
Tagging: tourism=camp_site
Applies to: relation, area, node
Definition: Provide an ordered series of camp_sites, each with additional features
Rendered as: A tent shown in one of several colours
Drafted on: 30 March, 2015
RFC start: 30 March, 2015
Vote start: 2015-04-28
Vote end: 2015-05-12

For discussion please use the talk page or contribute on the tagging list.

Approved - 10 votes for, 1 against (and two abstaining).


Add a subkey to tourism=camp_site that defines 4 levels that camp site may be at in terms of facilities. While there are very many characteristics of a camp site that an end user may be interested in, we believe its possible to identify a small number that are, themselves indicative.

It should be noted that this tag is for "legal" camp sites. This may have different meanings in different parts of the world, see below.



Camping is a popular recreation in many parts of the world and the facilities offered to campers varies over a huge range. Some campers would not consider using a camp site that does not have a toilet, other expect substantial recreational facilities on site . Someone may just want somewhere to pull up their motor home over night. This tag is intended to provide a first level filter to the potentially vast number of camp sites OSM could list.

This tag does not make all the specific amenity= and leisure= tags unnecessary, most campers will want extra information. This tag will just narrow their search a little. Additional tags could provide more information or could point to a external source of information.

Alternative approaches were considered, for example, tagging an area as a camp site and then placing nodes representing particular facilities within (or near) that area. However, that implies the mapper can accurately locate the facilities in question, water for example may be widely distributed. Pit toilets need to be moved from time to time. And its difficult for a data consumer to associate the facilities with the larger, possibly named area.

So this tag is talking about a whole camp site and indicating that it provides, in one way or another, the minimum facilities for its indicated level.


This proposal has its origins in a long discussion on the Tagging list, early 2015. Much of the effort was put in by a member who was really interested in defining a Proposed_features/camp_type= tag suited to a specialised sort of camp site. Many people contributed but by the Ids of March it was apparent that two separate proposals were needed.

Its important to note that these two proposals are not competitive, both are needed in their own way.


This tag should always be associated with tourism=camp_site. The tag is intended to describe tourist focused camps, not other facilities that also use the word "camp" such as refugee or emergency accommodation. Mappers should keep in mind that using this tag is primarily about helping end users identify a suitable site for their particular needs. Its not for landmark purposes.

This tag does not care about the ownership, management or fee structure of a camp site although other tags may well be used to add that information.

Tagging the key
camp_site=basic Nothing other than an area to pitch a tent or park a vehicle. Roadside stops, undeveloped parts of National Parks or crown land as long as it is feasible and legal to do so. Camp site basic icon.png
camp_site=standard Basic + toilets and water. Sometimes those basic facilities are not on site but are nearby. Camp site standard icon.png
camp_site=serviced Standard + shower + power. Commonly commercial operations, "lower end" camp sites. Camp site serviced icon.png
camp_site=deluxe Serviced + laundry and either a swimming pool or other large scale recreation facility Camp site delux icon.png

The icons show here are just for example, not a recommendation. More specialised maps that intend to present detailed data will undoubtedly develop more appropriate, for their purposes, icons.

Taggers may put data into the database in a form like this

Other Amenities and Similar

Most camp sites and caravan parks will have additional facilities available to its users. So a range of other tags will sensibly be added to the node or area. Additional tags of interest may include, for example -

Placing (eg) multiple amenity=* tags onto one node is clearly problematic and several solutions have been proposed that are, themselves, outside the scope of this proposal. Here are two models using existing, well used values for amenity=* -

Possible Additional Tagging Models
  • tourism=camp_site
  • camp_site=serviced
  • camp_site:bbq=yes
  • camp_site:water_point=yes

Both approaches keep the necessary data in the database, the question is more about the process of putting it in and pulling it out.

Important Note - this proposal is not about endorsing either of these styles, you are just as free to use either after this proposal as you have been before it arose. This question is not unique to this proposal, please don't judge this proposal in terms of this particular uncertainty.

Tagging individual Pitches

In OSM speak, a 'pitch' is a plot of land within a camp_site. An individual, family or small group would setup camp on a pitch, typically just one motorhome, caravan or larger tent, maybe several smaller tents. Tagging of pitches is outside this particular proposal but is under discussion on the tagging mailing list and is expected to reach consensus soon. Its possible it will be subject to a new proposal or something sufficiently similar to current practice will emerge and just needs to be added to documentation for tourism=camp_site or camp_site=*. See also

"Legal" Camp Sites

This tag is designed to describe only camp sites that are "legal". The mapper should ensure the site being mapped is legal in the same way he/she ensures other data they enter is as accurate as possible. However, "legal" when applied to camping has quite different meanings in different parts of the world. This is particularly so in the lower level facilities, 'basic' and 'standard'. Depending on where the camp site is, at least the following are possible -

  • In jurisdictions where the default is to not allow camping. A positive indication that camping is permitted, a sign, a mention in official documents etc.
  • In jurisdictions that allow camping by default the absence of a sign or other indication may be enough to satisfy the mapper that the site is legal.

Please don't use this tag on sites where the legal status is unclear. Its inappropriate to use it on private property except where explicit permission is granted and its clear that is the case. Don't use it where common use is the only indicator that camping is allowed.

Another tag, Proposed_features/camp_type= is probably a far better fit where the legal status is not clear. This tag is both an alternative and a possible complement to camp_site=

Rendering and Additional Information

Renderers may consider presenting a map with appropriately placed icons which when clicked would pop up a flag indicating that additional information. It may include an external web address.


Instructions for voting. Log in to the wiki - top right corner of the page -scroll up. Then scroll down to voting and click on 'edit'.

Copy and paste for

  • yes - {{vote|yes}} ~~~~
  • abstain - {{vote|abstain}} ~~~~ Please state your reason/s for abstaining!
  • no - {{vote|no}} ~~~~ Please state your reason/s for opposition!

Note The ~~~~ automatically inserts your name and date. Please refrain from publicly commenting on other peoples votes, no matter what the comment is, they are entitled to their ideas. Discussion should have settled any issues and the proposal should have adequately described the feature. Further discussion here is too late.

  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Davo (talk) 09:43, 28 April 2015 (UTC) Something to cater to end users specific needs !
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --Dieterdreist (talk) 10:12, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Good work on solving a difficult problem AlaskaDave (talk) 10:55, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Good proposal - now we need to approve a trailhead tag. Glassman (talk) 13:59, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Waldhans (talk) 15:53, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I abstain from voting but have comments I have comments but abstain from voting on this proposal. In the end this proposal got watered down so much as to be both harmless and of limited value. Rendering software can already look at the tags and determine these levels (e.g. amenity=camp_site + drinking_water=no + toilets=no means "basic"). Brycenesbitt (talk) 16:12, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Bryce, I don't understand what you are after. Are you looking for tagging facilities (this proposal) or ownerships/management/designation (camp_type proposal)? --Jan van Bekkum (talk) 17:56, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Although I will be more looking for the tags that describe individual amenities that this "summary tag" it can be a useful addition. Would it apply to tourism=caravan_site as well? --Jan van Bekkum (talk) 20:38, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
    • I see no reason why whats here would not apply to tourism=caravan_site as well. I think most camp sites also cater for caravans, indeed, where I go camping, there are more caravans than anything else. --Davo (talk) 09:31, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Warin61 (talk) 22:49, 28 April 2015 (UTC) Where the 'amenities' have separate nodes/ways it would be difficult to say they were associated with the camp site, this additional tag makes it clear. The 'camp type' concept is different from this and needs a different tag. Application to caravan sites would be another proposal?
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Javbw (talk) 10:15, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. I'm switching vote after consideration. Various tag values of "camp_site" are already in use, including 700 uses of "camp_site=pitch". This tagging need is better served by its own unique tag name such as "camp_site:amenity_level=" Brycenesbitt (talk) 17:17, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
    • No suggestion that that a mechanical edit is implied. Those 700 uses will stay as they are now. Possibly unrendered because their meaning is unclear. Maybe, some time in the future, they can be "fixed", maybe not. --Davo (talk) 00:17, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
    • Probably 20% of those camp_site=pitch tags are ones I've created for the campgrounds I've mapped. As that tagging may change and I am prepared to reedit the campgrounds I've mapped to conform to whatever is agreed to a bunch of those conflicts should disappear. --n76 (talk) 01:53, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I abstain from voting but have comments I have comments but abstain from voting on this proposal. I suggest to use subtags about individual features "water", "toilets", "shower", "power" - it will make data more precise, verifiable and usable. Instead of defining "standard" as "Basic + toilets and water" just use sub-tags camp_site:toilets=yes, camp_site:water=yes, similar to Key:fuel. You can easily copy-paste tags to same objects, but you cannot deduce services back from objects mapped with single tag instead of 6. If you use multiple tags you can search for specific "services" (fuel). Consider use case: "I don't care about anything, but toilets". In your suggested schema it will mean "standard"+ but some of them may be without water (bio WC without source of water). Xxzme (talk) 03:34, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
    • Nothing in this proposal stops you from continuing to tag individual features. Its just this tag will allow easier rendering and quick searches. Looking at your example, in my experience at least 95% of sites with a toilet also have water. Sure, there are a few anomalies but this is intended to provide a quick "where should I start looking" facility. --Davo (talk) 00:17, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
  • abstain -
  • I abstain from voting but have comments I have comments but abstain from voting on this proposal. N76 (talk) 00:54, 2 May 2015 (UTC) Not sure it is really necessary as the individual amenities that set the level can be added as tags on the campground point or area. But I don't see a problem with doing this as a short hand much as highway=<whatever> is a short hand for roads with generally agreed to characteristics.
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Issues 'camp site' seems to have many interpretations. I suggest "camping site" instead. Icon colours - are reasonably meaningless. White ok, poor facilities suggest red, average facilities, suggest amber, great facilities suggest green.Pmailkeey (talk) 00:29, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

yes -

  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. This change may not be perfect, but it is better than what we have now. Dr Centerline (talk) 00:53, 12 May 2015 (UTC)