Proposed features/StreetArt

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Status: Draft (under way)
Proposed by: Kilkenni
Tagging: artwork_type=street_art
Applies to: Node, Way
Definition: Non-official or half-official permanent street art objects.
Rendered as: An icon on close-scale map similar to how art objects are generally displayed now.
Drafted on: 2014-01-18
RFC start: *
Vote start: *
Vote end: *

This page as such is currently more of a WIP.


An attempt to describe possible tagging for mapping unofficial (i.e. illegal in most places) and semi-official (i.e. "gray legal area") street art objects. Since street art in general is unstable and can appear or disappear in relatively short periods of time, I suggest mapping only large street art of a more permanent nature, interesing for general audience to see and useful for navigation.


As it is already mentioned above, street art is generally changing over time, most works don't live long. However there are always more "stable" and large artworks occupying whole fences, walls of a building or even whole buildings. Street art is rarely mentioned in discussions (this may be one example). Yet sometimes it is quite useful for navigation, especially when it is easily seen and can be quickly recognized. There exist several art festivals and parties involving creating art objects in different parts of the city (example). Most of these objects are more-or-less permanent. Some objects have cultural meaning (official example is Berlin Wall remains, semi-official example is Tsoi Wall in Moscow) and many are less-than-obvious points of interest for tourists along with museums and other traditional places.


Street art can vary greatly in shape, artistic value and longevity. Since obviously there is no point in mapping every bombing on the street, I suggest to map objects that are:

  1. Preferably large and can be easily found
  2. More-or-less permanent (situated in vandal-proof zones, protected and/or renewed by their authors)
  3. Of interest for tourists or useful for navigation.

Though all of these criteria are subjective, I believe they can serve as a general "rule of thumb" for the set of tags. The freedom of deciding "to map or not to map" should be left for users to decide anyway.


I suggest interpreting "street art" as a subset of the existing tourism=artwork category. More accurately, as artwork_type=street_art. Since "street art" is not a very descriptive term, I suggest the following tags for the key "artwork_type" (some of them already exist):

  1. street_art - "default" type for street art objects. It's recommended to change it to one of the following:
  2. mural - for full-wall art objects created under a single theme. Murals are unique.
  3. graffiti - a generic term for street art painted over different objects (see significance).
  4. stencil - typical stencil pictures (such as Banksy's works). Stencil graffiti is often repeated in different places (see significance).
  5. installation - generally involves 3d objects.

Tagging nodes (separate street art objects) or ways (for example, part of the wall) seems logical. artwork_type street art tags can be used in conjunction with such tags as:

  • artist_name - generally nickname or art group name. Most guerilla artists prefer not to disclose their real names to avoid legal issues. Many street art objects include author nicknames as "author tags".
  • start_date - date of creation. Though often unknown, in case of street art festivals at worst we know the year.
  • note - for example, street festival name.
  • advertising=yes - can mark commercial works.
  • brand - marks which brand is being advertised.


An icon on close-scale map renders is enough. It may use the same icon along with other tourism-artwork objects.