Proposed features/Survey Needed

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Survey Needed
Status: Draft (under way)
Proposed by: Elhaard
Tagging: fixme:survey=GPS/observation/missing tags
Applies to: node, way
Definition: Someone needs to visit the place and gather information
Rendered as: Not rendered
Drafted on: 20120504


Information to other mappers that some important information is missing and that someone should visit the place in real world and gather the information.


A lot of mapping is done by armchair mappers from aerial photos or other material. But sometimes, some information cannot be determined from the material at hand: You may be able to draw a road, but you don't know its name. Or you may be able to see a road except for where it is obscured by trees.

In those cases it would be nice to be able to mark it as needing survey on site. Then someone nearby could visit and provide the missing information.

Also, it would be possible to extract a POI list, so you could easily find out where to go for further mapping, or make lists for your local area.

Please not that this tag is meant to be machine-readable, so that you can classify what you want to survey; You may want to go observe names, but do not have a GPS, so you don't want anything requiring a GPS. Or you may want to survey everything except opening_hours.


In Denmark, all addresses has been imported to OSM from government sources. When discovering a line of addresses for a non-existant road, it is customary to tag it highway=proposed, source=fantasy. I have used this to create POI lists for my Android device[1]. But this is hardly generic, and does not handle missing street names etc.


Key Value Explanation
fixme:survey GPS/observation/missing tags What need to be surveyed?
  • Examples:*
Situation Tagging suggestion
You have mapped a road from aerial photo, but don't know its name fixme:survey=name
Part of a road is obscured by trees on the aerial photos. Someone should go map it precisely with GPS. fixme:survey=GPS
A proposed road is rumoured to have been opened. fixme:survey=observation, fixme=Is Smurf Road open now?
Combination. You know that a road must be there, but cannot see it and don't know its name. fixme:survey=GPS;name;ref, fixme=There must be a road connecting Foo Crescent to Bar Alley. Where is it, and what is it called? Also check ref.

Applies to

Either an existing way that lacks information, or a node made especially for this purpose.


Not rendered on normal maps, but may be rendered as a question mark on maps especially for OSM mappers. Also may be used to make lists of POIs for OSM mappers.

Features/Pages affected


Both are used to provide information to other mappers in free-form text. It is generally not possible to treat them automatically to get a list only of places that needs survey. Both tags are used for other things too, e.g. fixme=*="What are the opening hours of this shop?" - which could also be determined from a web search, phone call etc.

fixme:survey=* is for specially formatted content, meant to be treated automatically.

fixme=resurvey provides information that something needs to be surveyed, but it not widely used. And it does not qualify what type of survey is needed.

If this proposal is approved, fixme=* may be omitted where a fixme:survey alone can describe what needs to be surveyed.


Please put you comments here.