Proposed features/camp type=*

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Classification of campground types
Status: Proposals with undefined or invalid status (inactive)
Proposed by: Jan_van_Bekkum
Tagging: camp_type=standard, supplementary, non_designated
Applies to: Node, Area, Relation
Definition: classification of campgrounds by their designation and way of commercial operation
Rendered as: tents in different colors, depending on tag
Drafted on: 2015-02-23
RFC start: 2015-02-23
Vote start: 2015-03-30
Vote end: 2015-04-20


Classification of campgrounds that are accessible for the general public (tourism=camp_site and tourism=caravan_site) by their designation and commercial operation.

Camping is done in the following types of accommodation:

  1. Standard campgrounds (camp_type=standard) - any campground that is designated and advertised as campground irrespective of the service level provided or the fee charged;
  2. Supplementary campgrounds (camp_type=supplementary) - businesses that provide sites for camping as an opportunistic activity for a fee. The campground supplementary to provision of hotel, hostel, motel, resort or chalet accommodation or running a bar;
  3. Non-designated camping (camp_type=non_designated) - locations that are not set up to offer camping, but are more suitable for camping than other places in the neighbourhood and therefore valuable to know. Informal campgrounds shall only be mapped if there is an important reason to select the place over other places in the neighbourhood. If the place is a spot along the road, chosen just because it got dark or if it is a beautiful wild camp, then it shall not be mapped;

Rationale and Scope

The proposed tags are in particular important in areas with few or no regular campgrounds. They show (sometimes desperately needed) alternative options for camping, but prevent that the alternative is confused with regular, designated campgrounds. Overlanders, people who travel for a long period with their own vehicle over long distances, often in developing countries, need this type of information. The tag is not intended for classification of campground facility levels, access by specific groups or pricing.


Standard campground type: designated camper site in a small town in France
Supplementary campground type: camping in front of a hotel in Uganda
Non-designated campground: public beach in Dubai near public toilets and showers
  1. Standard campgrounds are all types of designated campgrounds. This campground type includes (list is not exhaustive):
    1. Guarded and staffed commercial and park operated campgrounds providing amenities such as drinking water, toilets, showers, waste stations, laundry and/or dish washing, etc.
    2. Overnight (RV) sites: sites that charge no or a nominal fee, have some or no facilities, sometimes limited length of stay, self managed;
    3. Trekking campgrounds: often very inaccessible, no amenities;
  2. Supplementary campground are campgrounds that are opportunistic in nature. They may belong to hotels that have separate facilities for campers (like a separate toilet section), allow campers to use shared facilities (typical in a hostel) or hand a room key out to the camper for use of toilet and shower. Usually there is no separate area for campers, but the parking lot or courtyard is used instead, resulting in little privacy. This kind of service is offered a lot in countries without an established camping network, for example in Latin America and in East Africa. Because not all hotels, motels, etc. offer this service it is important that the hotels that do offer the service are shown on the map. However, it is also important to see that a camping facility is not an established business, but a minor add-on activity. Far from all hotels offer such a service: in a medium sized city in east Africa you may find 15 hotels of which 3 provide this service. Similarly, in the UK many pubs in the countryside have a camping field where campers can stay and use the pub facilities if they wish. A hotel that runs a separate standard campground does not fall in this category;
  3. Non-designated campgrounds exist in areas where you are allowed to camp anywhere except... (like in Sweden) or where no rules exist (like in many countries in African and the Middle East, but where one place is much more appropriate to camp than other places in the neighbourhood, often the last resort if no camping service is offered nearby. :: Non-designated campgrounds shall only be mapped if there is an important reason to select the place over other places in the neighbourhood. If the place is a spot along the road, chosen just because it got dark, then it shall not be mapped; also wild camps that are mainly chosen for the beauty of the environment shall not be mapped. Legitimate non-designated campground examples are:
    1. Places with nearby presence of public facilities: a public beach with free access to toilets and beach showers or a guarded park with public toilets in the neighbourhood in countries where camping in public areas is safe;
    2. Safe heavens: a police station or mission station - In areas with questionable security away from any designated campground a mission station that offers shelter, but no amenities may be the only alternative;


  1. Intentionally the key camp_type=* instead of camp_site=* was chosen for the proposal. Initial discussions about a separate proposal for classification by amenity level are in progress. It is expected that tags like camp_site=basic, camp_site=luxury will be the result;
  2. The proposal implies that the tag impromptu=yes (March 2015: used 488 times) will be deprecated. By our reasoning impromptu=yes is a contradiction in terms - an impromptu campsite is one chosen without prior knowledge of its existence;
  3. The proposal applies to tourism=caravan_site as well. However, the better alternative is that always tourism=camp_site is used with tents=no for caravan sites;
  4. In case of an supplementary camping the node or area of the sponsoring hotel/hostel/motel node or area will also be shown.

Applies to

The proposal applies to nodes and areas.


For rendering the following symbols should be used:

  1. Standard sites or sites that are tagged tourism=camp_site but have no other clarifying tags, should get the blue tent symbol Camping.n.16.png as currently in place;
  2. Supplementary sites should get the grey tent symbol Camping.n.16.grey.png.
  3. Non-designated sites should get the red tent symbol;

Features/Pages affected

The following tags will be affected:



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  • 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. Bigfatfrog67 (talk) 17:32, 30 March 2015 (UTC) - Well thought through.
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. I dislike key names ending in "...type", first because _type and :type are always confused, and second because they are not self-explanatory. Type can mean anything: size, material, equipment, ownership, schedule, permission, fee, age... Please consider more specific key names. Your proposal says it's about "classification ... by designation and commercial operation", so why not a key like camp:operation=* ? Another reason why I vote no is that this is not specific to camp sites. I would like to see a more generic tag that can also be used for fireplaces, bath ponds etc. Some of them are designated and advertised, others are non-designated, and some are only accessible to customers. Maybe we do not even need to invent new tags, because access=designated/permissive/customers/unknown and fee=* already exist. --Fkv (talk) 22:32, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. - This is a specialist tag addressing a need not practical to address any other way. Please don't vote it down unless you understand its specialist nature. A more generic, complementary tag is also being developed, see Proposed_features/Camp_Site. Both are needed. Davo (talk) 05:30, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. - Good work. AlaskaDave (talk) 06:13, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. - I am sorry to have to vote "no" after such a long and in general fruitful discussion. While I approve the values "standard" and "supplementary", I oppose the idea of mapping any place suitable for camping as tourism=camp_site and adding the "non-designated" value. IMHO these non-designated spots, which aren't actual camp sites but just places suitable for camping, should get a different top-level tag.--Dieterdreist (talk) 08:31, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I abstain from voting but have comments I have comments but abstain from voting on this proposal. Some concerns about the "non-designated" value even though the last definition is more restrictive than previously. But still very subjective. Good work anyway. --Pieren (talk) 13:36, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. − a place that is not a camp_site should not be tagged with tourism=camp_site. I oppose the idea of the third value, although the first two seem fine. JB (talk) 15:12, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. - Although the proposal is not perfect it is the best way to address a very real issue for a specific group of end-users. Alternatives are worse: (1) not mapping at al of places that may be the only option for camping in locations that don't have regular campsites, crucial information for the users affected, (2) tagging as campsite without additional type information, leading to believe that the place is a regular campground, (3) using the tag approved impromptu=yes with a much vaguer definition than this proposal of (4) inventing a new top-level key for a place that after all serves as the only available campground in the area --Jan van Bekkum (talk) 18:55, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. − Agreed with talk and JB the "non-designated" value looks too much like a camp site that is not a camp site. I don't have statistics, but I believe that most people have been mapping "standard" camp site as tourism=camp_site for long. Adding modificator tag that transform their meaning is not a good idea. A new top tag is better. I add that "shall only be mapped if there is an important reason" isn't clear enough to me. That tag might end having about anything in it in the end. sletuffe (talk) 18:36, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Warin61 (talk) 00:46, 1 April 2015 (UTC) I'm not 'comfortable' with the names. But the concept is needed, not everywhere in the world but where it is needed it is essential. In particular the last category where there is no local alternative it may be the best choice and thus very beneficial for the end user. If the proposal is revised I'd recommend a reversal of order .. the most wanted/needed thing first? That may improve the understanding. Names are tricky.
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Michael_K ¿! 21:41, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. - backcountry=yes is already in use and not considered here; for non-designated places a new top-level tag should be defined, at least not used in combination with camp_site; camp_site and caravan_site should not be mixed up, they are totaly different things. WalterSchloegl (talk) 21:51, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Backcountry looks to be for non motor vehicle access .. while all of the above photos show motor vehicle access! I think you have not understood the meaning of this proposal. Place yourself in, say, Africa at a location where there are no near by hotels, commercial camp grounds and you want a place to camp.. this is not 'backcountry' it is inhabited. Warin61 (talk) 02:01, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Hike39 (talk) 06:34, 2 April 2015 (UTC)


At the end of the (extended) voting period 7 votes were in favour of the proposal, 5 votes opposed while 1 abstained. Although the percentage of voters agreeing (54%) was sufficient for approval according to the old rule (requirement: >50%) and the number of votes (13) was sufficient for approval according to the new rule (>9) nether requirement for approval was met. The proposed tags are serving a small group of people (although they are very important for this group) and most negative votes seem to be caused by insufficient familiarity of the voters with the specific needs of that group. Therefore I have decided to set the status of the proposal to undefined. The group of users concerned will continue to use the proposed tags. --Jan van Bekkum (talk) 19:13, 21 April 2015 (UTC)