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This is (proposed) more semantic/linked variant of the operator=* tag. The idea is to have a relation which represents an organisation that operates branch offices / post boxes / public telephones / ... (the members of the relation).

Note that there's no additional value for the renderers in this relation, only for software using the data in other ways. The goal is to have a stronger connection between spatial features operated by the same entity so that software doesn't have to match values of name=* or operator=* tags. I think this is still in the scope of OSM (otherwise there would be no operator tag). Describing the structure of the organisations with even higher relations would be out of scope though.

--Shepard 14:07, 1 September 2008 (UTC)


Key Value Discussion
type operator Designates this relation as an operating organisation.
name * The name of the organisation. This is mandatory so that the relation can be found on the world wide map because there might not be something nearby that already uses it.
... ... Other tags as appropriate for describing the organisation further.


The members of this relation are the geo-spatial properties of the operating organisation / the things it operates. This might be a building, a site of buildings, a post box, a public telephone, an electricity pylon, electricity wires, railway tracks etc.

Way or Node Role Recurrence? Discussion
Node Way Area Relation (blank) one or more The thing the organisation operates. If appropriate, you can also use the role values branch or headquarters.

Step by step guide


  1. Find the feature you want to link to an organisation and select it. Note that in Potlatch you can't currently relate relations to other relations.
  2. To first make sure that the relation (organisation) doesn't already exist, click into the textbox near "Find a relation containing" and then enter the name of the organisation. Click Ok. If it finds something, it will add it to the drop-down box above.
  3. If the relation is in the drop-down box next to "Add to an existing relation", select it and click on Ok. You're done.
  4. If there was no relation, click on "Create a new relation"
    1. Enter "operator" into the field next to type.
    2. Click on the plus sign in the upper right corner to add another tag to the relation. For the key enter name, for the value enter the full legal name of the organisation (e.g. "Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd", "Lidl Stiftung GmbH & Co. KG").
    3. Add more tags if needed.
    4. Click on OK. You're done.