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Available languages — Tag:power=pole
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Public-images-osm logo.svg power = pole
French distribution line with transition.jpg
A single (often wooden or concrete) pole carrying medium/low voltage electricity cables.
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
See also
Status: In use



Possible key for poles or small masts of overhead power lines with low- or medium-range voltages between about 0.4 and 30 kV. 0.4 kV lines (such as the one in the third image of the four examples) are still often found in small towns and villages. Outside villages in rural areas, the medium-voltage net is also often made of overhead lines on poles or small masts. At the terminal masts, the line either changes to an underground cable or goes into a transformer which steps down to about 400 V.

Rest of the world

On North America, Oceania, and most Asian countries, poles typically carry most low to medium voltage lines along roads, so work may be done by bucket trucks, but on some locations, lines run underground or carried on aerial cables. Low voltage lines, that may be the three-phase system (230/400 V, 240/415 V, and 220/380 V) or split-phase (usually 120/240 V, typical in North America), may run on their own poles, although they may run below the medium voltage lines (10-35 kV, depending on the utility's practices). Cable count per circuit may range from 1 to 3 wires, with one wire systems primarily used on single-wire earth return or lines on areas with light loads (e.g. residential areas). Medium voltage lines usually run beside roads, primarily on rural areas, but may occur in some urban areas, however, underground cables are being favored because of cluttering the landscape. Lines usually have pole mounted transformers on the middle of the line, instead of having all of them on the termination poles, and lines forming one separate circuit may meet, requiring pole-mounted switches that can be opened or closed in case of an emergency. Transformers can be single-phase or three-phase, but it may depend on regional practice, that is, single-phase transformers are common in countries using single-phase or split-phase power and usually 60 Hz frequency, with three-phase distribution transformers typically being three single-phase transformers, and three-phase distribution transformers in countries using three-phase power and usually 50 Hz frequency. On some poles, an overhead power line may transition to ground cable or change to an overhead cable. Two to four circuits may use the same pole, and low voltage circuits usually run below the medium voltage circuits. Street lamps and communications lines may be mounted on the poles.


Power poles support medium or low voltage power lines, and are typically small. Poles are usually composed of the pole itself, and [a] cross-arm[s] where the insulators are mounted, but poles without cross-arms are also used. They typically support power lines and transformers, but may also support street lamps, switches, fuses, and small power compensating equipment (capacitors, voltage regulators/AVRs, static VAR compensators). Taller poles, used for higher voltages (>50 kV, e.g. 66 kV, 69 kV, 115 kV, 150 kV, 230 kV), must be tagged as power=tower.

Please don't confuse these with overhead lines which are not for energy supply, e.g. those used for telephone wires.

How to Map

Insert a node Node there on the electricity cable power=minor_line, where the mast stands and add power=pole.

Tags to use in combination

To mark poles where the minor-line is connected to an underground cable:


If the pole supports a distribution transformer, add transformer=yes or transformer=distribution along with tags describing the transformer (voltage=*, rating=*, etc).

If the pole also supports a street lamp/light, as in the case of roadside power poles, add highway=street_lamp, and tag the road lit by the lamp/light with lit=yes.


Related terms: ‹ power pole ›