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Access Time Restrictions

Resolved: Date and time values should be specified using ISO date/time format YYYY-MM-DDzHH:MM:SS.

I think the date and time values should be specified using ISO date/time format YYYY-MM-DDzHH:MM:SS. Using dd/mm/yyyy is not very friendly for North Americans and easy to misinterprete by them (and vice versa). 80n 13:46, 17 Mar 2006 (UTC)

Change made Blackadder 14:46, 17 Mar 2006 (UTC)


Resolved: moped=* is popular. Alv 17:32, 15 May 2011 (BST)

I wonder how I am able to distinguish between motorcycles, scooters and bicycles. In the Netherlands these types of transportation have their own status and regulations. Kind regards Dryke 12:41, 27 June 2007 (BST)

Vehicle category for scooters "below motorcycles" is moped. Alv 17:32, 15 May 2011 (BST)


Resolved: taxi=* is popular. Alv 17:32, 15 May 2011 (BST)

Is there any way to tag that a road is accessible to taxis? (I presume that they don't count as a psv) Many thanks --Ndm 22:20, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Some definitions indeed say psv includes both public service buses and taxis, in others they don't. Many use taxi=* anyway. Alv 17:32, 15 May 2011 (BST)

A new core value "=only" ?

Resolved: Virtually no uses of =only in 3 years. Alv 17:32, 15 May 2011 (BST)

If a way is exclusively reserved for one type of vehicule, I would like to use a core value like:

  • psv=only or taxi=only

Instead of

  • psv=yes, hgv=no, motorcar=no, foot=no, etc...


  • access=no, psv=yes
A bad idea IMO. What does it mean if a way is tagged psv=only+motorcar=yes? IMO access=no+psv=yes is best way to tag a route which is exclusively for PSVs. --Hawke 17:48, 3 July 2008 (UTC)


Resolved: Page changed.

I've remove the word accessibility from the description in the box. accessibility sounds like whether you can physically use the way, while the access key describes whether you can legally use it. If you have a better alternative, go ahead and edit it. How does "legal accessibility" sound? Robx 14:00, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Sounds great. I've updated the page with that term. --Hawke 05:53, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Imperial Units

Resolved: Relatively very few uses of maxspeed converted mph to kmh. Most use what's on the sign, but remember the unit, if not kmh. Alv 17:32, 15 May 2011 (BST)

Do the database/renders support unit conversions? I'm in the US, and we use those other weird units for height and width. Sure, I could convert to meters, but nobody ever sees a sign with "4.2672m." Can I just start tagging with an explicit unit? I realize it may not be practical to use ' and ", but would "ft" and "in" work?

maxwidth = 12ft
maxheight 9ft 4in

Alexrudd 21:42, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

I hope JOSM, Potlatch and Merkartor will soon offer automatic conversion, so that only metric values are stored and the users can view whatever they want. --Lulu-Ann 10:12, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

From previous discussions on IRC and the mailing lists, it appears that the general consensus is that the units on the signs and in the documentation are used, regardless of what they are. For the UK, with speed limits in miles per hour, and dimensions in feet-and-inches, they should be tagged maxspeed=30mph and maxwidth=7'0" (or whatever notation people agree on). In the UK there are specific rules on designating height limits, and where both metric and imperial units are used it's entirely feasible to find one sign saying 13'9"/4.2m and another saying 14'0"/4.2m. Chriscf 14:47, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

While it is clear that OSM has to use SI-units, it is ok if people from Liberia, Myanmar and the United States use the imperial-units. We can use scripts to fix those values... --Phobie 02:37, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
"While it is clear that OSM has to use SI-units ..." No, it isn't. In fact, that's the exact opposite of what I said. If the sign on the ground gives a height limit in hands or a weight limit in bags of cement, then that's what goes in the database. Chriscf 17:31, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Scripts are not the best solution. The editors need to implement the transformation! --Lulu-Ann 14:06, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Local traffic only

Is there a way to tag a road as no through traffic / no through hgv? Random832 15:53, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

I would tag it as access=destination. --Gypakk 23:57, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Or more likely motorcar=destination - "no through traffic" doesn't usually apply to pedestrians or cyclists. Alv 06:39, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree. But it schould be motorcar=destination, motorcycle=destination, bicycle=destination and the proposed tag moped=destination. Easier maybe: access=destination, foot=yes.
Why don't we have a vehicle tag? I'd like to suggest vehicle=destination. --Gypakk 10:43, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
This was introduced: we now have vehicle=* and motor_vehicle=*. --Skyper 12:03, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Stick with access=destination. It's up to each country to define what it exactly means (and remember that the exact meaning of those signs in each country can change in future, at which time it'll be very hard to change all those access tag lists, and 99% of all mappers will forget at least one of the vehicle types if you're going to define it by which vehicles are allowed and which aren't). --Eimai 11:42, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

"Local traffic only" seems to have two meanings (for cars; laws are more restrictive towards trucks). Either it's a warning that the road doesn't go anywhere (usually "no outlet" would be used, but "local traffic only" might be used, for instance, if a temporary situation such as a bridge out or construction closure blocks the road), or it's a regulatory sign that aims to prevent through traffic from using the road. The former use has no real legal meaning; it's the actual closure that prevents through traffic. The latter is probably unenforceable on public roads, since local traffic is ill-defined; does driving down the street for OSM mapping purposes make you local traffic? Google certainly sees their street view vans as local traffic. Maybe the best way is to tag each place such a sign appears, and let the end user decide whether he is local traffic. --NE2 13:41, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

There are places around here where a short way is signposted (to the effect of) "no motor vehicles - driving to premises allowed". It's then quite possible to park an unmarked patrol car so that one officer can monitor all the traffic and stop all that just drive through. They do occasionally have time for such, mostly after enough people complain that people drive through daily. Longer (suburb wide) destination only limits are also enforceable, even if the ticket can be contested (if you have evidence). They keep record of times cars pass the end points of such restriction (they won't even notice driving through if one really stops there, given they most likely do it manually and compare to cars with reasonable through times only). There used to be more such limits around here, and they did enforce them more often, but it's easier/cheaper to build barriers and have the short type somewhere for emergency traffic. Alv 16:56, 1 April 2010 (UTC)


Resolved: hazmat=*

Is there a tag for restrictions on hazardous material traffic? Random832 15:53, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

hazmat=* is widely in use. Alv 15:48, 15 May 2011 (BST)

Access=yes and access=no not consistent wording

Resolved: Wording for no was changed some years back.Alv 17:32, 15 May 2011 (BST)

The description says :

  • access=yes The public have official, legally-enshrined right of access, i.e. it's a right of way


  • access=no Access by this transport mode not permitted or unsuitable

I allways thought for access that "yes" was the exact opposite of "no", but the wording for the "no" add the word or unsuitable while the "yes" doesn't have or suitable This might be a possible cause of misunderstanding. I know someone might think I am playing on words, but it's not the case. Those 2 words or unsuitable are not coherent to yes and the access being a legal property, therefor, because it is not so obvious, I'm not removing it without comment. Please give your point here. Sletuffe 16:09, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree with your edit. The meaning needs to be consistent, and the other texts on the page generally focus on legal restrictions (see e.g. definition as "For describing the legal accessibility of an element."). --Tordanik 17:07, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with your edit as well, and for the same reasons as above. --Hawke 19:27, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Yet any way that is unsuitable can't be used, no matter if legal or not. Thus it must be tagged with, for example, foot=no, unless someone prososes a better value; either *=impossible or *=forbidden. Alv 12:32, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
the wording unsuitable doesn't seams equivalent to impossible to me. (Adj.1. unsuitable - not meant or adapted for a particular purpose) People reading might be abused and tag *=no ways that are "not comfortable" or "risky" while other tagging it because of legal restriction. A key/value pair indicating two possible meaning doesn't looks good to me. (even if, in the end, result is close).
The idea behind *=impossible seams a good idea to me. However I would prefere to make separated keys than those here used for legal restrictions.
(isn't foot=no the same as foot=forbidden ?) Sletuffe 15:51, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
foot=no was the worst example; say bicycle=no on a track (or path) that's filled with sharp rocks or infested with roots... Alv 16:06, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Right now, if I see a path with bicycle=no, I will consider that I haven't the right to go there and will risk a fine (or one of the land owner's shotgun's bullet), but If I like to live dangerously, I'll probably try it ! But if someone tagged it to no because it ends in a cliff, that might be extremely unpleasant. Therefore I prefere to make distinction between both.
On your example, a path infested with roots might well be unsuitable or impossible to a racing bike while still beeing perfectly interesting and usable with a mountain bike. (thus, bicyle=yes and racing_bike=impossible looks possible to me) But here we are joining the smoothness=* and mtb:scale=* tags. Sletuffe 16:18, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Usage for parking?


What would you say of tagging a parking reserved for a commerce/residential building, but relevant for mapping purposes as access=destination(commercial)? Circeus 19:23, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, just access=destination - or motorcar=destination if one could roam freely on foot in the parking area. If appropriate, combine with a operator=company name. Alv 19:30, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Military base roads

Resolved: Private they are. access=military hasn't gained popularity (431 at the moment).Alv 17:32, 15 May 2011 (BST)

Is it possible to specify a tag for roads on military bases, wherein the military effectively controls, limits, or restricts access via a gate? I'm thinking of proposing a tag like access = military for this purpose. Dufekin 20:35, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Doesn't access=private cover that? It seems similar to other private roads – the owner (in this case the military) controls access to it. --Tordanik 13:37, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Wouldn't the barrier=gate (or whatever) on the road combined with the landuse be enough? As far as a map is concerned, people are bright enough as to not try to route through a military base. Circeus 05:20, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
The subject ist not wether people are bright enough not to route through a military base. The goal is that the OSM data provides valuable information to routing software not to calculate a routh through! I would also prever to have military / private / industrial roads behind a gate in a different color, so an information at the highway is needed. --Lulu-Ann 10:17, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
The road to Fortaleza de Santa Cruz da Barra is behind a gate and on military property (landuse=military) but the access restriction is ONLY based on time (0900-1900 open for everybody to visit the fort, at night closed, only for military use). That is an example where gate + landuse wouldn't cover it, though most roads on military property would probably be access=military. --Skippern 15:27, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm fairly sure there is currently no widely agreed system re: time for access, so tag however you feel. Circeus 20:15, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I have actually not tagged access on the mentioned feature, I used it merely to illustrate that landuse=military combined with gate is not enough to say access is military. There is use for such tag access=military --Skippern 20:31, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Might this be a good case for using Proposed_features/Scope_for_access_tags, with "military" as one of its conditions? --Hawke 20:45, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I see "military" and "isps" as two specific types of restriction that needs to be tagged, and that doesn't quite fit the values yes/no/restricted/permissive/private and, a access:military=yes will suggest that military personnel have access to the area, without saying anything about private persons, cars, bicycles, etc. while access=military would give a range of various restriction valid for a military area (such as civil vehicles are subject for search, no entrance without valid pass, goods to be delivered at the gate and handled by base personnel from there, etc.). Similarly with access=isps, as this is governed by a similar set of rules. --Skippern 11:50, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Is the military or isps tag really needed? Usually those roads are tagged as plain highway=service, optionally with some access rules, like access=private. And that's what they really are as well: private roads, as they aren't belonging to public space. A better place to put the military/isps information would be the service=* key IMHO. --Eimai 12:21, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Military roads I guess are generally maintained by the military and can therefor be interpreted as private, but many ISPS port areas are maintained by the city, and are therefor NOT private, but public areas with restrictions. Besides, ISPS restrictions might temporarily be lifted when for instance no foreign flag vessels are in the port. Besides, many places, port operator is only a relay instance, and access is granted by some other instances, such as vessel operator, vessel agent, charterer and so on. International regulations from IMO and ILO (UN organizations for Maritime industry and Labor) give right of access by law to mariners on vessels inside such port. ISPS is a very complex regulation. Besides access=isps would also apply for man_made=pier and other non-highway facilities in the port. --Skippern 16:33, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
OK, those places often are public property, but that doesn't mean anyone is allowed to access it. Don't know the laws in your country, but an area with restrictions like ISPS to enter is no longer a public place (likewise, private property can be a public place, airport entrance halls for example). I just don't think the ISPS rules are special enough to come up with a new access rule. I could likewise propose tags like access=travelers for the airport terminals for example (only allowed to enter if you have a ticket to get on an airplane). I remember something like a access=licence being proposed some time ago which may cover that, but I don't think that's needed. You're always allowed to enter if you have a licence or permission to enter. You can drive on footways if you have the necessary licence (road work vehicles for example) or permission (emergency vehicles) for that.
And if ISPS rules are just temporary it would just be the same as temporary access=no/private.
If you want to map ISPS access somehow, I'm not stopping you. It just doesn't belong in the access tag, but it needs to be in something separate from it. --Eimai 18:42, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I have noticed that there are a separate approval for access=agricultural and access=forestry, doesn't that open for ISPS? Doesn't see that agricultural and forestry traffic is protected by any laws, but there is a large set of international laws governing ISPS, which covers anything from who can enter a port and when from the shore side, from the sea side, how control of vehicles and cargo is to be done, who is responsible for what and so on. The international ISPS regulation is a book of more than 200 pages. --Skippern 11:45, 21 February 2009 (UTC)


Stale: Private seems to convey the important part; no uses of isps in the database.

How to tag access in ISPS ports? For those not familiar with the term, ISPS is the international security regulation regarding ships and port facilities. The requirements to enter a ISPS port is that you are pre-announced, and can show the necessary documentation (such as ID, cargo documents, work permits). To tag this as private isn't quite right, same goes for permissive, restricted is close but doesn't quite cover it. What about access=isps? --Skippern 18:20, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

I'd go for access=private and, say, access:isps=yes - or even permissive for the latter. The former being private tells passerby's that they're not allowed. Those with reasons to go there either know to search for "isps" (regular port visitors) or to contact the port operator beforehand as with any place "private". But there can be valid reasons to tag it otherwise... Alv 09:25, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
For a port town such as Kristiansund, there are areas regulated as ISPS port, areas regulated as non-ISPS port, and some areas where measures can be temporarily put in place to allow it to be classified as ISPS facility. This applies for most port cities in western Europe, and I would guess in most ports with international trade in various degree. This would indicate that access=privat or access=permissive could be tagged together with for instance isps=yes/no/temporary, or as I would suggest access=isps with maybe temporary=yes if needed. --Skippern 19:06, 17 February 2009 (UTC)



I propose the value "occasional" to be used where access is only on occasions, not on predefined times. E.g. An assembly hall with parking lot is fenced. The gate is open for access only when there is an event in the hall. Willi2006 07:11, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

IMO it should be enough to mark the gate. There is no need for a new value. access=private would say the same. --Cbm 12:07, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Water-based transport/ships/boats

Resolved: Was included on the page.Alv 17:32, 15 May 2011 (BST)

How should we specify various forms of water-based tranport, we have now boat=* and motorboat=*, doesn't that automatically qualify sailingboat=*? What about fishing vessels, passenger ships, vessels carrying dangerous cargo, vessels covered by ISPS, exempted from ISPS, not covered by ISPS? How for example to tag a dedicated berth of a single hull crude oil tanker? I suggest ammending the following tags to water-based tranport:

Please amend as needed. --Skippern 02:08, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Maybe pleasurecraft=* maybe useful as a generic term which includes sailing yachts as well as motor yachts. --HeikoE 08:37, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
I think they belong under boat=*, let me include them in the list above so that it is complete. To divide with one more class is meaningless, as I feel yachts belongs under boat=*. If we make a different for pleasurecrafts, what then are boats? --Skippern 09:38, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Changed tanker subtags to tanker:*=*, because gas, oil will be used for other things.--Vsandre 21:28, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Good spotted, good suggestion, looks better --Skippern 00:48, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
One way to interpret a tree structure like this is to inherit the master keys in the names, such as passenger=* really is short for ship:passenger=*. I like to use the shorter versions, but where they conflict, adding the master key to the key is a logical solition. In worst case, the full name access:ship:cargo:tanker:singlehull=* is bloody long to write, and are logically shortened (I used first singlehull=* but tanker:singlehull=* also works fine) --Skippern 00:53, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
What makes more sense, upper or lower case of imdg=* and isps=*, or does it really matter? Will parsing software surch as renderers and routing be able to treat them as same, or might they be wrongly interpretted as different tags? --Skippern 00:56, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
  • I need a tag for canoe (or non-motorboats). canoe=* Becauce: small rivers are allowed for non-motorboats (canoe) but not for motorboat and sailboat. Some lakes are allowed for canoe and sailboats but no motorboats. Some harbours are allowed for motor and sailboats but no canoes. Smarties 18:51, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Good example, adding --Skippern 01:01, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

oneway=*, backward=*, forward=*

Resolved: Included on the page.Alv 17:32, 15 May 2011 (BST)

There were two sections discussing routing restrictions and the oneway=* tag. I have combined them. Please look it over.

It is unclear to me why the forward=* and backward=* tags are needed since the oneway=* tag can be prefixed. Perhaps they are simply competing practices. TomashPilshchik

I don't think that your edits correctly represent current tagging. Most importantly, there are no forward/backward=* tags. These are suffixes for other tags, but cannot be used on their own. The idea of "prefixing" keys also isn't really used consistently, so I don't think it can be formalized in this way.
Also, this page generally separates larger examples from definitions, and I don't see a reason not to do so for oneway/directions. Therefore, I've mostly restored the example section, but removed some information from it that was indeed a duplicate from the definition section. Please check whether you think that some other changes need to be restored, too. --Tordanik 15:56, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Garbage truck


I find use for one additional tag type for land based transportation "by use". The type is "garbage truck" or "waste collection vehicle". In my neighborhood there exist service roads with gates meant for garbage trucks, but not allowed by car. The entry row would look like: "garbage=* (a vehicle meant for collecting garbage)" Anyone else find such tag useful?

Is it really necessary to have an access token specific for garbage trucks? Can this not be covered in some other way, such as goods=*, or accept this as a general exception? In my experience there is no special use of restrictions for garbage trucks, and if the roads have limits such as goods=no or access=no, garbage trucks enters on their routes nevertheless. Besides, the routes of garbage trucks are often fixed, making certain routes at pre-defined times, and they are either operated by, or contracted by, the same bodies deciding the restrictions. --Skippern 21:57, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
goods=private IMO. Those who know that they can enter can enter, and it can tell others (pedestrians mainly) that a truck might be encountered. Heck, add a goods:private=garbage truck to addr if someone has interest in it. Alv 22:20, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
OK, goods=private seems like best suitable. --Kslotte 02:32, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Access restrictions for dangerous areas?

Resolved: Hazards are not an access restrictions.Alv 17:32, 15 May 2011 (BST)

I just had a discussion on german OSM Forum about tagging dangerous streets or areas in OSM. As here in Brazil much places can be kind a dangerous that not even the police will go ever inside i think it will be wrong to use the map data in GPS and point the user in this areas... I think a new tag access = dangerous should do the job. What do you think? Let me know. --Deltabrasil 19:24, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

You completly misunderstood access restrictions. Make a new key for that (like tracktype, smoothness or other subjective keys describing access conditions), but don't abuse access (which is for "signed" access rights)--Extremecarver 19:42, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
tracktype, smoothness? This can't tag if it's better to leave out of an area. Surely you can tag them wrong "very_horrible" as smoothness, but that doesn't fit cause it's completely wrong. Other suggestions? --Deltabrasil 19:58, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
There was a proposal some time back for hazards, since entering in a favela is not physically or legally prohibited, I would rather call it a hazard. You inform about it, but doesn't do any actions to prevent people from actually entering. --Skippern 22:20, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Surely it isn't prohibited at all, if u tag opening_hours from 10 am till 8 pm doesn't mean you can go over there at 9 pm anyway... There was a discussion in the ML without a concrete solution for this type of tag. I wil lwait how this discussion will proceed but i suggest a hazard_level tag from 1 till 5 (like the us terror flag) could be great; Anyway: it will just help anyway just if the software on a navigation system will ask you like "i dont want to use ferry" so should ask anyway "dont go dangerous places".
A danger is not an access restriction. At least not unless the government declares it as an officially restricted area. Dangers like this should be tagged, but access= is the wrong tag. There should be a separate tagging scheme, something like hazard=crime_area might be a good start, or define a new tag. --Nop 13:51, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
I have a forest that is officially designated by the government as a restricted area [1]. Explosive and Toxic Weapons from the war have been found there. For that I have chosen = no access, is that right? Smarties 16:51, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, if there is a sign, then it's access=no. Lulu-Ann

Bars, Nightclubs

Resolved: Members only equals private.

Hi! I'd like to use this key along with amenity=bar and amenity=nightclub to show that there is no public access. E.g.: access=private. In my opinion, an additional value would be necessary: access=members. --Gypakk 12:48, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

access=private means that only people who are authorized to use it can do so. This would include employees of a company using a parking lot or members of a nightclub using said nightclub. --NE2 14:35, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
I know a parking lot at a bureau complex where employees are not allowed to park their cars, because it is only for customers. A little more differentiation would not harm. Lulu-Ann
If it's for customers it's probably access=destination. Employees should know where they can park :) --NE2 12:47, 29 June 2010 (UTC)