Talk:Key:internet access

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Discuss Key:internet_access here:

internet access pricing

I really feel there should be some attention paid to internet access pricing. Some places charge silly prices through mobile phone providers which are really not worth while other places charge very little or are free, guess which ones I would choose to visit. I suppose tags can become quite diverse but terms like Operator=T-Mobile/Independent Cost=Free/Nominal/Expensive these are tags that matter there maybe several providers in relatively close proximity. It's a deciding factor especially for people who like to map and upload their data. Soon after collecting it. I suppose a note would help if nothing else. User:Blackest knight 23:28, 5 April 2009

I think we should use Key:fee as used for car parks etc. Only trouble is it needs to be clear the fee is for use of the internet access not a fee for the cafe. So maybe a free wifi hotspot would have internet_access:fee=no (?) -- Harry Wood 11:47, 18 June 2012 (BST)

internet access shop

"The tag could be used for ... Shops which offer internet as service" However this page doesn't give an indication of what the primary tag should be for a shop dedicated to internet access. For example a big EasyEverything (wikipedia) shop should be tagged as what? Maybe it's still just amenity=cafe although cafe is not the primary function of the place, just as a cafe is not the primary function of bookshop.

A related question is how to tag these kinds of things:

Fast connect shop.JPG Business centre shop.jpg

These kinds of crappy little shops are very common in North London, but they seem to evade categorisation.

Someone else was suggesting shop=communication . I think I'll create a proposal. Of course we would then add internet_access=terminal as an additional tag.

-- Harry Wood 15:08, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

In Brazil they are often known as lanhouses and offer internet, photocopying, printing, scanning, help with typing job applications and cv's and in rare cases fax. Very seldom located in connection with cafes or other tagged services. --Skippern 08:06, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
In Japan, there are net cafes. They generally have some food, but not much, and the main point is computer access. Regular cafes and net cafes are nothing alike. The current system of mixing up two different amenities is undesirable IMO. What can be done about this? --Douglas P Perkins 06:25, 22 August 2012 (BST)

In Vietnam there are lots of shops with 10-30 PCs with Internet access. Main use is playing computer games online. However, surfing with a browser (to write Emails, visit facebook etc.) is also possible. They usually don't serve any kind of food or drink, you only get the (gaming) internet access. --Cantho (talk) 08:06, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

proper discussion and standarisation

i am also very pro including and expanding this tag, aswell as equipping it with decent set of icons.

first thing important - what type of 'access' is available? lan/ethernet? wlan? if wlan - which band? which encryption? is it free? it should all be included in icons.

i think it is very neglected feature, especially i.e. 'stairs' tag contains even step count !

to provoke upcoming brainstorms i suggests keywords like :

  • standard= (instead of 'wifi' one can just indicate IEEE 802.11 or FSK based packet radio over 145mhz... or whatever else)
  • encryption=
  • key= (some spots
  • name=
  • policy= (this includes things like pricing and possible limitations in access)
  • capacity= (number of possible simultaneous users)
  • bandwidth=
  • QoS_policy= (helps distinguish spots which you can do i.e. broadband file sharing (i.e. uploading your photos) vs. i.e. emergency/communication spots (where you can just i.e. irc/IM/e-mail) or web browsing oriented )

i imagine icons as composed out 'subfragments', indicative for :

  • standard - i think this should be discussed outside , querying various standarisation groups, i.e. 802.11 has many compatible , which just differ with freq. so i.e. small 2.4 or 5.8 logo coloured either red for encrypted/limited and green for free/open , and then below 'policy' indicator (no idea for this one...)

no ideas for stuff like packet radio gateways , bluetooth networks etc, as they are seldom used nowadays...

Curious 03:57, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

What about internet_access:encryption=yes or no, internet_access:encryption_type=wpa_psk, internet_access:ssid=myssid???--Xan 20:48, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
+1 for standard= and can be like array or just IEEE 802.11bgn - for b, g and n version. Also +1 for encription= but i'd use it as internet_access:encryption=no or type - if no enc, there is no type. --Mitjajez (talk) 20:20, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

wimax? and access?


Is there any way for tagging wimax and any other mobile net protocols (see wikipedia)? internet_access=wimax? For the other hand, how to tag the access?: public, access by fee and designated (for example campus nets only for staff). internet_access:access=public?, internet_access:access=fee?, internet_access:access=designated? By default, I think it should be public.--Xan 20:42, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

It's maybe confusing to term is as "public" versus "fee", since an wifi hotspot charging a fee, is still in some sense available to the public. I think we should encourage explicit tagging with "fee=no", or rather internet_access:fee=no for free internet. But see discussion above ^^^^ about pricing -- Harry Wood 12:08, 18 June 2012 (BST)


Why not allow areas for internet_access? The wifi area could be very long. Better than a node. In general, we could not know the exact location of the router ;-)--Xan 20:49, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

I believe it is widely accepted that wifi signal data is not appropriate for the OpenStreetMap database. This is partly due to problems of verifiability (It's not something that any mapper could go and see on-the-ground) Partly because the data would be an overpowering messy distraction for many other general mapping data uses (In cities there are many overlapping wifi access zones all over the place. Mapping point readings or areas would create a hideous mess) And finally other open data projects can and do already gather this kind of geolocated "wardriving" data.
The only wifi related information we do want, is a simple tag on a cafe/pub object, to indicate this as an advertised and publicly available facility of that object (in much the same tagging that a pub offers food)
-- Harry Wood 22:15, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I do not see why areas could not be tagged with internet_access. Example: The Westerpark in Amsterdam has created a free wifi space in the park, and it is definitely not just a point but an area. There are plans for wifi in another park.

In fact, yes, any mapper can go and see there is wifi available. That it becomes 'busy' in the database, or that it would be a 'distraction' (??) or that there are other open data projects gathering this kind of data misses the point of OSM completely. I will add 'area' to the documentation.

-- Jan Westerhof 11:15, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
I disagree, OSM is for mapping the physical relation of things. All tags are tied to physical representations of objects. Mapping an area as covered by a Wireless LAN is tricky because from a technical standpoint as more users are added to any wireless network, its coverage area decreases. As the noise from more people, on the same frequency/channel increases the working area of any given hotspot on that channel also decreases.
Imagine a room (this is a wireless channel) with 100 people talking. If 2 people want to talk, then they would have to stand closer. If the room were empty then they could stand much farther apart. Wireless coverage behaves in this manner.
WLANs, because of the 802.11abgn radio specification used, is a 2 person connection -- the device to the access point. What needs to be mapped are Actual Access Point Locations to a structure, building, pole, etc. Even the various wireless mapping projects which have existed prior to OSM, all aggregate their data though pseudo triangulation of observed points. If all of the observed points are in a straight line, then the map location is plotted as a weighted point along that line.Rjhawkin (talk) 15:50, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

open spaces

I have added "open spaces like squares or streets with public WLAN hotspots" to the list of places that could or should be mapped, as there more and more squares and streets with open (public), free WLAN access. --ALE! 15:15, 6 June 2011 (BST)

I have a problem with mapping areas as per my comment above. This discussion was held during the previous proposal and no clear consensus was reached. My opinion is that virtual objects should not be mapped because their data area is not fixed. Administrative borders are separate and noted as such. I can give an existing example of broadcast transmission towers for AM, FM, TV. We do not make a note that a particular station is receivable at a particular location. Wireless signals all propagate via the same medium and should be mapped in the same manner. In this case the transmitter location, not the covered area. If you goto those places and look up, you will see a device with antennas attached to a pole. That is what should be mapped, not the area.Rjhawkin (talk) 16:04, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

allow tagging of areas and ways

This tag should be allowed also for areas and ways. For the following reasons:

  • As said before there are more and more open spaces like squares and streets that offer free open (public) WLAN access.
  • cafes, bars, libraries, hotels are often drawn as areas (building outlines)

--ALE! 15:17, 6 June 2011 (BST)

I do not like that you arbitrarily added this because you wanted it with out discussing the matter or looking at previous discussions. If you care about this extensively, I would like a facts or precedent based response to my comment above, otherwise since the decision you made was unilateral, I will modify the edit as it was not discussed prior/during the creation of the proposal. I figure at the rate that things move here, 3 months should suffice.
I agree that tagging should be allowed for structures. Parks are harder unless the whole area is covered. Usually it is around the central buildings only, and those are what should be mapped. I do not like streets because the area covered is too dynamic. Even FON ties AP locations to structures.Rjhawkin (talk) 16:22, 1 May 2013 (UTC)


Is there a way one can actually use this information (and the similar power_supply tag, btw) atm? Any navigation/mapping application/service that renders the tag and allow it to be searched for in a given area? L29Ah (talk) 12:56, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Deprecate wifi=*?

The proposal states nothing but usage is wifi=* 10.000 vs. internet_access=* 50.000. I would add it to Deprecated_features, but no mechanical edit.--Jojo4u (talk) 11:00, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

Agree. And as noted elsewhere, wifi is a trademark. Johnparis (talk) 15:14, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

open networks

Like Freifunk, there is also, Funkfeuer (Austria), ?what's the name?(Greece)... and wlan slovenija(open wireless network of Slovenia) Node usage can be find on node list (on nodewatcher) where is also map (using openstreetmap, tnx!)

Soo i'd add this nodes on map using:

 internet_access:name=* (or should i use name=* )
 internet_access=wlan (or should i use internet_access:ssid=*)
 internet_access:operator=wlan slovenija (or space is depricated here?)

example: OSM node is this correct? --Mitjajez (talk) 16:13, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

In case of access provider Freifunk there are two common notations. Freifunk splits into regional organisations resulting in typically different internet_access:operator=* names like:

or should it be consistent written as


--JayJay88 (talk) 23:50, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

Places that offer Wi-Fi but also terminals and/or ethernet? Places that also have power sockets?

How should I specify places such as the library I'm currently using which provides internet access both via Wi-Fi and via terminals?

Also can we specify the restrictions at all? For instance the Wi-Fi you can use in two hour blocks and simply have to the terms on the sign-in page to get two more hours each time it runs out. On the terminals I think you only get a 15 minute block.

When using public Wi-Fi it's also important to know if electricity is available or if you can only use it on battery power. Same goes for phone charging. Do we have any way to specify these? — Hippietrail (talk) 04:03, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

You can list multiple methods using a semicolon. If, however the room where the terminals reside could be classified as a subunit of the amenity (e.g., music library), I'd probably tag the subunit separately.
Power supplies can also be tagged: There exists an enhanced proposal for this as well: Bkil (talk) 07:32, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

Finding reliable free internet access

I would like to come up with tagging amendments to help locate free (wlan) internet access for which the availability is known. For example if I'm in a new place, especially after hours or if I don't speak the local language, I'd like a way to locate free internet access without requiring to ask an employee. For example many chain stores will have internet access which does not require a password and is usually available at all times of the day from outside the shop thus I can be certain of getting internet even if the place is closed. However many smaller shops, hotels, etc may have "free" wifi but requires asking staff for a password to connect possibly with the intent of keeping it for paying customers or guests. Therefore it would be nice to differentiate these. One option mentioned in Talk:Proposed_features/Internet_access#internet_access_.2F_internet_connection would work but that proposal was never used. Another problem I have found are places which disable the internet after opening hours which would also need to be tagged as such and filtered out. DFyson (talk) 00:24, 24 August 2017 (UTC)

I've updated the main page based on TagInfo. You simply need to filter out internet_access:fee=customers or select only internet_access:fee=no. I don't think that we can or need to do better than this. It is not ethical to hog the unprotected wifi of a shop just because it is open all day, if it is otherwise meant to be used by customers. If it is meant for customers, it is expected that it can be shut down after opening_hours. If, however it is not meant for customers, it must not be password protected, and you will have instant access anyway. In this case, it is difficult to determine (and verify) if it will be enabled all day long, but I think it usually is in 90% of the cases. In all other cases, if you need Internet access and you are sure that all amenities are closed or are too distant which you can purchase access from, then you simply walk around the block to find what you need (note that this may not be legal in some countries). What you seem to be in need of is some kind of wardriving site, but this is not what OpenStreetMap is about. You can find lots of other sites and applications for that purpose. Bkil (talk) 12:18, 26 August 2017 (UTC)