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Extra tags - please vote

I think it is really important we add other(optional) tags from this talk page to the actual tag page. This would encourage people to use the tags and make searching easier. For example my friend asked me for a map/list of primary schools nearby and I only recorded the names but probably saw that info when surveying! I will list the tags that are suggested and you can vote on approving them or if several disapprovals then we need more discussion below. Please do not reorder the list, so numbers still make sense!

  1. min_age=* and max_age=* - this is independent of the level/type which is usually country/area specific but could also be given.
  2. level=infant|junior|primary|highschool|secondary|* - school level, lists per country and usual age could be made. Often identifyable in the name such as "Sometown Primary School".
  3. isced=* - semicolon separated - education level classification, see ISCED.
  4. school=blind - for blind and visually impaired students
  5. religion=* and denomination=* - for religious affiliation or management, operator=* may be the name of the connected body/place_of_worship
  6. entry=free|location|exam|fee - the entry requirement for students
  7. gender=male|female|both/mixed|segregated - if it's a boys-only school, girl's only, both together(mixed), or if it's both but they are taught separately.
  8. school:type - for schools with specific purposes, e.g. schools for adults in Spain =CEPA, special education needs in the UK =SEN
  9. school:studies - types of programmes offered, e.g. =ESPA;Alfabetization;Preparation for University;PF;Languages
  10. website - The website of the school, usually providing more details. See website=*

Please now list the numbers you approve of, any you don't, and sign. Comments should be made in the respective section, and new proposals added to the end of the list above after appropriate discussion has happened.

approve of disapprove of abstain from sign (use ~~~~)
1, 2, 5, 6, 7 4 3 LastGrape/Gregory 19:37, 25 September 2010 (BST)
2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, (10 + wikipedia; although obvious) 1 9 ALE! 23:18, 29 September 2010 (BST)
1, 8, 9, 10 (10 is of general use) - 2,3,4,5,6,7 --Xan 18:34, 10 November 2010 (UTC))
5, 10 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9 - achadwick 13:36, 18 May 2011 (BST)
1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 - 2, 4, 9 --K4r573n 14:39, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
1, 3, 5, 6, 10 2 4, 7, 8, 9 Lerks 12:58, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
you approve of you disapprove of abstain (no vote) your name/time (use ~~~~)

How to use

Is used for "normal" schools:

  • Primary Schools
  • Secondary Schools
  • de:Gymansium
  • de:Realschule
  • de:Hauptschule
  • ...

How about schools like

  • Dancing schools
See leisure=dancing
  • Martial Arts schools ( requires tags like style=karate, style=Vovinam Viet Vo Dao, ... )
  • ...

Thomas P 10:17, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

I would call that amenity=dojo. --Lulu-Ann 13:59, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

And what about preschool (for children 3-5 years old)? I've added one here: but I'm not sure if i should add it and if yes how should I do this. Wariat 17:13, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

See Proposed_features/Kindergarten. --Lulu-Ann 13:56, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Age range

In the UK many schools will have their age range indicated in the school name - eg XXX Primary School, but many will not. Is adding min_age and max_age excessive? The alternative is less fine grained, say primary and secondary - but this fails to cover schools that go from 4-16 year, for example.

RichardRothwell 17:42, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

I think age is good as it's not country/system-specific, yet you could tag that another way. Many schools specify the age range on their signs. - LastGrape/Gregory 19:14, 25 September 2010 (BST)

Level of education

Where it is necessary to distinguish what level of education is available in the school, I suggest a tagging system similar to admin_level=*, where a numeric value indicates the level. I suggest a table for the various values. Also, where different pedagogic programs are used, this can be stated with a type=* tag, for example, some places in Norway (and probably many other countries) steiner schools are available. This should be tagged as type=steiner. --Skippern 18:07, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Maybe we could use the ISCED classification? I propose isced=* tag, where * is a number from wikipedia link. --Antblant 14:09, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

I strongly support the ISCED classification, as it is an international standard for classifying schools and universities. --ALE! 21:21, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
ISCED sounds good to me, but how to tag schools with several ISCED levels, or schools for disabled pupils? Lulu-Ann
What about 2-3 for lower and upper secondary or 1-3 (or even 0-3) for schools that offer all levels? --ALE! 15:48, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
That's hard to query if you want to render all grade 2 schools. Lulu/Ann
Why? --ALE! 10:12, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Because "2" is not in "0-3". Do I have to explain that? --Lulu-Ann 15:28, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, opening_hours=* are tagged in a similar way. So I do not know why the problem. But what about 0,1,2,3 for 0-3? Not very elegant IMHO. --ALE! 21:24, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Not every db would store it blindly as a string, but current toolchain is built to do so. Not every person asking things knows the current tools. Storing an interval in queryable form would probably (I haven't checked) require changes to osm2pgsql. Alv 21:28, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
In this case as there are only one digit values, so "0;1;2;3" might be OK. I hate multi value fields, but it might be the best solution here. Semicolon is the common divider for multi value fields. It is not the question how a database could store it, it is earlier in the tool chain where you only query the needed values. Lulu-Ann
In reality it is usually one digit + one character: See page 18 in [1]. However, we could also use only the digits without the characters without much loss of information.--ALE! 13:57, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm not aware of this classification, and I think some schools may cross the boundaries (there are only 6 levels). I would also like to see tagging with the names we're used to, e.g. level=infant|junior|primary|secondary|sixth_form and for other systems level= elementary |middleschool|highschool, etc. - LastGrape/Gregory 19:14, 25 September 2010 (BST)
You mean names YOU are used to? Where in your scale does Gymnasium fit? I vote for that we shall go with the international ISCED classification because it will fit with the most education systems that exist in the world. After that we could probably have something that translate a US Level 1 school to Elementary or a Swedish Level 6 school to Gymnasium inside the map view. If someone have troubles understanding the the different levels you just have to give him or her a link to Wikipedia, or copy/paste it to this page. --Christoffre 19:35, 26 October 2010 (BST)
Please note that schools are only ISCED level 1-3 from ISCED level 4 on you get post secondary education. Universities are usually ISCED level 5-6. So a Swedish level 6 school is NOT a Gymnasium but a university. --ALE! 07:58, 27 October 2010 (BST)

Strong -1 on using type=* or level=*. Has the effect of polluting the main namespace, and you can't tell what it applies to when users ignore the One feature, one OSM element rule (which they do). But +1 on using external, globally applicable standards like ISCED. I would suggest both isced:level=* and isced:fields=* as separate tags, and suggesting them for other educational facilities like amenity=college and amenity=university too, since the concepts are applicable there too. No school: prefix for these, for that reason ☺ --achadwick 14:22, 18 May 2011 (BST)

Could someone make a proposed feature out of the ISCED proposal? I have no time for this. --ALE! 13:20, 20 May 2011 (BST)

New proposal: I have now created at Proposed features/ISCED page with a summary of the proposal and issues outlined above. Please continue the discussion on that page, even if you disagree with using the ISCED tag. PeterIto 09:46, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

"Road safety" education

How to tag a place where "road safety" is teached? It's called "Verkehrsgarten" in German. See here for some pictures. --Michi 23:10, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Make a proposal - I know some of those here, too! --Lulu-Ann 13:56, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
If you search for "verkehrsübungsplatz" in OSM, you'll get lots of results, and all are tagged differently. Examples: recreation ground, college, commercial area. Does anyone know any examples outside of Germany? --Head 15:49, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I did a bit of research and found an example in England: [2]. I have not yet found a common English word for such tracks. --Head 16:20, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Also note that a "Verkehrsgarten" is not exactly the same as a "Verkehrsübungsplatz". First is mostly for children who walk, ride bicycles, or drive toy cars [3]. Second is primarily for teenagers/adults learning to safely drive a car. --Head 16:22, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I would see a Verkehrsgarten as a playground equipment among others. Lulu-Ann
"Proving ground" seems to be a good English word for a "Verkehrsübungsplatz". But the word "proving ground" not only covers driving compounds. --Head 12:07, 1 July 2011 (BST)

Schools for disabled pupils

Hi, I started to use school=blind for schools for the blind and visually impaired. See blindmap. --Lulu-Ann 13:56, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

What about schools for other types of students, e.g. special education needs (SEN), young mothers? I think we should avoid using 'school' as the tag name because it's not obvious. I'm not sure of a good name, how about 'students'? And allow semicolon separated lists, e.g. students=blind;wheelchair for a school that exists to assist both. What about standard schools that make special effort to accommodate certain needs (e.g. a special class runs in the school), students=normal;blind if normal is not offensive (I can't think of a better term). - LastGrape/Gregory 19:14, 25 September 2010 (BST)
"mainstream", maybe - backforming a noun from mainstreaming to mean regular education in ordinary classes at the level you'd expect for the country. --achadwick 14:07, 18 May 2011 (BST)

I agree with this, and I think other values should be permissible. It doesn't have to be limited to just special needs. Separate multiple values with semicolons, and make each value an underscore_separated_string (or define your own). Let's do iterative refinement for this, and use it for the general concept of "type(s) of school" or "type(s) of educational provision" (neither of which is the same thing as the level of education offered nor the sorts of classes run). --achadwick 14:07, 18 May 2011 (BST)

Public/private schools, religious affiliation

I think it may be important to distinguish between public and private schools. In the case of private schools, many are affiliated with a specific religion (around here, that would mostly be catholic schools). For the religion part, I suppose it makes the most sense to use religion=* and denomination=* usually used with amenity=place_of_worship, but that still leaves the question of how to tag whether a school is public or private? (In the US, any school with a religious affiliation would have to be private, but I suppose in some countries this restriction doesn't exist...) Vid the Kid 01:46, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

This can be covered with the operator=* tag, I think. --Lulu-Ann 15:06, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Could you elaborate on that? I can imagine a good use for naming the school district in operator=*, but that still doesn't make it obvious in the data whether it is a public or private school. And I just remembered we also have "charter schools" which I think are somewhere in between. (Passing thought: should school districts be represented by relations?) Vid the Kid 04:37, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
If the corriculum of the school is clearly religious, why not use religion=* and denomination=* on it? Here in Brazil there are several schools operated by churches, but with a "normal" secular corriculum, one example is the Americana colleges, who offer elementary, secundary schools and some form of high school in order to prepare the students for university. I would tag this with operator=Baptist as the owner of the school is the baptist church, they even give discount in school fees to students belonging to the baptist church, and in principal teaches the same corriculum as most other schools in Brazil. This is just an example, in Brazil most schools are private as the public schools often are of low standard. --Skippern 09:29, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
I think it is widely accepted to use the religion and denomination tags. Brazil sounds like the UK, the 'faith schools' might be partially funded or run by 'the church' but have to stand up to the same regulations/curriculum as all schools. Some may have more/all teachers/staff in the religion, there may also be some aspects such as prayers or hymns in the assemblies. Not all of them are connected to a certain church (but may be to the denomination), so use operator=(full name of the church) only where applicable. The entry policy varies, supposedly some mean that parents will go to a church for two weeks to get a letter signed by the church leader. - LastGrape/Gregory 19:14, 25 September 2010 (BST)

I have been using the fee=yes for private schools. PeterIto 12:56, 4 April 2012 (BST)

Entry requirements

I think we should avoid using access=* as this is more for whether you can go on the grounds. How about entry=* as fee=* is a bit too specific. The values I can imagine are

  • free (or state) - usually run by the state (borough/government) and open to all citizens/children.
  • location - like above but you have to live within the local area (usually called the school's catchment area). We might have to ignore this one as you probably have to look at going to the school to know.
  • exam - you are required to pass an entry exam or have certain grades to get in.
  • fee - you have to pay tuition fees to get in.

note:entry=* could be used to give more information, but website=* should be looked at for up-to-date details. -LastGrape/Gregory 19:14, 25 September 2010 (BST)

Let's use a namespaced school:entry=* at this early stage, to avoid clashes and make sure the concept's sensible in practice before sticking a new, possibly school-specific, term in the root namespace. Otherwise, no problem with it. --achadwick 14:11, 18 May 2011 (BST)


Some schools are for boys only, some schools are for girls only and some for both. Any idea how to tag it? --Messi 16:26, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

How about gender=male/female/both ? Lulu-Ann
I think I already use this. But how about gender=male/female/mixed/segregated ? - LastGrape/Gregory 19:14, 25 September 2010 (BST)

There exist female=*, male=*, unisex=*, defined like access tags. Since education provision is not the same thing as access, can I suggest school:female=*, school:male=* etc.? For segregated instances, draw separate areas for different bits of the school or use description=* if you don't have the data. --achadwick 13:41, 18 May 2011 (BST)

I would suggest school:gender=male/female/mixed/segregated to describe the school in general - but I think we should use different areas with school:gender=male/female/mixed as well--K4r573n 13:57, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Schools of adult persons


In Spain there are schools for Adult persons (for 18 or older persons). In Balearic Islands this schools have name CEPA ("Centre Educatiu per a Persones Adultes" - Educative Center for Adult Persons). This centers are public (with operator=Govern de les Illes Balears). In this schools, there are several studies:

  • ESPA (Educació Secundària per a Persones Adultes) specifically created for adults,
  • Alfabetization - in which a teacher teaches to read and write
  • Preparation for the exam for entering in the university ....
  • In some of that, there are "Professional Formation", in which people learn about one office.

How can I tag it? Something like:

  • amenity=school
  • school:type=CEPA
  • school:studies=ESPA;Alfabetization;Preparation for University;PF
  • operator=Govern de les Illes Balears

Please, comment it. This schemma is sufficient for all types of center of studies? (what about academias?) Thanks a lot,--Xan 11:14, 3 August 2010 (BST)

I'm not familiar with such schools (being in the UK) but the tagging seems sensible so go with it. There are lot of colleges that do 'preparation for university' courses, but what is the college/school difference? I even saw a primary school(8-11 yrs) named as a college! - LastGrape/Gregory 19:14, 25 September 2010 (BST)
So could we add school:type and school:studies tags?--Xan 17:49, 26 September 2010 (BST)

Special kinds of school for special requirements, e.g. for adults or the blind, should probably go as values in the main school=* tag. Personal bugbear: I can't stand terms like "type" in OSM tags: just use the iterative refinement pattern. Levels and types of education should be classified using an external standard such as ISCED. --achadwick 13:48, 18 May 2011 (BST)

School addressing

Should the school address appear on the amenity=school area or on the respective building=school where the actual mail is delivered? Or both? Duplication seems bad, but address details only on a building within an area is harder to associate from a database. unsigned PinkDuck June 2011

Or possibly the address should be attached to the door where the post should be delivered, ie on the door to the main office? For some schools, particularly large private boarding schools there will be numerous addresses for 'the school'. Anywhere is almost certainly better than nowhere though. PeterIto 14:15, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Site relation for school campus with other areas in between

Some schools have campuses that have other areas including buildings, roads, etc. in between them. Others have playing fields that are a few streets away from the rest of the school. In these cases it does not seem appropriate to draw a polygon around the school campus.

The proposed relation type=site seems a good way to convey the relationship between these buildings in cases where you cannot easily draw a polygon around the campus.

The relation could hold the amenity=school tag. There could also be a node for the main entrance that is a member of the site relation.

Example See also: question on help site

If this seems reasonable, I think the amenity=school wiki page should be edited as I was not aware that the relation type=site existed.

Gregrs 20:30, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Makes a lot of sense to me. Curious thought that the site relation itself has not yet been voted through yet - however that seems to be the situation for many tags which get stuck in limbo while people get on an use them. Getting back to your proposal and example, I notice that you have an added an address in the relation, I guess this is the main address for the school and that individual buildings may have their own addresses? PeterIto 23:37, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

For this reason I have just changed the feature "onRelations" from "no" to "yes": according to taginfo this combination is widely used. --berse (talk) 12:03, 23 February 2013 (UTC)


I try to distinguish the German schools Gymnasium, Realschule, ... In general I would say these Type names are not important because our goal should be to describe a school with its attributes, which means you don't have to know the local school system to use our data. Furthermore a lot of different countries have a lot of different systems with different school type names which can't be translated. But in some cases is it much easier and more precise to use the local name. So what do you think about using the school:type key for the local school type in my case "gymnasium" instead of a country specific one like school:de?--K4r573n 23:55, 3 April 2012 (BST)

See Proposed features/ISCED for a discussion about a proposed international scheme for tagging school levels; do please add a row to the conversion table for German names. If you do also want to include the type of school using the German term then it would probably be good to include a language identifier and use 'level' rather than 'type'. school:level:de=* possibly? Not sure if the de should be at the beginning or end or what? PeterIto 13:03, 4 April 2012 (BST)
Thanks for your quick reply. school:level=* was new to me - I updated my list with this tag. After my easter holidys I will also add the ISCED tags and hopefully other tags to discribe the missing education facilitys. K4r573n 01:30, 5 April 2012 (BST)

About substituting building=entrance with entrance=main

Hi, do you agree to change building=entrance with entrance=main?

From the building=entrance page:

"building=entrance conflicts with building=* because an entrance is not a building, but part of a building. entrance=* has been introduced as a replacement (see Proposed features/entrance)."

By using entrance=* we could also indicate the possibility to add entrance=yes (secondary entry), entrance=emergency...

-- Groppo 20:31, 15 May 2012 (BST)

  • I support doing this. -- Joshdoe 15:26, 18 May 2012 (BST)
  • I 'support it too. --berse 09:45, 19 May 2012 (BST)
  • support. Entrance=service will probably also be handy for entrances only available to staff. I would like us to also consider a suitable value for other entrances which pupils and parents are able to use but which don't lead to the main reception. There is also the complexity of the distinction between the 'main' entrance for the school and for a free-standing building (such as a swimming pool or hall) which forms part of the school. Large private boarding school are a extreme example of building and entrance complexity! PeterIto 10:38, 19 May 2012 (BST)

Thanks for the replies, since there were not objections I applied the changes. I leave further ennhancements to better english speakers. Groppo 09:24, 20 May 2012 (BST)

Adding an image

Hi everyone! Some time ago i drew an image [4] that shows an example about how to use the tag amenity=school, in relation with other usually related tags. The image is now on the italian page and I'd like to add it also on the english page. Do you think that images like that can be useful? For any suggest, discuss here. --berse 11:12, 22 May 2012 (BST)

Sounds like a good idea it me and an improvement on what we have. PeterIto 11:45, 31 May 2012 (BST)
I like it too. --Groppo 22:00, 20 June 2012 (BST)

Shouldn't this page tell something about office=educational_institution

There is a stub about this tag, but it doesn't mention this article or the other way around. --Joost schouppe (talk) 09:26, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

School Parking Tags

How should school parking lots be tagged? Are they access=customers or access=private tags? I think this element should have its own section with examples on the amenity=school page, since parking is complicated and people commonly visit school buildings.

Probably depends if they are for staff (private), for students (private) or for visitors, where 'customers' is probably the best fit.--Polarbear w (talk) 10:19, 26 August 2016 (UTC)