WikiProject China

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China, Eastern Asia
latitude: 39, longitude: 104
Browse map of China 39°00′00.00″ N, 104°00′00.00″ E
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External links:
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China is a country in Eastern Asia at latitude 39°00′00.00″ North, longitude 104°00′00.00″ East.

OpenStreetMap images (and underlying map data) are freely available under OpenStreetMap License.

欢迎来到维基中国项目页面 ! Welcome to the Wikiproject China ! 中华人民共和国亚洲的一个国家,位处北纬32度,东经103度。


According to the Surveying and Mapping Law of the People's Republic of China, private surveying and mapping activities are illegal in mainland China. "Since at least 2007, it has been effectively illegal for foreigners to operate a GPS device in China."[1]

China's state media has released a news article about illegal mapping efforts as a threat to national security. The article also mentions news which had been announced before, that any foreigner collecting geographical data without permission will be "severely punished".

This seems to outlaw the entire OSM project and any participation or contribution. Presumably the government wouldn't go to the hassle of pursuing lawbreakers who have contributed data so far. However, the law may be actively enforced in Xinjiang, Tibet and near sensitive facilities.[2] "Most of the violations publicized so far have involved [research] in Xinjiang. Working in Tibet, meanwhile, has become almost impossible"[1]

See also: Restrictions on geographic data in China on Wikipedia

中国行政区划/Administrative divisions of China

The administrative division is quite strict in China and the importance and size of a place is almost entirely determined by its administrative level. The general OSM classification (with just city, town, village), however, is not really sufficient to reflect these levels. In order to reflect the Chinese administrative division better a separate tag is used to denote this: china_class=*. The classification for places, in addition to and not replacing the standard OSM tagging, (with hopefully self-explanatory names) is:

省级行政区/Province level

boundary=administrative + admin_level=4

Provinces 省 (shěng) 22
Anhui 安徽 relation 913011
Fujian 福建 relation 553303
Gansu 甘肃 relation 153314
Guangdong 广东 relation 911844
Guizhou 贵州 relation 286937
Hainan 海南 relation 2128285
Hebei 河北 relation 912998
Heilongjiang 黑龙江 relation 199073
Henan 河南 relation 407492
Hubei 湖北 relation 913106
Hunan 湖南 relation 913073
Jiangsu 江苏 relation 913012
Jiangxi 江西 relation 913109
Jilin 吉林 relation 198590
Liaoning 辽宁 relation 912942
Qinghai 青海 relation 153269
Shaanxi 陕西 relation 913100
Shandong 山东 relation 913006
Shanxi 山西 relation 913105
Sichuan 四川 relation 913068
Yunnan 云南 relation 913094
Zhejiang 浙江 relation 553302
Autonomous Regions 自治区 5
Tibet 西藏自治区 relation 153292
Xinjiang 新疆 relation 153310
Guangxi 广西 relation 286342
Inner Mongolia 内蒙古 relation 161349
Ningxia 宁夏 relation 913101
Province-level Municipalities 直辖市 4
Beijing 北京 relation 912940
Tianjin 天津 relation 912999
Shanghai 上海 relation 913067
Chongqing 重庆 relation 913069
Special Administrative Regions (SAR) 特别行政区 (Tèbié Xíngzhèngqū) 2
Hong Kong
(see WikiProject Hong Kong)
香港 (Xiānggǎng) relation 913110
Macau 澳门 (Àomén) relation 1867188

地级行政区/Prefecture level

boundary=administrative + admin_level=5

17 Prefecture (地区; dìqū)— These were formerly the dominant second-level division, which is why this administrative level is often called "prefecture-level". However, they were replaced for the most part by prefecture-level cities from 1983 to the 1990s. Today, prefectures exist mostly in Xinjiang and Tibet Use place=city
30 Autonomous Prefectures (自治州; zīzhìzhōu)— Are prefectures with one or more designated ethnic minorities. These are mostly to be found in China's western regions. Use place=city
283 Prefecture-level Cities (地级市; dìjíshì)— It form the vast majority of prefecture-level divisions. Prefecture-level cities are generally composed of an urban center and surrounding rural areas much larger than the urban core, and thus are not "cities" but municipal in the strict sense of the term. Use place=city
3 Leagues (; méng)— are effectively the same as prefectures, but they are to be found only in Inner Mongolia. Like prefectures, leagues have mostly been replaced with prefecture-level cities. The unique name is a holdover from earlier forms of administration in Mongolia. Use place=city

县级行政区/County level

boundary=administrative + admin_level=6 +


1,464 Counties (; xiàn)— are the most common county-level subjects. Counties have continuously existed since Warring States Period, much earlier than any other level of government In China. Sinology literature, xian often translated as "districts" or "prefectures". place="town" |
117 Autonomous Counties (自治县; zìzhìxiàn)— are counties with one or more designated ethnic minorities. These analogous to autonomous regions (at the province-level) and prefectures prefecture-level). place="town" |
374 County-level cities (县级市; xiànjíshì)— are, like prefecture-level cities, not "cities" in the traditional sense of the word, since they are actually large administrative regions that cover both urban and rural areas. It was popular for counties to become county-level cities in the 1990s, though this has since been halted.
852 Districts (市辖区; shìxiáqū)— another type of county-level division. These were formerly the subdivisions of urban areas, consisting of built-up areas only. In recent years, however, many counties have been converted into districts, so that today districts are often just like counties, with towns, villages, and farmland. Use place=suburb
49 Banners (; )— which are The same as counties except in name. name is a holdover from earlier forms of administration Mongolia. place="town" |
3 Autonomous Banners (自治旗; zìzhìqí)— which are The same autonomous counties except in name. name is a holdover from earlier forms of administration Mongolia. place="town" |
1 Forestry Areas (林区; línqū)— a special county-level subject forestry district currently there is only one forestry area (Shennongjia) located in Hubei province.
2 Special Districts (特区; tèqū)— another special county-level subject exclusively located in Guizhou province.

乡级行政区/Township level

boundary=administrative + admin_level=8

Public Service Centres (公共服务中心; gōnggòng fúwù zhōngxīn)— comparable to 街道 subdivision.*
14,677 Townships (; xiāng)— in smaller rural areas division they are divided into this subject. Use place=town
 Ethnic Townships (民族乡; mínzúxiāng)— in a small one or more designated ethnic minorities rural areas division they are divided into this subject. Use place=town
19,522 Towns (; zhèn)— in larger rural areas division they are divided into this subject Use place=town
6,152 Subdistricts (街道办事处; jiēdàobànshìchù)— in a small urban areas division they are divided into this subject
11 District Public Offices (区公所; qūgōngsuǒ)— are a vestigial level of government. These once represented an extra level of government between the county- and township-levels. Today there are very few of these remaining and they are gradually being phased out.
181 Sumus (苏木; sūmù)— are the same as townships, but are unique to Inner Mongolia. Use place=town
1 Ethnic Sumus (民族苏木; mínzúsūmù)— are the same as ethnic townships, but are unique to Inner Mongolia. Use place=town

村级自治组织/Village level

boundary=administrative + admin_level=10

80,717 Neighborhood Committees (社区居民委员会; jūmínwěiyuánhùi)
  Neighborhoods / Communities (社区; shèqū)
623,669 Village Committees / Village groups ((村民委员会 / 村民小组; cūnmínwěiyuánhùi / cūnmínxiǎozǔ). Use place=village
  Administrative Villages (行政村; xíngzhèngcūn) Use place=village
   Natural Villages (自然村; zìráncūn) Use place=village
   City-Type Neighborhood (居民区; jūmínqū)
   City-Type Communities (社区; shèqū)


Name tagging

Road Types

NOTE: This classification is considered too vague. Please talk about it in its talk page.

Road classification refers to relative importance in a region, not to the construction quality of the road or number of lanes (except in the case of expressways). Big city standards should not be applied in rural areas.

  • G routes - Guodao (国道), or China National Highways.
    • Use highway=motorway for G class expressways (高速公路) with white on green traffic signs, whose number contains 2 or 4 digits, i.e. routes of China National Expressway Network (中国国家高速公路网). See the list here. Most expressways are toll roads, use the tag toll=yes for this. Use toll=no to mark explicitly mark sections that do not charge toll.
    • Use highway=trunk for all other G class highways, also those superceded by expressways. See the list here.
  • S routes - Shengdao (省道), or provincial highways.
    • Use highway=motorway for S class expressways (高速公路) with white on green traffic signs, whose number contains 2 or 4 digits.
    • Use highway=primary for important S class normal access highways connecting major regional cities/towns or provide them access to other major G or S class highways.
    • Use highway=secondary for S class normal access highways connecting minor towns.
  • X routes - Xiandao (县道), or county-level highways (sometimes unsigned; if unsure, follow the conventions for other roads).
    • Use highway=secondary for important X class highways connecting minor towns (镇), where there are no other more important highways.
    • Use highway=tertiary for other minor X class highways.
  • Y routes - Xiangdao (乡道), or township-level highways (probably unsigned; if unsure, follow the conventions for other roads).
    • Use highway=tertiary for Y class ways when these are the more important roads between the smallest townships (乡).
  • C routes - Cundao (村道), or village-level highways (probably unsigned; if unsure, follow the conventions for other roads).
    • Use highway=unclassified for C class ways. Switch to highway=residential in portions where the traffic flow is expected to be heavily affected by pepole entering/leaving residential/commercial/industrial buildings along the road.
  • Other unnumbered highways/roads usable by motor vehicles:
    • Use highway=motorway for highways named Expressway (高速公路 or 高速) with white on green traffic signs.
    • Use highway=trunk + motorroad=yes for urban expressways (城市快速路), which are roads, elevated roads or underground roads normally inside city areas that resemble expressways, but without Expressway in their names, mainly for rapid move inside city area. Traffic signs used on this kind of road can either be white on green or white on blue. Examples: relation 295097, way 36954526, way 407508684
    • City roads: roads/streets inside build-up areas, or has been built/rebuilt according to future city/town plans:
      • Use highway=primary for city ring roads, through-city routes and major routes for entering/leaving the city, with majority of traffic flow being through traffic. Only use it for arterial routes of significant importance with heavy traffic -- don't use it on every major street! Examples: way 304225475, way 532398177
      • Use highway=secondary for major city roads not categorized as highway=primary, linking major areas.
      • In case that a road is supposed to be primary or secondary, but with even poorer condition than minor roads in the same area, use highway=tertiary.
      • For feeder roads around city blocks (小区) that collect most of the local traffic and act as the "bones" of local road network, use highway=tertiary.
      • For public roads inside a community (typically in the width of 1 or 2 lanes and in most cases no dedicated bicycle lane) with little through traffic, use highway=residential.
      • For other public roads, use highway=unclassified. Switch to highway=residential in portions where the traffic flow is expected to be heavily affected by people entering/leaving residential buildings along the road.
      • Portions of G and S routes inside cities/towns should normally follow their respective tag usage. For X, Y and C routes that has become de facto city roads as defined above, just treat them as city roads.
    • Use highway=service for roads:
      • that are too narrow to allow any faster than walking speed motorized traffic. Use highway=service with service=alley
      • inside a gated area (factories, gated communities, gated school/university campuses, ...), or simply with controllable barriers (gates, lift gates, etc., but not customs checkpoints or toll gates) at all of its exits, or
      • only connect to other highway=service, or
      • directly connected to the entrances of a line of building(s) and often with only one lane, which is supposed to merely provide access to these entrances, or
      • almost serve no purpose other than provide access to a building or a gated area.
    • Use highway=unclassified for other minor roads, such as those connecting small villages to a classified road. Switch to highway=residential in portions where the traffic flow is expected to be heavily affected by people entering/leaving residential/commercial/industrial buildings along the road. If the road is unpaved, add surface=unpaved or other applicable surface tags.
    • Use highway=track for roads used almost exclusively for forestry, agriculture etc.
  • For dual-carriage motor vehicle only highways/roads with at least 2 lanes in each direction, which are similar to expressways, but with a small number of level intersections and white on blue traffic signs (may be informally referred to as 'quasi-expressways' or 'semi-expressways'), add motorroad=yes.
  • Roads/paths not supposed to be used by motor vehicles
    • Use highway=footway for designated footpaths; i.e., mainly/exclusively for pedestrians.
    • Use highway=cycleway for designated cycleways; i.e., mainly/exclusively for bicycles.
    • Use highway=path for other non-specific ways unsuitable for motor vehicles.
  • Bike lanes
    • If the bike lane is part of the road, just separated by a lane marking, add cycleway=lane.
    • If the bike lane is separated from the road by an unmoveable barrier, such as a garden section or other non-passable obstruction, the preferred way is to map it as a separate highway=cycleway that runs alongside the road. However, adding cycleway=track to the road is acceptable if the actual location of the bike lane cannot be determined.

小区 (Xiǎoqū)

小区 - panoramio (1).jpg

Tag the boundary with place=neighbourhood and optionally landuse=residential.[3]

For roads within the Xiǎoqū use access restrictions to stop through traffic from being routed through. (access=permissive, access=private, or usually, only for motor vehicles motor_vehicle=private)

Example: way 453297764, way 298474996


Not all addresses will be easy to fit in the OSM standard tags, below is a suggested way. If in doubt, use addr:full. For detailed reference see the addr key page.


Urban address with street name

addr:country CN
addr:province 甘肃省
addr:city 兰州市
addr:district 七里河区
addr:street 光华街
addr:housenumber 33
addr:postcode 730050

Rural address, no street name

addr:country CN
addr:province 甘肃省
addr:city 兰州市
addr:district 七里河区
addr:subdistrict 阿干镇
addr:place 高林沟
addr:housenumber 210
addr:postcode 730050

Generics in Chinese

When one of the following is present in a name, it is customary to translate them when using name:en, instead of just using Pinyin without accents, e.g. 天安门广场 becomes Tiananmen Square, not Tiananmenguangchang. In case English literature uses a different transliteration, this should prevail.


Street types

注:以下内容带有地方观点,仅供参考,应以官方名称或路牌为准。 Note: the following is for reference only, if available, the official name should be used

  • 胡同 (Hutong) : lanes (Beijing, Tianjin)
  • 大院 (Dayuan) Courtyard
  • 巷 (Xiang) : Alley, Lane
  • 道 (Dao) : Byway
  • 巷 (Xiang) : Alley, Lane
  • 街 (Jiē) : Street
  • 大街 (Dajie) : Main street
  • 路 (Lu) : Road
  • 桥 (Qiáo) : Bridge (special: wind-rain bridge)
  • 大道 (Dadao) : Boulevard, Avenue
  • 步行街 (Bùxíngjiē) : pedestrian street
  • 条 (Tiao) : Measure word for a street
  • 小 (Xiao) : Small
  • 大 (Da) : Large
  • 西 (Xī) : West
  • 东 (Dōng) : East
  • 南 (Nán) : South
  • 北 (Běi) : North
  • 中 (Zhōng) : Middle
  • 外 (Wài) : Outer
  • 内 (Nèi) : Inner
  • 后 (Hòu) : Behind
  • 前 (Qián) : In front
  • 号 (Hào) : (house)number (usually not translated)
  • 邮编 (Yóubiān) : postcode/zipcode
  • 大厦 (Dàshà) : building
  • 广场 (Guǎngchǎng) : (public/city) square
  • 公园 (Gōngyuán) : (Public) park
  • 花园 (Huāyuán) : Garden
  • 寺 (Sì) : Temple
  • 政府 (Zhèngfǔ) : Government (town hall)
  • 人民 (Rénmín) : People's
  • 站 (zhàn) : station (train, bus...)
  • 岛 (dǎo) : island
  • 河、江、水 (hé, jiāng, shuǐ) : river
  • 湖 (hú) : lake
Fortification semantics
  • 屯 (tun ) : garrison/village
  • 寨 (zhai) : camp/usually not fortified, could be civil or military
  • 营 (ying) : military camp, some fortresses are called ying but it's a very common village name.
  • 堡 (bao) : fort/fortress, mostly fortified but further from the Great Wall, the size reduces and some are just villages.
  • 城 (cheng) : city/fortress: most likely that you can find a fortress with this name; also 土成 (tucheng# earthen fort), 城子 (chengzi, inside the fort), 古城/故城 (gucheng, old fort), 老城 (laocheng, also old fort), 旧城 (jiucheng, former fort), 城关 (chengguan, the fortified district of a city)

Also, villages along the Great Wall tend to have these words as part of their names: 边 (bian) : frontier 墙 (qiang) : wall

The following are often part of place names, but usually not literally translated (e.g. 石家庄 becomes Shijiazhuang, not Stone Family Village)

  • 峡 (Xiá) : gorge
  • 沟 (Gōu) : ditch/gully
  • 湾 (Wān): river bend
  • 营 (Yíng) : camp, barracks
  • 家 (Jiā) : family, home
  • 庄(Zhuāng): village
  • 山 (Shān): mountain, peak

Possible Sources

MapWorld Imagery (Tianditu)

MapWorld Services (in Chinese) Terms and conditions (服务条款)

MapWorld Imagery at zoom levels 16-18 may be used as a reference or confirmation for Bing Aerial/Mapbox Satellite (so do not trace directly from MapWorld!). This is a state-run service and the only service in China where Web Mercator Projection is provided.

天地图的航拍影像16-18级和Bing Aerial/Mapbox Satellite可以互为参照.这是国营的地图服务,也是唯一一个可以以墨卡托投影的服务.

**According to the terms and conditions, Tianditu cannot be used for mapping or tracing, please acknowledge the potential copyright issues before you make any progress. You may be blocked by administrator.

Usage 用法

  • In JOSM(recommended), open "imagery preference" and add a TMS layer with the following url:
  • Or in iD, click "customizing backgroud" and enter the same excluding the prefix tms[18]. That will cause empty tiles beyond the level 18, which is not convenient to do some precise edition, and that is why JOSM or other editor can restrict the zoom level is recommended.


Sentinel-2 satellite data is licenced suitably to be used as background for tracing or any other purpose for OSM (licence). Best resolution available is 10 m, but all of China is covered, and imagery is very recent (several captures per month, as recent as last week).


See User:Ff5722/Using Sentinel-2 imagery


GNS Place names data

See: WikiProject China/GNS Place names data

AND数据/AND data

See: WikiProject China/AND data

China Data Center

See: Katpatuka/CDC email traffic

OSM map in chinese

链接/Useful Link

相关项目/Related projects

  • 1.0 1.1 Foreigners Run Afoul of China's Tightening Secrecy Rules, Science, 25 Jan 2013