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OpenStreetMap Wiki

Main article: Wiki

The OpenStreetMap Wiki (this website) is a place for help documentation, technical documentation and promotional material on everything related to the OpenStreetMap project. The Wiki aims to describe various common practices and community conventions, in particular the various mapping tags and the meanings of different values.

Typically, the contents of the OSM Wiki are correct, but this is not guaranteed. In case of doubt, it is worth investigating the situation, e.g. reading the talk pages and linked discussions if you disagree with something recommended here.

The Wiki is a living resource and should not be treated as a final, fixed source of information. When there are formal proposals and decisions, these tend to be documented in the wiki, and are indeed authoritative (see for example Organised Editing Guidelines). Other than that, the documentation present here is informative rather than prescriptive and authoritative (see Any tags you like for more background on this philosophy). Generally, tagging practices that went through the proposal process and were discussed, reviewed and approved are highly encouraged to be followed, but exceptions are always possible, following common sense and measured judgment.

Please note that the Wiki may have mistakes, missing information, outdated pages, outdated (or entirely missing) translations, and even pages written by people who documented their preferences rather than common tagging practices. If you spot such missing, incomplete, obsolete, or incorrect content, by all means feel free to go ahead[1] and edit it, or start a discussion in the corresponding talk pages if you're in doubt. Any help improving the content of the wiki is highly welcome!

OpenStreetMap data

Main article: OpenStreetMap licence information

Information appearing on openstreetmap.org, including the map renderings, underlying map data, and all information on this wiki, is released in accordance with the OpenStreetMap License. This includes a section on warranties and liability:


7.1 The Database is licensed by the Licensor “as is” and without any warranty of any kind, either express, implied, or arising by statute, custom, course of dealing, or trade usage. Licensor specifically disclaims any and all implied warranties or conditions of title, non-infringement, accuracy or completeness, the presence or absence of errors, fitness for a particular purpose, merchantability, or otherwise. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion of implied warranties, so this exclusion may not apply to You.

8.1 Subject to any liability that may not be excluded or limited by law, the Licensor is not liable for, and expressly excludes, all liability for loss or damage however and whenever caused to anyone by any use under this License, whether by You or by anyone else, and whether caused by any fault on the part of the Licensor or not. This exclusion of liability includes, but is not limited to, any special, incidental, consequential, punitive, or exemplary damages such as loss of revenue, data, anticipated profits, and lost business. This exclusion applies even if the Licensor has been advised of the possibility of such damages.
8.2 If liability may not be excluded by law, it is limited to actual and direct financial loss to the extent it is caused by proved negligence on the part of the Licensor.


It is particularly important to realize that the maps might not be reliable. The maps are an iterative ongoing work-in-progress. We are aiming to produce maps which can be relied upon, equally well, or better than other maps. The openly-editable wiki nature of this mapping system may help us towards this goal, however it may also mean that there will always be some inaccuracies. You should make your own judgement about the accuracy of our maps. Always use our maps in conjunction with your senses, official sources and your common sense.

The database includes information relating to flying, inland navigation, marine navigation, military, whitewater sports, flood prone objects and winter sports which are dangerous at the best of times. You are strongly advised not to use OpenStreetMap as your primary or sole information source for these activities. Get a second map or guide if you are unsure about the presence of hazards, or other navigational aspects of these sports.

You should not use a GPS unit or carry out other distracting mapping activities if you are not sufficiently confident, or require full concentration while doing a sport or outdoor activity. As always, make sure you have all the necessary equipment and training, take all sensible precautions, and be aware of the risks. As stated above, we will not be held responsible.

See also

  1. We are not Wikipedia, but wikipedia:Wikipedia:Be bold mostly applies also on OSM Wiki