El Salvador Tagging Guidelines

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The following guidelines document common and, if cited, official practices in OSM mapping in El Salvador, Central America. The Ministerio de Obras Publicas (MOP)(In English: Ministry of Public Acts) is an official government site for El Salvador which presents the public with information pertaining to recent projects in the country and with official laws and regulations for roads, housing, etc.

Road Tagging

The major road categories and their respective attributes for El Salvador that are provided by the MOP are subdivided as follows:[Road Tagging 1][Road Tagging 2]

Road Subdivision

(MOP Category)

English Translation Associated Tags Road Criteria
Velocity (km/h) Width (m) Surface


Undulating Mountainous Road Pavement
Especiales[Road Tagging 3] Special highway=motorway


90 70 50 30.60 7.30 Asphalt


Primarias[Road Tagging 4] Primary highway=primary 90 70 50 12.00 7.30 Double Surface Treatment or Asphalt Concrete
Secundarias[Road Tagging 5] Secondary highway=secondary 80 70 50 9.50 6.50 Simple Surface Treatment
Terciarias[Road Tagging 6][Road Tagging 7] Tertiary highway=tertiary 60 50 40 6.00 Simple Surface Treatment,

Compact select material

Rurales[Road Tagging 8] Rural highway=tertiary

highway=residential highway=track


50 40 30 5.00 Coated
Caminos vecinales o

Municipales[Road Tagging 9][Road Tagging 10]

Miscellaneous and

Municipal Roads




50 40 30 5.00 Coated

Note that these criteria may vary.


Administrative Divisions

Administrative divisions of El Salvador

Administrative Divisions[Places 1][Places 2]
Place English Translation Admin Level Description
Región Geográfica Geographic Region 3 (under consideration) Geographic areas in the country which hold multiple Departamentos.
Departamento Department 4 Major administrative divisions which hold Municipios.
Distrito District 5 (under consideration) Geographic areas in a Departamento which holds Municipios.
Municipio Municipality 5 (In current use but should be changed)

6 (under consideration)

Administrative divisions which hold Cantónes. "Alcaldías Municipales" (Municipal/City Halls) govern individual Municipios and its Cantónes.
Cantón Canton 7 Small Administrative divisions within a Municipio. Individual Cantónes could hold entire urban areas or, in most cases, rural areas.

The administrative levels are not official and as you can see the numbers don't allow for admin_levels to be assigned to Districts. It is also questionable whether or not Caserios, Barrios, and/or other Neighborhood divisions should have administrative divisions. These were assigned because Departamentos were already being mapped with 4 as an Admin Level and Districts were ignored and the number jumps to Municipios. The level for Cantones was assigned mostly for visual reasons (To make the map look less cluttered with administrative division marks).

Considerations for reviewing Admin Levels

Since there hasn't been any official information about Administrative Levels in El Salvador by number, these are up to interpretation and can be set according to the hierarchy which is made official.

Assigning the divisions in the following ways has been considered:

  • 3 Región Geográfica
  • 4 Departamento
  • 5 Distrito
  • 6 Municipio
  • 7 Cantón

The pros this system is that Cantones end up having the same admin_level as before with a render that doesn't look too disruptive, the same goes for Departamentos which also have the same Admin Level, the con would be that reforming the level for Municipios who's Admin Level would have to be changed from 5 to 6, considering that there are 262 Municipios in the country, this could be a difficult task; however, considering that not all (most likely less than half or even less then 1/3) of these Municipios have been mapped, this is still plausible.

Other Places

Urban Areas[Places 3]
Designation Associated Tag(s)
Ciudad City
Villa Town
Pueblo Village
Caserío Village, Hamlet
Populated Areas within Cantónes and Urban Areas[Places 3]
Designation Associated Tag(s)
Barrio Borough
Reparto Neighbourhood
Colonia Neighbourhood
Residencial Neighbourhood
Urbanizacion Neighbourhood
Lotificacion Neighbourhood
Parcelacion Neighbourhood


Again, the MOP is a reliable source of information.

Road Tagging

Place Tagging