Import/Catalogue/Aviation Obstacle Import Norway

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This import provides mobile towers and other aviation obstacles for Norway.


The goals of this import are to:

  • Add vertical structures which are currently not present in OSM, in particular mobile towers (less than 5% of mobile towers in Norway are currently in OSM). The objects in the dataset are prominent and visually conspicuous structures.
  • A secondary goal is to include tagging (lighting, obstacle heights) which is useful for aviation purposes such as x-plane flight simulation and for seamarks.


2018-04-14: Import plan submitted for review to the Norwegian OSM forum - Link

2018-04-18: Import plan submitted for review to the Import mailing list - Link

2018-04-30: Import to OSM completed.

Import Data


Vertical structures higher than 15 meters in rural areas and higher than 30 meters in urban areas are required to be included in the dataset by law.

Data source site: Dataset provided by
Data license: CC-BY 4.0
Type of license (if applicable): Permission
Link to permission (if required): Explicit permission obtained 2014-08-18 - Permission
OSM attribution (if required):
ODbL Compliance verified: Yes, explicit permission obtained

OSM Data Files

All files are provided in this folder.

The original dataset is provided by Kartverket as GML files, one file per county. All obstacles except power lines have been extracted from the GML files and are provided as OSM files in the folder. Three counties have been tagged according to the tagging plan below for proof of concept and may be seen in the Pilot_import.osm file (not all objects have been included).

Update: There is now a python program which is used to extract the data from Kartverket for updates: obstacle2osm

Import Type

Community import.

Data Preparation

Data Reduction & Simplification

Only nodes are provided for the obstacles so there is no need for simplification. The power lines are not included in this import.

Tagging Plans

Tagging for each obstacle type is described here. Traditional OSM tags, typically man_made=* features, will be used for the main objects. Objects with status=FJ (removed) and K (razed) will not be imported.

A new tag to be used is aeroway:light=obstacle for describing aviation warning light on the structures. There is a proposal for this key here.

Common attributes

The table below shows tagging for attributes which are common across the different obstacles.

Attribute Original data OSM tagging Comment
Name vertikalObjektNavn name=* Name given to the structure. Lowercase.
Reference vertikalObjektNavn ref=* If the name is a number only it should be put in ref=* instead of name=*
Height vertikalUtstrekning height=* Vertical length of structure
Elevation posisjon/z ele=* Elevation at terrain level/foot of the structure.

Please check that maalested=FOT. If maalested=TOPP, the height of the structure must be subtracted. If neither ele nor height is known, then put the the top elevation in the top_ele tag.

  • lys<>IL,UKJ
aeroaway:light=obstacle The structure has a warning light. If lys=L then this is the only tag describing the light.
Light colour
  • aeroway:light:colour=red
  • aeroway:light:colour=white
Colour of the light
Light character
  • lys=FLO
  • aeroway:light:character=fixed
  • aeroway:light:character=flashing
  • aeroway:light:character=floodlight
  • Fixed light
  • Flashing light/strobe
  • Floodlight, illuminating the structure or its surroundings
Light intensity
  • lys=LIA,LIB
  • lys=MIA,MIB,MIC
  • lys=HIA,HIB
  • aeroway:light:intensity=low
  • aeroway:light:intensity=medium
  • aeroway:light:intensity=high
Light intensity type according to ICAO light type
ICAO light type
  • lys=LIA,MIA,HIA
  • lys=LIB,MIB,HIB
  • lys=MIC
  • aeroway:light:icao_type=A
  • aeroway:light:icao_type=B
  • aeroway:light:icao_type=C
ICAO light type according to Annex 14 volume 1, chapter 6. Full colour/character attributes must also be specified as shown above.

Communication towers/masts

The table below shows tagging for installasjon=Telemast, i.e. masts and towers used for communication. Please see the workflow section below for how to distinguish between the various tower and communication types.

Attribute Original data OSM tagging Comment
Mast/tower installasjon=Telemast
  • man_made=communications_tower
  • man_made=tower
  • man_made=mast
  • The largest towers which are part of the Norkring backbone network ("hovedsender").
  • The other free standing concrete towers which may be climbed from the inside, and for the largest lattice structures.
  • For the other, often lower structures. Often guyed.
Tower type tower:type=communication For all objects in this category except radar stations.
Communication type (derived from other sources) communication:mobile_phone=yes The tower is used as a mobile network base station (RAN). Most objects in the dataset are base stations unless observed otherwise on aerials. May be verified using
communication:television=yes The tower is used for the Norkring DTT network (TV broadcasting). Identified in NTV/RiksTV maps for DTT.
communication:microwave=yes The tower has large microwave link antennas (not just smaller antennas for feeding the tower itself). Identified on aerials.
communication:radio=yes The tower is used for the Norkring DAB network or for local FM broadcasting or for other radio transmissions. Identified using or in other sources.


The tower is used for shortwave or AM radio transmissions. Identified on Wikipedia or other sources.
communication:amateur_radio=yes The tower is used for amateur radio transmissions. Identified on aerials or other sources.
Tower structure (observed on aerials)
  • tower:construction=freestanding
  • tower:construction=lattice
  • tower:construction=guyed_lattice
  • tower:construction=guyed
  • tower:construction=dome
Construction type of the tower. Identified on aerials.
Building building=tower Free standing tower and communications_tower could be drawn as a building (not lattices)

Other obstacles

The table below shows suggested tagging for each obstacle type. Aerials will be used to identify and decide how to tag each obstacle.

Attribute Original data OSM tagging Comment
Agriculture equipment installasjon=Landbruksutstyr
Bridge installasjon=Bru
  • bridge=yes
  • man_made=bridge
  • When a highway, railway etc has been mapped
  • To map the bridge structure separately
Building installasjon=Bygning
  • building=*
  • man_made=*
May need to identify and possibly map specific part of building, e.g. church tower.
Gondola installasjon=Gondolbane aerialway=gondola
Control tower installasjon=Kontrolltårn man_made=tower

+ tower:type=airport_control

Cooling tower installasjon=Kjøletårn man_made=tower

+ tower:type=cooling

Crane installasjon=Kran man_made=crane

+ crane:type=*

+ crane:mobile=*

Most cranes in the dataset have temporary locations at construction sites and should not be imported into OSM. They are quite easy to spot on aerials.
Dam installasjon=Demning waterway=dam
Dome installasjon=Kuppel man_made=tower

+ tower:construction=dome

+ tower:type=*

Power station installasjon=EL_Nettastasjon
  • power=substation + substation=*
  • power=transformer
Many power stations are mapped already
Barrier/wall installasjon=Gjerde barrier=fence
Lighthouse installasjon=Fyrtårn All lighthouses in Norway are already in OSM with heights.

Please add obstacle lights, ele and height.

Monument installasjon=Monument man_made=tower

+ tower:type=monument

Peak installasjon=Terrengpunkt natural=peak
Navigational aid installasjon=Navigasjonshjelpemiddel
  • airmark=beacon
  • aeroway=navigationaid
  • aeroway=windsock
  • man_made=tower + tower:type=radar
  • Radio navigation aids
  • Visual navigation aids
  • Windsock
  • Radar tower
Post/pole installasjon=Stolpe man_made=mast

+ tower:type=*

Power plant installasjon=Kraftverk power=plant
Refinery installasjon=Raffineri man_made=tower/mast

+ tower:type=

May need to identify and possibly map building part
Offshore platform installasjon=Oljerigg Only for stationary platforms off shore, not during construction in a yard
Sign installasjon=Skilt advertising=*
Chimney installasjon=Pipe man_made=chimney
Tank installasjon=Tank man_made=storage_tank
Fixed balloon installasjon=Forankret ballong
Tower installasjon=Tårn man_made=tower

+ tower:type=*

Power line installasjon=Kraftledning Not imported. Separate import which is also based on NVE data.
Tree installasjon=Tre natural=tree
Forest installasjon=Skogsområde natural=wood
Water tower installasjon=Vanntårn
  • man_made=water_tower
  • man_made=storage_tank + content=water
  • Water tank at an altitude on a strucutre
  • Water tank on the ground
Wind generator installasjon=Vindmølle power=generator

+ generator:source=wind

+ generator:type=*

+ generator:output:electricity=*

Wind farm installasjon=Vindmøllepark As above but for an area
Ski jumping tower installasjon=Hopptårn man_made=tower

+ piste:type=ski_jump

Wind monitoring installasjon=Vindmåler man_mast=mast

+ tower:type=monitoring

Light mast installasjon=Lysmast man_made=mast

+ tower:type=lighting

Flag pole installasjon=Flaggstang man_made=flagpole

+ flag:type=*

Petroleum facility installasjon=Petroleumsinnretning Only for stationary platforms off shore, not during construction in a yard
Silo installasjon=Silo man_made=silo

+ building=silo

Chair lift installasjon=Stolheis aerialway=chairlift
Surface lift (ski) installasjon=Skitrekk aerialway=draglift
Cableway installasjon=Taubane aerialway=cable_car
Amusement park facility installasjon=Fornøyelsesparkinnretning man_made=tower
Other installasjon=Annet

Changeset Tags

The changesets will be tagged with "Imported <object type> for <county>", "source=Kartverket Luftfartshindre" and "source:date=2018-02-05" using import user accounts.

Data Transformation

A few minor transformations have been done:

  • Elevation has been extracted from the xyz coordinates in the dataset.
  • Name has been moved to ref if it is a number only.

Data Transformation Results

The OSM files after transformation are included in this folder.

Data Merge Workflow

Team Approach

Volunteers from the Norwegian OSM community will do the import, county by county.


The web service displays all mobile and tv/radio towers for a given geographical location.

TV towers are identified by NTV and RiksTV in a coverage map and they are available as a WMS service.

The 47 main communication towers are listed here. They constitute the Norkring backbone network.

All obstacles in the dataset are available as a WMS service.


Proposed workflow:

  1. Please make a new entry in the Import List section at the end of this page to notify others that you have started importing a county.
  2. Load the prepared osm file in JOSM
  3. Delete all objects with status=FJ or K (they do not exist anymore)
  4. For each obstacle category in the dataset, use the To-do plugin to walk through each object in the chosen category
    • Check the aerials to identify the object on the ground. The shadow of the object may often be seen in the aerials.
    • Move the object to a more correct location if that can determined using the aerials. Inspect the N50 topo imagery in JOSM to check if you need to modify ele=* after moving the object.
    • If the obstacle cannot be verified using the aerials, then check other sources such as for communication towers/masts. If the obstacle still cannot be verified, then exclude it from the import.
    • If maalested=TOP then the height of the structure must be subtracted from ele=*. If the height of the tower is not known, them set top_ele to the elevation.
  5. Specifically for communication towers/masts (Telemast):
    • The majority of these obstacles are man_made=mast + tower:type=communication + communication:mobile_phone=yes. They often have a small building located next to the mast. Examples of structures to look for in the aerials: Google image search mobilmast
    • The largest towers are candidates for man_made=communication_tower or man_made=tower. Look for clues like large free standing structures in the aerials, prominent locations on elevated terrain, a service road leading to the tower and large microwave antennas on the tower.
      • For a free standing concrete tower structure, tag with man_made=tower + tower:construction=freestanding.
      • For a lattice tower structure with four legs, tag with man_made=tower + tower:construction=lattice.
      • Include communication:microwave=yes if large microwave antennas may be identified on the aerials. Towers which are part of the Norkring backbone network carries microwave antennas.
      • The towers should always have tower:construction tagging. It will impact how they are rendered.
      • Please also check installasjon=Tårn to find a few more of the largest Norkring towers.
    • Include communication:tv=yes if the tower/mast is identified on the WMS service for TV towers.
    • Some obstacles are radio amateur structures or private tv antennas. They often lack the small building next to the mast and the antennas look different than for all the other communication masts. Tag with communication:radio_amateur=yes, or with man_made=antenna for private tv receiver antennas.
    • Some Telemast obstacles are radar stations. Look for the rotating horizontal radar bar at the top and tag it with tower:type=radar.
  6. Specifically for cranes (Kran):
    • The majority of cranes are located temporarily at construction sites and should be excluded from the import. The construction site may in most cases be identified on the aerials, or it can be determined that the site in question is not likely to be a port or another permanent location for a crane.
    • For mobile cranes on rail there will often be two or more objects, for example one at each end of the rail and one or more in between. Tag with crane:mobile=rail.
  7. For each obstacle category, conflate with existing data in OSM and upload.
    • In a different layer, download all corresponding objects from OSM using for example Overpass API.
    • Using the Conflation plugin in JOSM, select existing features as subject and the corresponding obstacles in the dataset as reference.
    • Work through the matches one-by-one and decide how to deal with conflicting tags and locations.
    • Then copy the other new obstacles which did not match any existing objects into the new layer.
    • Delete non-OSM tags
    • Upload to OSM from the new layer containing the existing and conflated objects.
  8. Repeat 4-7 for the other obstacle categories.
  9. Update the import list at the end of this page to let others know that the county import has been completed.


Conflation will be done using the Conflation plugin in JOSM as described in the Workflow section.


Imported communication masts/towers may be seen on

Import list

Please list here the county you plan to import + date for start end completion of the county import.

The import has not started yet, except for pilot imports in Aust-Agder, Vest-Agder and Telemark counties.

The following counties has been made ready for import of communication towers/masts: Telemark, Vestfold, Buskerud, Akershus, Oslo, Østfold, Hedmark, Oppland, Møre- og Romsdal, Sogn og Fjordane.

See also