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Kirkebyggdatabasen is the import of a database of all 1951 churches and chapels in Church of Norway and is owned by "Kirkelig arbeidsgiver- og interesseorganisasjon" (KA). This database also contains additional information information such as a build year, architect, capacity and organisational bodies for each church, but each church is only a node.

Additional data for the building outline of the churches has been sourced from Directorate for Cultural Heritage ("Riksantikvaren") Kulturminne/Enkeltminne-database


  • Complete coverage of all churches in Norway. Around 1.000 churches and chapels are not in OSM today and they are important local landmarks.
  • Correct names and details for all existing churches.
  • Building outline of all churces


Import planning began 2017-12-17. Import may start 2018-02-01.

The import has no schedule and will be imported at the leisure of each contributors.

The import has been discussed on the Norwegian mailing list: Discussion and also on the imports-mailing list

Import Data


Data source site: and
Data license:
Type of license (if applicable): NLOD.
Link to permission (if required): Explicit permission obtained, Permission from KA and Permssion from Riksantikvaren
OSM attribution (if required): Contributors#Norway
ODbL Compliance verified: Yes, explicit permission

OSM Data Files

The source data files are available here, please see the original files.

An intermediate OSM file with only data from KA is available here see Churches from Kirkebyggdatabasen (original).osm (as nodes only).

The data is available in OSM and original GML formats.

The final data to be imported is the file Churches.osm

Import Type

This will be one-time import by the Norwegian OSM community without automated scripts. The 1951 data points will be imported and merged with existing churches with the importers editor of choice.

Data Preparation

Data Reduction & Simplification

The data contains 1631 ways (outlines) and 320 nodes and total ~29k nodes so nothing has been done to reduce the data.

Tagging Plans

The data has been converted from the original database tags to OSM tags.

Some specific tags to this dataset are:


There are 11 different dioceses ("bispedømmer") in Church of Norway: [1]


There are 101 different deaneries ("prosti") in Church of Norway [2] It is an organisational level between the bishop/diocese and the parish.


There are 1205 parishes ("sokn") in Church of Norway [3]. See Liste over Den norske kirkes sogn for a complete list. The local parish is the formal owner of the church or chapel.


There are 418 "kirkelig fellesråd" in Church of Norway [4]. It is an organisational body which is responsible for administrative matters including maintenance of the churches in its area, usually within one municipality.

Changeset Tags

The changesets will be marked with the comment: "Kirkebyggdatabasen import of <diocese>" or some other regional area.

Data Transformation

The transformations that has been applied to the data is specified in this section.

All nodes are tagged with:

OSM key Database attribute
building=cathedral for the dioceses main church, buildings with "dom" in the name
building=church for buildings with "kirke", "kyrkje" etc in the name
building=chapel for buildings with "kapell", "bedehus" etc in the name. Consecrated buildings only.
name Bygningsnavn
name:xx Some churches are in Sami administrative area and have a sami name (different xx for different areas of sami)
website Internettadresse
architect Arkitekt
start_date Byggeaar
capacity AntallSitteplasser (SitteplasserOpprinnelig if AntallSitteplasser is empty)
toilets=yes Toalett=true
toilets:wheelchair=yes HC_Toalett=true
wheelchair=yes RullestolAdkomst contains "Ja"
wheelchair=no RullestolAdkomst contains "Nei"
hearing_aids=yes Teleslyngeanlegg=true
image BildeURI
diocese Bispedomme
operator Fellesraadnavn
deanery Prosti
parish Sokn
note Bygningsgruppetype (description of building type)

A complete church looks like this:

   architect=Christie & Blix
   deanery=Bergen Domprosti
   name=Bergen domkirke
   operator=Bergen kirkelige fellesråd
   parish=Bergen domkirke


The addresses have been left out as they are a separate (finished) import.

Phone number

The phone has also been left out as it was not clear who the registered phone number was for.


The architect for 266 churches in the original data was "ukjent" (unknown) and was removed as it did not provide any additional information.

Data Merge Work-flow

Team Approach

The import will be done by the Norwegian OSM community, one diocese at the time.


Some churches have more than one name. The name used on the N50 map will be used in the naExisting geometry me tag; others will be kept in the alt_name tag. Some church names also includes the additional name of the municipality, however, those will be removed from the name of the church.

If a church already has been given a Sami name, both the Sami and Norwegian name will be used plus both names in name:<language>.

Existing building footprints

Some churches already have a building footprint in OpenStreetMap already, and these should be evaluated on a church to church-basis for which to keep and which to replace.

If the geometry is replaced with the new the history should be transfered over, by for example using JOSMs "replace geometry"-function.

Particular care should be given to churches that have a lot of 3D building tags, as the original mapper probably has put a mentionable effort into them. One could replace only the outline of the building in this case.


The steps during the actual import.

Information to include:

  1. Open Churches.osm in JOSM + "Kartverket N50 topo" background imagery
  2. Download data from OSM
  3. Copy your churches to the OSM layer
  4. Check the following for each church before merging:
    • Name: Please check that the new name in the dataset is correct according to Kartverket, including "kyrkje"/"kirke". The official name used by Kartverket should be in name. Alternative names may be kept in alt_name, including the alternative "kyrkje"/kirke" form (useful for searching). Please include "kyrkje"/"kirke" or "kapell" in the name (lower case letters!)
    • Building footprint: Please verify that the new building in the dataset is indeed better than the existing building in OSM. If not, transfer the new data attributes only to the existing building.
    • 3D: Please take care not to replace an existing building in OSM if it contain 3D features. You recognise 3D tagging through the tags "building:part", "height", "levels" and "roof". Examples: Nidarosdomen, Oslo domkirke.
    • You may want to check whether the graveyard around the church has been mapped. Correct tagging is amenity=grave_yard if it is close to the church (so correct if landuse=cemetery has been used).
  5. Merge the existing node or building with the new node/building using the Replace Geometry function in JOSM. This way the history of the object will be kept. If there are tagging conflicts you will be prompted to resolve them.
  6. Upload the changeset with the comment "Kirkeimport of <diocese>" with source="Kirkebyggdatabasen and Riksantikvaren" and source:date=2017-11-23.


All churches from the dataset will be conflated with existing churches in OSM one-by-one in a manual process using the To-Do function in JOSM. Position and church names will be verified against the N50 background map.


Please see the conflation section above.


Diocese Number of churches




QA Responsible
Oslo bispedømme 60 + 40 Finished Finished FredrikLindseth (talk)
Borg bispedømme 124 + 24 Finished Finished FredrikLindseth (talk)
Hamar bispedømme 194 + 12 Finished Finished FredrikLindseth (talk)
Tunsberg bispedømme 145 + 24 Finished Finished FredrikLindseth (talk)
Agder og Telemark bispedømme 186 + 33 Finished Finished FredrikLindseth (talk)
Stavanger bispedømme 98 + 25 Finished Finished FredrikLindseth (talk)
Bjørgvin bispedømme 243 + 40 Finished Finished FredrikLindseth (talk)
Møre bispedømme 115 + 18 Finished Finished FredrikLindseth (talk)
Nidaros bispedømme 180 + 25 Finished Finished FredrikLindseth (talk)
Sør-Hålogaland bispedømme 129 + 26 Finished Finished FredrikLindseth (talk)
Nord-Hålogaland bispedømme 128 + 35 Finished Finished FredrikLindseth (talk)
Bonus churches and ruins 24 + 0 Finished Finished FredrikLindseth (talk)