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Public-images-osm logo.svg boundary
NL-BE border.jpeg
Used to mark the borders of areas, mostly political, but possibly also of other administrative areas. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: boundaries
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)may be used on relations
Documented values: 37
Useful combination
Status: de facto


A boundary relation describes the extent of an administrative, political, or otherwise demarcated area. Occasionally the boundary=* tag is used on linear ways to indicate borders with a name distinct from either area that it separates. Avoid tagging boundary=* on closed ways or repeating boundary tagging on boundary relation members[1] as this can cause unexpected behavior in data consumers.


See below for the main values of the boundary key:

Key Value Element Comment Rendering example Photo

Boundary types

boundary aboriginal_lands arearelation A boundary representing official reservation boundaries of recognized aboriginal / indigenous / native peoples.
Boundary aboriginal lands.png
Entering Hualapai Indian Reservation.jpg
boundary administrative area An administrative boundary. Subdivisions of areas/territories/jurisdictions recognised by governments or other organisations for administrative purposes. These range from large groups of nation states right down to small administrative districts and suburbs, as indicated by the admin_level=* combo tag.
Rendering-adminlevel 2-mapnik.png
Lake city sign.jpg
boundary border_zone arearelation A border zone is an area near the border where special restrictions on movement apply. Usually a permit is required for visiting.
Wymiana tablic informacyjnych w strefie nadgranicznej (Babia Góra) - crop.jpg
boundary census arearelation A census-designated boundary delineating a statistical area, not necessarily observable on the ground.
Bolinas CDP, California.png
boundary forest arearelation A delimited forest is a land which is predominantly wooded and which is, for this reason, given defined boundaries. It may cover different tree stands, non-wooded areas, highways… but all the area within the boundaries are considered and managed as a single forest.
20210104 152558.jpg
boundary forest_compartment arearelation A forest compartment is a numbered sub-division within a delimited forest, physically materialized with visible, typically cleared, boundaries.
20210105 093243.jpg
boundary hazard area A designated hazardous area, with a potential source of damage to health, life, property, or any other interest of value.
boundary health arearelation Health division boundaries. Some mappers use health_level=* instead of admin_level=* to specify level in the health system hierarchy.
boundary historic arearelation A historic administrative boundary (use judiciously).
boundary local_authority relation Describes the territory of a local authority.
boundary low_emission_zone arearelation A geographically defined area which seeks to restrict or deter access by certain polluting vehicles with the aim of improving the air quality.
London low emission zone sign (detail).png
boundary maritime area Maritime boundaries which are not administrative boundaries: the Baseline, Contiguous Zone and EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).
Sea boundaries.png
boundary marker node A boundary marker, border marker, boundary stone, or border stone is a robust physical marker that identifies the start of a land boundary or the change in a boundary, especially a change in direction of a boundary. See also historic=boundary_stone
Boundary marker - Jeseniky, Czech Republic 12.jpg
boundary national_park area Area of outstanding natural beauty, set aside for conservation and for recreation (Other languages).
National park.png
Kings Canyon NP Sign.JPG
boundary place wayrelation boundary=place is commonly used to map the boundaries of a place=*, when these boundaries can be defined but these are not administrative boundaries.
boundary political area Electoral boundaries
boundary postal_code relation Postal code boundaries. Some mappers use postal_code_level=* instead of admin_level=* to specify level in the postal hierarchy.
boundary protected_area area Protected areas, such as for national parks, marine protection areas, heritage sites, wilderness, cultural assets and similar.
Yatsuhigata 04x4720s.jpg
boundary religious_administration relation A religious administration boundary, eg. of a catholic diocese or parish. Use religion=* and denomination=* to specify the church to which the boundary applies. Some mappers use religious_level=* instead of admin_level=* to specify level in the church hierarchy.
boundary special_economic_zone area A government-defined area in which business and trade laws are different.
Steung Hav Special Economic Zone.jpg
boundary statistical area relation An official boundary recognised by government for statistical purposes.
English regions 2009.svg
boundary disputed area relation An area of landed claimed by two or more parties (use with caution). See also Disputed territories.
Kashmir Region November 2019.jpg
boundary timezone relation Boundaries of time zone
2014-07-05 12 40 49 Sign for the Mountain Time Zone along Interstate 80 eastbound just west of the Utah border in West Wendover, Nevada.JPG
boundary user defined node way All commonly used values according to Taginfo


admin_level (number) area Defines level of the division described by the boundary in the hierarchy system to which the division belongs. Usually in the range 1 to 10 (except for several countries, where it is in the range 1 to 11 – Bolivia, Germany, Mozambique, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Turkmenistan, Venezuela – see boundary).
Santa Catarina location.png
health_level (number) arearelation Used by some mappers instead of admin_level=* in conjunction with boundary=health and is usually in the range 1 to 10.
postal_code_level (number) relation Used by some mappers instead of admin_level=* in conjunction with boundary=postal_code and is usually in the range 1 to 10.
religious_level (number) relation Used by some mappers instead of admin_level=* in conjunction with boundary=religious_administration and is usually in the range 1 to 10.
border_type * way area To distinguish between types of boundary where admin_level isn't enough. Used in several different ways e.g in maritime contexts.
start_date (date) area Useful if the boundary is very recent (or if it will become effective in a near future).
Connel bridge plate.jpg

This table is a wiki template with a default description in English. Editable here.

See also

Relation:boundary for boundary relations.