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Public-images-osm logo.svg wikimedia_commons
links to related Wikimedia Commons' media of the feature (syntax / Category:xxxxx) Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
Group: annotations
URL pattern$1
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
See also
Status: de facto
example of an image considered to be within scope of Wikimedia Commons
"Reasonable quality photographs of identified places are very unlikely to be considered not in scope"
"scope is very broadly defined. Reasonable quality photos of public places are generally considered to be in scope. So, please go ahead and upload those photos"[1]
Used on node/3764331569 with wikimedia_commons=File:Stojaki na Łobzowska x Biskupia.JPG

For links to images or other media found on Wikimedia Commons.


Link to the (highest-level applicable) object-specific category where available; otherwise, link to a specific image or 3D model. Do not link to more generic categories such as "churches in Birmingham".

Note that adding several files separated by a semi-colon value separator (the ; character) is discouraged because it's a character allowed in Wikimedia Commons filenames, such as "File:Podlaskie - Białystok - Białystok - Raginisa 8 - cm Farny - kościół Chrystusa Zbawiciela - Front;daleko.jpg" (currently used on OpenStreetMap[2]). So a client would have no way of knowing whether a semicolon represents a real semicolon in the file name or a separator between file names, so it follows the specification and treats it as part of the file name (as Overpass, the OSM website and Usage Bot do). This also makes difficult to identify broken links (because of typos or deletions) with external tools. If more images are available, just add the "best" one or create a new Wikimedia Commons gallery.



Where possible, you may also add a wikidata=* tag. Any notable and clearly identifiable material entity is allowed to have a Wikidata entry (See Wikidata's notability guidelines). A Wikidata entity would contain a statement about an image, 3D model, Commons category, or Commons gallery being associated with the entity.

Adding wikimedia_commons=* to an object that has wikidata=* can be considered redundant because Wikidata itself often links to Wikimedia Commons. The vast majority of less experienced (newbies and occasional) users however is way more likely to understand the concept and importance of Wikimedia Commons than Wikidata. Even for experienced users, the human-readable value of wikimedia_commons=* is easier to interpret.

Use cases

This can be useful for giving armchair mappers (some of which may be experienced validators) a better chance at understanding the object (a museum, unique house, bridge or memorial for example or even long distance cycle routes e.g. relation 162016) and eventually complement or correct tags. Especially useful when the object doesn't also have wikipedia=*, wikidata=* or website=* tags or other easily available sources.

Note that these tags are not just intended for internal use! Linked content should therefore be suitable to be shown to end users.


  • Values are clickable on the main website (since 2019-11-07)
  • Links to Wikimedia Commons works in Overpass turbo
  • JOSM can start a browser showing the linked image or category (select the tag, then right-click)
  • When you get the properties for an object in the iD editor you can click the link
  • OpenStreetBrowser - also useful to find objects without any picture, just use the "no image/wikimedia_commons OR wikidata without image" filter in “OpenStreetMap Quality Control > Culture-Media/Wikidata”.
  • Historical Objects
  • OsmAnd[3][4]
  • Usage Bot - A bot that creates and maintains galleries on Commons that record the use of files by OpenStreetMap.
  • Open Etymology Map and Open Artist Map[5]

Common tagging mistakes

See also

  • Photo linking - Create links between OSM features and external pictures
  • image=* - has simple syntax (File:*) for linking to individual images on Commons too, but is less safe.
  • mapillary=* - link to individual image in the Mapillary database
  • wikipedia=* - provides a link to Wikipedia's article about the feature.
  • wikidata=* - The ID of the Wikidata item about the feature.
  • Images related to OSM, on Wikimedia Commons
  • CommonsChecker4OSM - a tool to find OpenStreetMap elements tagged with non-existent wikimedia_commons categories. There's also a MapRoulette challenge.
  • 3dmr=* - for linking 3d models on the 3D Model Repository abandoned

External links